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Hardinge Cataract Restoration Log

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  • Hardinge Cataract Restoration Log

    Starting this thread to show ongoing progress of my newly acquired Hardinge Cataract split bed lathe. I just brought it home today, it has a lever feed cross slide, turret, lever collet closer, and the original countershaft assembly with a newer one horsepower motor. Tomorrow I will start the cleanup. The bed is too short to use the turret, I need to find or make a longer one. All bought for $380 USD.

    Last edited by Andre3127; 09-16-2016, 10:24 PM.

  • #2
    Looks like 4C or 3C.

    -D
    DZER

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Doozer View Post
      Looks like 4C or 3C.

      -D
      It is the larger version, and yes it takes 4C collets. I believe the spindle threads are 1 5/8-10.

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      • #4
        If it is really old,
        it will say made in Buffalo;
        pre-Elmira and pre-Chicago.
        The larger one model takes 5C
        but they do show 6C in their
        catalogue. Never seen one of those.


        -D
        DZER

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        • #5
          [QUOTE=Andre3127;1069369]Starting this thread to show ongoing progress of my newly acquired Hardinge Cataract split bed lathe. I just brought it home today, it has a lever feed cross slide, turret, lever collet closer, and the original countershaft assembly with a newer one horsepower motor. Tomorrow I will start the cleanup. The bed is too short to use the turret, I need to find or make a longer one. All bought for $380 USD.]

          Great topic, great price. Yeah, the bed is one heavy chunk of iron with a slot clear through and hard to replicate, but the 5-C headstock is very beefy, tapered hardened bearings, ...I would have jumped at that price just for some of the accessories. My Cataract 5 is a joy when working on small parts that do not need threading. I powered it with a variable speed DC motor, a single pulley, and no jack shaft, so It is not my machine of choice to drill big holes at low speeds due to lack of HP at low rpm, but excels at most everything else. You will have a nice speed choice with your components. Looking forward to your posts.

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          • #6
            [QUOTE=Gary Paine;1069471]
            Originally posted by Andre3127 View Post
            Starting this thread to show ongoing progress of my newly acquired Hardinge Cataract split bed lathe. I just brought it home today, it has a lever feed cross slide, turret, lever collet closer, and the original countershaft assembly with a newer one horsepower motor. Tomorrow I will start the cleanup. The bed is too short to use the turret, I need to find or make a longer one. All bought for $380 USD.]

            Great topic, great price. Yeah, the bed is one heavy chunk of iron with a slot clear through and hard to replicate, but the 5-C headstock is very beefy, tapered hardened bearings, ...I would have jumped at that price just for some of the accessories. My Cataract 5 is a joy when working on small parts that do not need threading. I powered it with a variable speed DC motor, a single pulley, and no jack shaft, so It is not my machine of choice to drill big holes at low speeds due to lack of HP at low rpm, but excels at most everything else. You will have a nice speed choice with your components. Looking forward to your posts.
            Hi Gary,

            I might try making a bed out of concrete with a steel or aluminum top. Easily workable and cheap, whereas a big piece of aluminum is not. I know the original bed is iron but I'm sure aluminum would be fine for my use. Expensive though.

            If you'd like to make your own countershaft, let me know and I'll send pictures of mine to copy. It seems like a very simple design.

            Did some Cataracts have 5c spindles? Mine is 4c.

            Andre

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            • #7
              [QUOTE=Andre3127;1069485]
              Originally posted by Gary Paine View Post


              Did some Cataracts have 5c spindles? Mine is 4c.

              Andre
              Oops, misspoke. Mine is 4 C, not 5. Very nice to have collets that share between lathe, spin index and collet blocks.

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              • #8
                [QUOTE=Andre3127;1069485]
                Originally posted by Gary Paine View Post

                I might try making a bed out of concrete with a steel or aluminum top. Easily workable and cheap, whereas a big piece of aluminum is not. I know the original bed is iron but I'm sure aluminum would be fine for my use. Expensive though.
                I'd be on the lookout for an additional cateract and combine things. You might get chucks, collets, crosslide, tailstock etc, whereas most that come up won't have some of the neat stuff yours does. You could keep the short bed for second ops or sell it.

                Headstock btw is I believe the same as that used on their old mills.....big horizontal, little horizontal

                Last edited by Mcgyver; 09-17-2016, 03:17 PM.
                in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                • #9
                  Those Hardinge mills look very nicely made, and Tony's site shows they offered a vertical head for them too.

                  I started cleaning up the bed, it's in pretty rough shape but looks serviceable. It's pristine under the headstock. I wasn't able to detect any real "wear" but there were a lot of dings that need to get fixed by lightly peening then stoning. Some paint is missing showing raw casting, but It's probably original.

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                  • #10
                    A picture of the bed. The oil between the bed and headstock was pure varnish, I had to use a dead blow rubber mallet to gently tap off the headstock from the gunk. Somebody before me used a ball peen and left marks on the front if the headstock.....sad.

                    (Before cleanup)





                    Sent from my XT1053 using Tapatalk

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                    • #11
                      Wow, am I surprised. I had thought someone had cut your lathe bed in two, but that is apparently not the case. It must have been made short like that. If the bed had been cut, the slot through the bed would have extended right out the end of the bed, but yours has a web that doesn't exist on my longer bed with two feet.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Gary Paine View Post
                        Wow, am I surprised. I had thought someone had cut your lathe bed in two, but that is apparently not the case. It must have been made short like that. If the bed had been cut, the slot through the bed would have extended right out the end of the bed, but yours has a web that doesn't exist on my longer bed with two feet.
                        I thought the same too before I looked at it, but it's factory. It even has the Hardinge Elmira stamp on the tailstock end.

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                        • #13
                          I was wrong, it doesn't have a Hardinge Elmira stamp, but rather a Hardgine Chicago stamp. Maybe that says something about the date.

                          The headstock is apart, and is simpler than I thought. Bearing journals are in good shape, but bearing shells are a bit scored. Shouldn't be a big issue. The wicks however crumbled because all the oil turned to varnish. I'll have to source new ones before I put the headstock back together. Big thanks to Larry Vanice for answering all my questions!

                          I'll likely rebuild the lever action cross slide before I finish the headstock, because I have to order wicks. No pics today, but the rebuild looks good so far.

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                          • #14
                            Cross slide has been cleaned up. What do you guys think, should I grind and flake the top? It barely fits on my my grinder, at the 12" limit, but it will fit.

                            I noticed the gear rack has a faint stamping on it that says "Boston", I imagine this means the gear rack was manufactured by Boston gear? And some parts still have bluing on them, just like gun blue, was this a factory finish for steel parts on this cross slide?









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                            • #15
                              Also, I'd like to point out that this thread title might be misleading. It's more of a mechanical cleanup and repair than a restoration.

                              Sent from my XT1053 using Tapatalk

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