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What is a Harrison 300?

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  • What is a Harrison 300?

    I am bidding on a Harrison 300 lathe. Looks like a dream machine to me.
    What do you know about them?
    I checked Tony's site and Harrison has a good write up.

  • #2
    From what I remember Harrisons are good lathes. I know I ran one some where at some time, just cannot remember the details.


    • #3
      I used to work at a place that had a 16" Harrison. It was a real accurate machine and a pleasure to use. One of our guys that drank a lot crashed it a couple of times but didn't seem to bother it any. I assume a 13" would be similar, but don't know for sure.


      • #4
        A friend of mine had bought two of the M300's, both in need of serious repairs. One had a bad spindle, the other too worn on the ways. He made one good one of the two, and the only thing it then needed was a new cross slide screw and nut. I helped him make the new parts in my shop and he's a very happy guy now.

        I think the M300 is a good overall machine for a typical home shop, but it is a little weak for heavy work in terms of HP and rigidity. The spindles aren't the quietest-running I've heard, by far, probably owing to the straight cut gears. It'll work though. No fears.


        • #5
          It is indeed a nice to use and accurate machine, used one M300 previously. I loved the fact that it had a Camlock spindle nose and you could swap the 3-jaw quickly to a 4-jaw or a collet chuck. I don't know what the collets were, but they went up to 40-60 mm in diameter and had 6-jaws in each.
          Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.


          • #6
            Originally posted by 1-800miner View Post
            I am bidding on a Harrison 300 lathe. Looks like a dream machine to me.
            What do you know about them? . . .
            Having owned one, I can agree it's a terrific home shop machine. I'm speaking primarily of the UK-made machines in good condition; not the recent Chinese ones made to a lesser standard. Some of the positives:

            - Light enough to allow easy one man rigging most anywhere, but heavy enough to take a 3hp cut.

            - Very good overall fit and finish.

            - Cuts a full range of metric, US, and module pitches directly from the gear box

            - A decent swing (13").

            - Good size dials, easy to read.

            - Those equipped with dual dials only take a flip of the wrist to read in US or metric.

            - Lubrication is well thought out. One shot for the apron. Gears running in oil baths everywhere.

            - Pretty simple to repair, if needed.

            - Excellent and accurate spindle bearings.

            - A wide range of speeds.

            - D1-4 spindle, decent through hole (1.5" plus)

            - True, the head is somewhat noisy -- but purrs compared to some Chinese imports.

            - Common enough (many schools, the Army, etc.) that used parts and accessories can usually be obtained.

            - An easy conversion to VFD, including all the carriage controls.
            Last edited by PeteM; 11-13-2012, 02:04 AM. Reason: added VFD note


            • #7
              A "very" well made lighter industrial type lathe and quite expensive in comparision to the standard run of the mill Chinese HSM grade of machine. Originally fully designed, cast, machined, and built in the UK. The later models I'm not too sure of country of origin for at least the castings anyway. Clausing may? have sold the same machine under their brand name. At least one model of Clausing lathe sure looks like it. If so then real high priced spare parts could be available from them also. They have from what I've read in the Model Engineers Workshop rag a somewhat complicated internal electrical setup. Any missing accessories like steadies, etc can usually be found at the fairly high priced Home and Workshop machinery dealer in the U.K. at that higher price and along with the shipping rape. Sir John should certainly know a bit about these lathes I'd think. A real nice machine that I wish I had the room and could support it's weight. If it makes any difference to you? It might be worth it to check if the one your bidding on is a metric machine or not. I'm not 100% sure they made any actual lathes that were set up to be a true imperial machine or not. All of my info is just hearsay though since I've yet to run one.

              Edited to add,
              PeteM types faster than me and obviously knows much more about them than I do.

              Last edited by uncle pete; 11-13-2012, 02:11 AM.


              • #8
                Intraschola is selling five machines at my local college.
                1. 300 harrison
                2. 300 harrison basket case
                3. 400 Harrison
                4. 500 Harrison
                5. southbend 16


                • #9
                  I ran one while I was an undergraduate. Seemed like a decent machine although ours had a trashed gear box. Most of the threads pitches didn't work and some of the ones that seemed to work would randomly pop out of gear ...