What can I learn from a Hendey serial number?
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  1. #1
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    Default What can I learn from a Hendey serial number?

    I'm looking at a 12x30 numbered 29837. If anyone can tell me what records indicate for this serial number, I'd really appreciate it! The seller has dementia and his family only knows he purchased it from a local high school shop.

    (Moved from American Iron at member suggestion.)

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    Hendeyman will be along shortly to answer your query. As this machine is more current than most, he will likely have complete records, and may even have parts.

    Good luck in the sale. Likely a well used but cared for addition to his shop and will command a good price. Maybe more important to put it in the hands of another appreciator. We are all merely custodians.

    Too bad about the dementia. For some in time it can be a release.

    Best regards,
    Joe in NH

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    On the top of the information (and instructions on how to distinguish a 12 speed from a 18 speed) provided to you in the other thread, what kind of information are you still looking for in order to make the decision to buy it or not?

    Paolo

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    I'd like to assess its mechanical function & condition, since I can't take on a major repair project right now, at ym next visit and I'm trying to be as prepared as possible for that. I'm also waiting for the sellers to figure out what tooling & accessories will go with it.

    If I can learn what spindle bearings it was made with and what motor it was originally set up for, that'll help me know how to think about any discrepancies & wear I observe.

    Beyond these, I'm new-ish to metal lathes and very new to Hendey, so I still don't know what I don't know and I'm trying to learn as much as I can quickly. I've been reading in the forums here as much as possible and looking at a few other resources.

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    lapoole:

    The Serial Number Card for Hendey lathe No. 29837 was misfiled at Aable Machine Tool more than thirty years ago, so I can't give you the
    history of your lathe. I can tell you that it was scheduled for completion during the second week of September 1938. Considering when it
    was built, the chances are that it is a Raised Swing model, meaning that will swing 14-1/2 inches over the bed. If it is a Geared Head
    model, the type of bearing used will be stamped on the Headstock near the Spindle. You might have to remove the paint in the area to find
    the letters. You are looking for PB (plain bearing), BB (ball bearing) or TRB (Timken roller bearing). Put the Back Gear handle (far
    right handle on Headstock) in the middle position and rotate the chuck or Spindle to get a feel for the bearings. If necessary, take the
    top off and have a look at the gears and the condition of the oil. The Index Plate on the front of the Headstock, will let you know if
    its a 12 or 18 speed model.

    You didn't say if the lathe could be powered up or not. Either way, it is not much of a problem. A few years ago, Forum member Earl F.
    was considering buying a similar sized Hendey located on the East Coast. Forum member South Bend Model offered to inspect the lathe for
    Earl. South Bend wasn't sure of what to look for during the inspection since (if I remember correctly) the power was off. Earl, John
    and I had a conference call that resulted in a set of things to look for and how to test them if the machine could not be powered up.
    South Bend collated our rambles into set of suggestions on how to field test a lathe under less than ideal conditions. He posted it on
    the Forum, but I don't remember the heading. Maybe South Bend will see this post and be able to steer you to this material, it should
    make your inspection a lot easier.

    Hendeyman

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    Thanks so much Hendeyman! This is really useful new information, and I'm grateful for your work in making archival details available to us all. I'm hoping to see the machine again this weekend, and I'll be taking a close look then.

    I spotted this warning here, in a post about evaluating a cone head Hendey:
    ***WARNING: The machine should never be run with more than one of the feed knobs #26 and #27 or half nuts #28 engaged at the same time. Attempting to do so will break things…
    Knob/lever number differences aside, does this warning apply to the geared head models as well?

    If I can find the Hendey assessment thread you're remembering I'll post link to it here.

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    I've been unable to locate the checklist referred to above, but I've written to SouthBendModel34 to see if he can point me to it. In the mean time, here's my draft inspection checklist:
    Draft checklist for inspection/assessment of geared head Hendey lathe

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    Quote Originally Posted by lapoole View Post
    ...

    I spotted this warning here, in a post about evaluating a cone head Hendey:


    Knob/lever number differences aside, does this warning apply to the geared head models as well?

    If I can find the Hendey assessment thread you're remembering I'll post link to it here.
    What you don't want to do on any lathe is to engage the longitudinal feed and the half nuts at the same time, since it would try to run the carriage at two different speeds, and something will have to yield in a catastrophic way.
    On this and other Hendey lathes there is an interlock mechanism that should prevent it, ...if it still works fine after over three quarters of a century.
    Hendey literature describes how to use cross-feeds in combination with either longitudinal feeds or leadscrew (but not both at the same time) to obtain steeper taper angles than what the taper attachment would allow alone.

    Paolo

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    Well I got to spend some time with 29837 yesterday and I'm a bit disappointed. The sellers represented it as working well, but there is at least one serious issue.

    Positives:
    • 14.5" swing over the carriage instead of 12" predicted by cast-in "12x30."
    • Motor (230v 1ph 2HP 1725 RPM General Elctric), wiring, and switch all good.
    • "TRB" spindle bearings feel & sound fine at speed.
    • All spindle and lead screw gearing seems to be intact & no louder than I expect.
    • No significant rust

    Negatives
    • Lead screw reversing mech. cannot be made to work correctly. There seem to be multiple problems here. One is the key holding the lever to its control arm: there's too much free movement there so some of the lever's travel is wasted. Another is that sometimes the gears won't mesh (to start the lead screw turning) unless the spindle is stopped. Finally, even when I can get the gears engaged, one feed direction pops out of gear, stopping the lead screw. Either the detent mechanism needs work or it can't do its job because there's too much wear in the reversing mechanism? At any rate, without a reliable lead screw the lathe's not super useful and it looks like quite a bit of disassembly may be required to repair that reversing mechanism.
    • There's quite a bit of wear visible in a 12" section of the lead screw; the thread crests are thinned about 50% in that area. Am I correct in guessing this will primarily affect accuracy of thread cutting actions that travel into or out of the worn area of the lead screw? Is there any other sig. consequence of local wear to the lead screw?
    • A three-jaw drill chuck is stuck in the tail stock quill. We took the quill out and tapped pretty hard from the back with a hammer & drift but the chuck arbor wouldn't come out. I can put thi sin my press if the lathe arrives in my shop, but I'd rather know in advance if the quill is damaged.
    • It's only a 12 speed. As I'm much more likely to turn smaller diameters than large, I could change the motor pulley ratio to get faster spindle speeds. I suppose my other option would be an upgrade to a 3-phase motor controlled by a VFD. Is there a practical upper spindle speed limit for these machines?
    • Being a 12 speed, it doesn't have the quick withdraw feature on the cross slide. I was kinda looking forward to having that...
    • There were some crashes into the compound rest at some point and there's a small amount of play in it at the dovetails. I assume a gib adjustment is all it needs, but couldn't experiment at the time.
    • None of the original accessories are present: no taper attachment, no steady rest, etc. The three chucks (two 8" and a 10" 3-jaw) appear to be Chinese and are a bit rusty.
    • There's not a lot of tooling with it. A few tool holders, a couple boring bars made for HSS cutters, live & dead centers, and a bunch of 3MT shank drills.
    • The family members selling the lathe disagree on whether any of the tooling is included in the price, and an influential family member wants to negotiate the price of each component separately.
    • Asking price is $1,500 with no delivery (only loading assistance) included. This was firm before the feed reversing mechanism problem was revealed. I was prepared to be happy with the price if the tooling were included—metal lathes sell fast here in Portland and rarely come up in a size I can accommodate at this price—but now I'm much less certain of the value. I can't bring a $1,500 1T boat anchor into my life if I can't make it function well pretty quickly & easily! What do y'all think about the price, given the problems identified above?

    One more question: what do people do for turning in collets with a machine like this? It looks like MT5 > ER32 and MT5 > 5C adaptors are available... would I make my own draw tube to fit my spindle, or is there another way to use modern collets on these machines? Working close to a collet I'd be in an area where the ways & lead screw look like new, so that'd be one way to sidestep some of the wear I see.

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    Reversing is UNDER head stock as shown by such as Patrick Black's photos. If the linkage upgrades do no good, that is where the repair will be

    18 speeds topped at first at 600 plus and later 1000. The late Harry Bloom (beckley23) stated he re-pulleyed his motor on his 12 speed and ran it occasionally near 1200

    The 12 speed does not have the anti friction bearinged QC gear box like the 18 speed has

    I favor a colllet chuck such as Hardinge Sojgren(?) that fit right on your L or D type spindle nose and use no draw tube. These can be had to quite large collet series - at least 2 1/4" in the 3J series

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    Thanks for the added info. Looks like some of Hendey's similar machines in the 50s (e.g. 1x30) were geared for top speed of 1200rpm so I won't worry about that.

    My main concern at this point is how much time & work will be involved in fixing the reversing mechanism and whether I'll have to have parts made. Could it be simply out of adjustment? I'd hate to pass up on the machine just because I don't understand it well enough yet.

    I found the Patrick Black thread referring to all his great photos but unfortunately Photobucket no longer hosts them! I'll ask him if he has copies he can share.

    Thanks for the tip about the Sojgren speed chuck; I'd not seen those before. Looks like Pratt Burnerd makes a similar design.

  18. #13
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    Not much there to "adjust"

    Here is Pat's photo of the parts - your somewhat "newer' Hendey may have slight differences



    Pat was kind enough to share these with me recently - though he is no longer active on the forum. Those "stobs" seen in the bevel gears are the single "tooth" that makes this system work - they are the usual problem after they get rounded off or just broken off

    Here is the head stock laying on its side with those parts installed on the bottom


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    The worn key and keyway in the reversing handle and rod are relatively common and can be fixed by enlarging the keyway, rebushing the lever and cutting a wider key. Sometimes you can still achieve full engagement of the single tooth dog clutch by moving left or right the shuttle bar holding the adjustable stop (the lowest of the three "rods" on the front of the lathe, being the leadscrew the upmost rod).

    The main issue is that the single tooth dog clutch should be engaged only with the spindle stopped or running slow. This becomes tricky when the detents for the forward, disconnected, and reverse positions are worn and you can over-run the disconnected detent shifting directly from forward to reverse and vice versa.

    Definitely, if you're looking at lathes three quarter of a century old, you won't find easily any turnkey machine even where they are more abundant. The problems you have listed are relatively easy to fix ...if you have access to other machinery and have the skills.
    Otherwise, I would suggest to let somebody else have this one and concentrate on more modern machines, perhaps further away.

    Paolo

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnoder View Post
    Not much there to "adjust"
    IF the problem is in the actuating linkage and not in the reversing gears and coupling dogs....
    Here's an image I found of the patent drawing:

    hendeyreversingmech.jpg

    Does anyone know how the automatic stop rod (as identified in the image above) is involved in disengaging the lead screw drive? It looks like a fork or bumper on the apron hits a stop on this rod, pushing the rod left or right, and that maybe this pivots the "T" shaped linkage behind the feed gearbox and disengages the reversing gears. If I've understood it correctly, perhaps the automatic stop rod is not moving freely, and thwarting the rest of the linkage from doing its job?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paolo_MD View Post
    The worn key and keyway in the reversing handle and rod are relatively common and can be fixed by enlarging the keyway, rebushing the lever and cutting a wider key. Sometimes you can still achieve full engagement of the single tooth dog clutch by moving left or right the shuttle bar holding the adjustable stop (the lowest of the three "rods" on the front of the lathe, being the leadscrew the upmost rod).
    Thanks Paolo - it looks like our posts crossed in the ether, and it looks like I've understood what you're calling the shuttle bar. Maybe I'll take the plunge; I"m sure I could modify the lever and make and install a custom key.

    -Allen

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    Essentially, if I recall correctly, under the headstock there is a T-shaped lever pivoting at the intersection of the T.
    The leg of the T is coupled with the feed direction control bar through a pin, converting the rotation of the shaft in mostly up and down rotation of the lever (the coupling is yet another wear point where more play is introduced).
    The other extremities of the T are coupled with the "shuttle bar" and the dog clutch fork respectively (and they generally suffer of less play by wear and their motion is not limited as it is the reversing lever on the side of the apron).
    During normal operation, the shuttle bar is only used to disengage the dog clutch (i.e. the bar passes through a ring cast into the apron and that ring pushes the stop clamped to the bar: once the clutch is shifted in the disengaged position, there is no further movement of the apron, therefore it won't engage in the opposite direction, unless you move the apron manually).
    For testing purposes, you can move the shuttle bar by hand, checking if you can fully engage the dog clutch or not. If it works, at least for the time being, you can use the leadscrew this way, engaging only when the spindle is stopped. Otherwise, it means that you have to rebuild the teeth of the clutch for everything to work.

    Paolo

    hendeyreversingmech.jpg

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    I"m sure I could modify the lever and make and install a custom key.
    Fixing these creatures is terrifically educational and exceedingly satisfying - but isn't the way to suddenly have a ready-to-go machine tool

    Some day when you are resting, read about the effort put into this 1904 30" L&S

    Moving a 12,000 lbs. Lathe

    ph

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    Allen,

    When I got my 16x30 gearhead years ago the reversing mechanism would not function at all. After a few conversations with Hendyman and a lot of penetrating oil it began to free up and work. If the machine you're looking st has sat for very long, crud sticking to linkages can be a problem. When I got the 1910 Hendey conehead it was a complete basket case so I got to take it completely apart and while I had the headstock apart I made a short, poor quality video about the reversing system (YouTube). It took me about a year to get my gearhead up and running but I learned a lot and made friends with some folks on this forum that I still communicate with. I would second Mr Oder's advice (always a safe bet) that if you want a project, the Hendey will be worth it but if you want a lathe to use right now you might be better served with something else.

    Good Luck,

    Craig

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    Thanks Craig! I'd already found your videos and they've been quite helpful. They're part of why I've pursued this particular lathe.

    Thanks John & Paolo as well. The sellers and I seem to be finding a compromise, so—fingers crossed—I may soon be repairing that reversing lever and lubricating the whole mechanism and finding out if there's anything more serious wrong.


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