German VDF Lathe
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  1. #1
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    Default German VDF Lathe

    I don’t know if this is the right part of the forum to discuss German VDF (Heidenreich Harbeck of Hamberg) lathes. I have one undergoing an overhaul. Anyone have any experience with these machines?

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    Hello Amach328,

    any information such type, name, age and/or pictures of your Heidenreich & Harbeck will be helpful to support you.

    Bertus

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    Default Machine ID

    This lathe is an S500 model. Numbers stamped on the tailstock end of the bed are S500 8001031 - 0886.

    I found a gentlemen named Arno who worked at the factory from 1960 to 1964. He was posting several threads on VDF on this forum back in 2008. He was very knowledgeable on VDF history and models.

    I have tried to provide some photos of the lathe but my camera has poor DPI.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails vfd-s500a.jpg   vfd-s500b.jpg   vfd-s500c.jpg  

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    Default

    One of the best lathes ever made in it's size.It looks like you have the dual cross slide with tracer,nice.Same set up as me only mine is a bit newer yours looks like a pre 65'.You won't be disappointed in this lathe especially if properly redone.

  5. #5
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    Default Vdf v3

    Great machine
    I'm in the process of rebuilding a VDF V3 myself. Right now all the bearings in the headstock gearbox are being replaced. I will not exchange the spindle bearings yet, as they look, feel and sound OK and are too expensive for a preventive renewal. Pictures can be found here;
    https://picasaweb.google.com/jos5414/Vdf#
    Serial nr. stamped on the rear way, tailstock end is V3 60121-1217 year is 1956,

    Jos

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    Jos: the VDF seems to be in a real nice condition.The speed-meter was an option, I have not seen many.The S500 and the V3 are real close, in fact only the mean-stock is different.A S500 has always a spindle speed of 1800 RPM max, the V3 had several speeds-ranges to choose from, from 560 to 2240 RPM max.
    Do you know anything about the history of the lathe?

  7. #7
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    Default More on S500

    I don’t have any information regarding the history of this S500. There are indications that the coolant system was run with cutting oil. As a result the ways are in nice condition for a machine this old since they were lubed by accident. I say this because most of the used lathes that I have rebuilt had the carriage lubrication system stop working at some point in its long life and then the ways around the headstock start wearing excessively. In addition, I am always concerned about any used machine tool that was run with water based coolant since the water always ends up in the bearings and ways. The resulting emulsion is not a good lubricant.

    This machine does have the dual cross slides with a hyd. tracer attachment on the rear slide. I am considering removing the tracer to use the rear slide with a tool for cut-off operations. As part of the tracer installation there are two template holders at the back of the bed. One is designed to mount a turned template between auxiliary centers for the tracer stylus to follow. This has the appearance of a bench center. It extends the entire length of the bed. The second template holder is designed to mount a flat plate template cut from sheet metal. This has its own longitudinal dovetail slide that can be advanced with a hand-wheel. I realize that CNC has all but replaced hyd. tracer lathes but it is a real piece of machine shop history to observe the build quality of this set-up. So I have some hesitation about removing it even though I will use the finished machine for one-off hobby machining work.

    I notice that member JOSV’s V3 photos show the data and speed plate charts to be in great condition. (very nice work by the way with your rebuild)That is the one detractor to this S500. The data plates are terribly faded and I am sure that replacements are impossible to find. I can put the main spindle in neutral and spin the chuck by hand and it continues to revolve for a long time. Thus I believe the bearings are in good condition. These machines were built like a Swiss watch considering their size.

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    Default Build date

    I meant to ask the group for your estimate of the year built for my S500. If I read this correctly, someone stated that it was pre-1965 ???

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    I think your machine is build around 1960.Is there no treadcard on your machine?
    This is my S500:


    The data-plates on my machine are orginal, but there are firms that can print new ones on aluminium.
    This firm http://www.mammut-maschinen.de/cms/f...idcat=8&lang=1 has spareparts (ersatzteile) for the H&H machines.

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    Default Vdf

    Amach: I took off the thread and speed plates and put them through my slip roll a few times to get all the dents and nicks out. The plates on the thread indicator dial however are faded to the bare metal and illegible. I hope to copy the data from another machine and have some plates engraved. Some of the newer CNC engraving machines can scan any drawing you supply and engrave accordingly. Another option would be etching How to Make Brass ID Tags - SmokStak

    Kees; I do like that tachometer, it seems the original owner went for the complete package, it also has a taper attachment and thread indicator dial. I don't have any history on the machine other than that it is originally sold by van Rietschoten en Houwens in Rotterdam. Your S500 looks beautiful. Does your apron feed handwheel has a micrometer dial? Something I would like to add on mine, although a DRO might be a smarter move.

    Is the electric brake supposed to stay applied after the spindle stops or should it release after a certain time? On my machine the brake stays on until the clutch is engaged again and the spindle starts moving, seems very impractical to me, so its probably not the way it should be.
    Jos

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    Quote Originally Posted by josv View Post
    Is the electric brake supposed to stay applied after the spindle stops or should it release after a certain time? On my machine the brake stays on until the clutch is engaged again and the spindle starts moving, seems very impractical to me, so its probably not the way it should be.
    Jos
    This is the way how it works on a VDF, the brake has to stay on otherwise the friction of the clutch could coase the main spindle to rotate again as the motor keeps running.On the right handle on the mainstock there is a 0-position to relieve the spindle.

    There is a double nonius on the handwheel of the apron, visable on the photo above.

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    My S500 does have the thread chart but it is faded. Many thanks for pointing me to a supplier of replacement charts. Kees: the photo of your machine is fantastic. Did you rebuild and paint this machine yourself or was it in this condition when you acquired it? If I can get my machine to look as good as KEES and JOSV I will be happy. I am very impressed with the work that you gentlemn do. Thanks for providing encouragement. This will be a year long project for me. Just the initial cleaning is a major task.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kees View Post
    I think your machine is build around 1960.Is there no treadcard on your machine?
    This is my S500:


    The data-plates on my machine are orginal, but there are firms that can print new ones on aluminium.
    This firm Mammut Werkzeugmaschinenfabrik GmbH, Langenzenn has spareparts (ersatzteile) for the H&H machines.
    Very nice Kees, Let me know where you live and I'll come around and we can eat our dinner off it. Regards Tyrone.

  14. #14
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    I need a picture of the data plate on a H & H 18 RO. The thread gear selection data plate has the first row of numbers smashed off. Can someone fill in the blanks for me? Thanks loads!

    h-h-18-ro-002.jpg

    h-h-18-ro-003.jpg

  15. #15
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    I recently bought a VDF too.
    It's a 19"x40" I think the model is D480.
    I am now in the process of stripping the old paint to redo it properly.

    Here are some before photos:









    This is my first lathe and I can't wait to start making some chips

  16. #16
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    Cleaning before repainting :





    There was a coat of soft paint over the original one so everything has to go, tougher than I tought it would be...

    Do you think that the longitudinal drive shft that goes through the apron can be slid out or will something in the apron fall ???

    Thanks

    Frank

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    Paint has very poor mechanical properties and does nothing to improve performance. If you make as much effort to improve the mechanical performance as you are making to improve the appearance you will have a great machine.

    I would have run it as-is for a couple of months to see what was what mechanically before launching into a tart-up. Have you even run it yet.

    You have what looks like a great lathe, you just started the relationship on the wrong foot.

    Phil

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    No I did not run it in my shop but I inspected it with my machinist uncle in the shop I bought it from and everything seemed ok.
    The reason for painting it now is that if I had levelled it to work with it as it was, chances are I would never have lifted and moved it after.
    It might not be the best way to buy a lathe and I am most definetely learning from it but give me a chance, it is my very first one...

  19. #19
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    You don't need to level it to run it. One of the problems with painting first is that if you find any mechanical problems later you may mess up your paint job fixing it.

    Looks like a grood machine. I would have got it running first, then give a mechanical check-out, fix as necessary, then consider the paint job.

    It's not easy doing a good paint job on a full assembled machine.

    Phil

  20. #20
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    Frank,

    As others have said, you should have run the lathe for a while before dismantling and repainting it.
    You would have had a list of numerous things to set right. Trust me.
    But I totally dig your eagerness to get her a nice coat of paint.
    Having said that, please keep us posted on you progress with nice big pictures!! ;-))

    Regards,

    Danny


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