Hardinge Cataract Lathe - What Year ?
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    Default Hardinge Cataract Lathe - What Year ?

    I have a Hardinge Cataract BB57 lathe that I've had for some years, but only recently cleaned up and put back in use - It was missing the little cover plate that has the serial number, but I thought that maybe the experts here could ID the year of manufacture.
    The spindle is 5C, and the tail stock is MT1 - I understand that this combo wasn't common for a 7" lathe.
    hardinge-lathe.jpg

    Here's a before shot - The lathe was mounted to this board with the control levers sawed off flush, below the bed. I wondered if maybe it was intended for some kind of "man cave" display, although it did still have the collet drawbar, 3 and 4 jaw chucks, 2 faceplates, and a MT1 drill chuck, with it. It has a small shop tag, just a number, on the bottom left of the bed.
    It looked to be painted a sort of army green color over a dark gray - I hope you can understand why I didn't really want to keep it completely original - The crackle finish kind of turned me off :~(
    hardinge-before.jpg

    Anyway, hopefully, someone can tell me what year - Thanks

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    The underneath drive Cataracts were introduced around 1934, after the company was moved to Elmira, but the nameplate on the bed was cast brass and the tailstock was different from yours, with an oval cutout on the top of the casting to show the inch markings on the ram. The last Cataracts made had an etched brass nameplate and dated around 1939. Your tailstock design was in use from around 1940, so it could be original. So my guess is that your lathe was made around 1939.

    Do you still have the brake inside the headstock? It was operated by the forward-brake-reverse lever. The bottom arms of the levers operated a pair of drum switches and the second lever was for low-off-high for the OEM two-speed motor.

    Here are three pictures of the second Hardinge lathe I owned. I sold it around 1984. It was a 1936 BB59. I overhauled it, but the parts were mostly original. It had a 1946 model slide rest.

    This is the patent, filed in 1934, for the underneath drive. They were sold with a wood desk-like bench or a wood top on iron pipe legs. The iron pipe leg design dates back to the earliest Cataract lathes made in Chicago, around 1904.
    US2066560A - Variable speed drive mechanism
    - Google Patents


    Larry

    1936-hardinge-cataract-underdrive-lathe-1.jpg 1936-hardinge-cataract-underdrive-lathe-3.jpg 1936-hardinge-cataract-underdrive-lathe-2.jpg

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    Thanks Larry -
    I thought it might be from around that era, but I didn't know if things had been mixed and matched.
    The lathe had the brake ring, but I left it out when I put the spindle back together.

    Since I got nothing but the lathe itself, mounted to that board, I had to come up with my own drive set up.
    It's powered by a 1hp industrial sewing machine "servo motor" - Very small, but pretty powerful.
    These are brushless DC motors, that are sort of modular, with a programmable controller, and a separate lever action, hall effect potentiometer, meant to be hooked up to a foot treadle.
    I have the pot connected to the speed lever - The brake lever is now just a dummy, fixed in place.
    The speed lever now is variable speed through a half stroke, from stop to full speed - The motor has a built in electronic brake - When I pull the lever back to it's stop, the spindle will stop almost instantly. I have it belted for about 3,000 rpm max.

    The motor set up is powerful enough for me - I haven't really leaned on the lathe, but it will cut .035" off a piece of 1.5" mild steel without slowing down, at about "1/2 throttle".
    I'm sure the original drive was capable of more than that, but it's enough for my use.

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    That crackle finish was absolutely fabulous !
    What a loss of history to disturb it.
    Conservation lost forever.

    -Doozer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doozer View Post
    What a loss of history to disturb it.
    -Doozer
    Look, I appreciate history as much as the next guy - I mean, I even subscribe to Archeology Magazine.
    But some history was just ugly, and I thought this was some of it - I have no regrets :~)

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    Quote Originally Posted by juliaalexander View Post
    Thanks for great discussion i am new i need help somebody help me about sewing machine.
    Hi - If you're asking about the motor - This is the kind I used :
    servo-motor.jpg

    They're readily available from lots of places - The higher the power, the more $$.
    But even a 750 watt one was fine for the lathe :
    750W Industrial Sewing Machine Servo Motor 1HP for JUKI DDL-8700 Consew EL-550 | eBay

    They come in different voltages and power ratings - If you actually want to use one for a sewing machine, I HIGHLY recommend them - Best thing since sliced bread! They use the same mount as the old clutch motors.
    It worked well for the lathe - One nice thing, is that the whole set up is mounted to the bench top, allowing the lower shelf to be used for storage, etc.

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    Post #6 was from a spammer. It contains a hidden link to a website for military gun collectors. It was not a real question or comment pertaining to this thread. Such spam turns up on PM occasionally, and apparently brings joy to someone.

    Larry

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    Thank you, Larry.
    I have a hard time recognizing these things - Maybe it's just my urge to be helpful.

    Tom, feeling naive .....


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