hardingeholygrail.htm

As the grave diggers in Shakespheare's Hamlet say, "The longer you have lived, the closer you are to the end of your life." That is where I am at. These older Hardinge thread chasing lathes are extremely rare today largely because their owners died and their heirs did not know what they had. With all the loose parts associated with these lathes, it is very easy for them to be separated from the lathes when ownership is transferred. Someone offered me a Hardinge thread chasing lathe that was complete, except that he had only one thread guide, which meant that you would only be able to cut 6 different threads on the lathe: that, plus the logistics of getting the lathe to me from 2000 miles away prevented me from buying it. I have many thread guides and all the necessary parts and accessories for 2 Hardinge thread chasing lathes. I have metric and American thread guides. I want these lathes and all the related parts and accessories to be sold to someone who will appreciate them. I think it wise to sell the 2 lathes to the same person. That person may then choose which thread guides (and other accessories) he wants to keep and sell the spare lathe if he so wishes. I will include all the threading parts that I have. I have many such parts. I have plenty of parts for 2 complete lathes (+ extras of some parts), each with an assorment of thread guides and loose change gears. The price for these 2 lathes is $12,000. You will see plenty of photos of the 2 lathes and the important accessories on this page. I see no need to create a special listing. If you are seriously interested in obtaining the best Hardinge thread chasing lathe you can hope to find, you will agree. You will want to buy the 2 lathes together.

This page is somewhat hidden. You have to be interested enough in these older thread cutting Hardinge lathes to have found it. You got here by clicking the a link in my regular Hardinge lathes page. This Hardinge lathes thread chasing page is not found on my table of contents page, although you can get to the table of contents from a link at the bottom of this page. You can also get back to where you came from via a link below.

I use only older Hardinge lathes. They have many qualities that I like: their small size and weight, their simplicity of design, the transparency of their operation, their quiet operation, their ease of maintenance and repair, their relatively low price. The main problem with them is finding the accessories you need to make them useful. This is especially true of the thread cutting accessories. This is the 4th Hardinge I have had with the thread chasing attachment. This is the only one of the 4 that was complete enough to use at the time I bought it. I was able to get 2 of the others working after scrounging around for the needed parts and making parts that I could not find. Someone bought the other one before I got around to detailing it. Part of the reason I did not keep the 1st 3 was that I had a Clausing 5900 series lathe that I used for cutting threads. Like most people, I bought into the belief that a quick change gear box, variable speed and other modern features were good. All those modern features come at a price, however. The Clausing was a very heavy lathe that had to be moved with a fork lift. The hydraulic system used to change the variable speed would have been a nightmare to repair. Just changing the variable speed drive belt required considerable disassembly and reassembly. One person can disassemble, transport by hand and reassemble one of these older Hardinge lathes. The operation of these Hardinge lathes is all in the open. There are no complex or hidden systems. The Hardinge cuts better threads than the Clausing. The Hardinge will cut threads starting from the shoulder. The Hardinge will cut threads up to a preset point and disengage itself. There is no need to set the thread cutting tool at 29.5 degrees; the lathe cuts evenly on both sides of the V groove just the same. Here are some photos of threads being cut with this old Hardinge.

My 1st 2 Hardinge thread chasing attachments were bought from the same old man. He would go to auctions in the Chicago area and buy Hardinge lathes and accessories. He said he once bought 12 Hardinge lathes at an auction in order to obtain one or more parts from each. He too had trouble putting together a complete thread chasing attachment. He mentioned that he could not get the above lathe working for all pitches until he found that curved hinged bar that is part of the Hardinge collet quick close system. Finally, this old man, at 85 years of age, gave up his machine shop and sold me his personal thread chasing lathe. When I asked him if he would sell it, he said "Yes, but it is expensive." I bought it at his price and thought "what a bargain." In all the years I had bought such equipment from him, I never once bargained with his prices; I wouldn't dare bargain with someone selling such RARE items. I was lucky to get it. I feel blessed to own it.

While looking over the lathe and accessories, the old man continued with his sales pitch........ "These lathes were oftentimes found in multiples in shops. Each lathe would be set up to cut a particular thread." Having worked with Hardinge thread chasing attachments before, I understood the message between the lines........."these lathes are very difficult to set up; you will not want to set it up for different operations if you can avoid it." How well I know that! It takes some minutes to set up the lathe to cut a different thread. The thread guide at the rear may have to be changed. In order to do that, you have to remove the gears between the spindle and the thread guide, loosen the mounts that the rear thread chasing attachment rides on, change the thread guide and the follower, maybe even make a thread guide follower, maybe change the shaft that the thread guide runs on, reassemble all, install different gears between the spindle and thread guide, being careful to have just the right clearance here and there, being careful to unlock and relock all as necessary. You have to reset the thread chasing stop. You have to reset the cutting tool height and depth and maybe change the cutting bit. Don't forget lubrication! That overhead countershaft has to be oiled before each use and maybe during use. The thread guide shaft needs lubrication. Spindle bearings and gear shafts need lubrication. Think you are ready to cut threads? Careful, it's easy to screw up. If all is not properly set up, you may damage the gearing, ruin the workpiece, etc. There is so much to double and triple check. It is best to cut a practice thread, maybe even by hand turning the lathe, and make sure all is working smoothly before working on your part. I like to turn the part a little oversize on another lathe and initially cut shallow test threads on the oversize part. Then I turn the part to final size on this thread cutting lathe before cutting the threads. Once properly set up, thread cutting proceeds with remarkable ease. Multiples are easy.

I appreciate these old lathes and especially the thread chasing attachments. If you have any such lathes and/or accessories, do not discard them. They are not worthless junk. Obsolete, well yes--in most people's eyes, but not mine. I want to keep this older technology alive. Offer them to me, please. Conversely, I have some excess equipment that I am making available for trade. In the photo below are some of the thread guides that I have for these thread chasing attachments. I have some duplicates. I am willing to trade those duplicates for ones that I do not have. What do you need; what do you have to trade? You will find some of my excess equipment illustrated on the page that led you here; click on your back button to get there. A gunsmith named Bob from Wisconsin drove in and bought a 3 phase 5c Hardinge lathe with rear thread chasing attachment from me. Bob, you have some parts that I need; call me please.

I have one thread guide with 15.25TPI pitch. With these lathes you may cut multiples of the thread guide pitch up to 6X. 4 X 15.25 pitch would give you 61 pitch. I am curious to know what this thread guide may have been used for. The old man who sold me this lathe said he thought it may have been used in the Norden bomb sight. A PHd physicist friend had a relative who worked on the Norden bomb sight; he thinks not. What do you know that uses 61 pitch threads? What this would be good for is making a product that could not be easily duplicated. Hardinge often used odd diameters and thread pitches just for that reason. Available for trade or sale.

HARDINGE PART WANTED. This is a throwout casting for the threadchasing attachment. When it runs into the part next to it during a threading operation, the toolholder arm is disengaged from the work. If you have this part available, please sell it to me. Will trade or pay cash.

GLENNVIEW THROWOUT PART. The throwout part is an important piece. Not only does it disengage the threading tool automatically, but it prevents your threading toolholder from falling to the bed.....possibly damaging the crank and/or lead screw on the threading toolholder. It may be quite awhile before I find the Hardinge throwout part, so I made my own. I did not have the steel stock on hand to make it, so I used aluminum, which I knew would work well. I did not duplicate the Hardinge part because it would just be an exercise in stock removal. Actually, the next one that I make will be even less like the Hardinge part. Functionally, this works just like the Hardinge part. If you need one of these parts, you are welcome to copy my design. Warning: it is very time consuming to make this part. Or, I am willing to trade it for other thread chasing parts that I need or even sell it outright.

Rear bar stop for Hardinge thread chasing attachment. Original Hardinge cataract lathe rear thread chasing part. RARE. $100.

Hardinge Taper attachment for thread chasing lathe. You may tilt that hardened striker plate in either direction and cut internal or external tapered threads. This is the only one seen by either the octogenarian Hardinge collector or myself. Before I put it on my web page it was fun to ask visiting Hardinge afficionados what it was. None had ever seen one before or even knew that a taper attachment had ever been made for the Hardinge thread chasing lathe. EXTREMELY RARE, $600.

60 tooth Hardinge gear. 1.746" ID. 0.355" wide. I do not know how this was used (possible it was used as a spincle gear for a 3c Hardinge lathe), but it has the right pitch to mate with Hardinge cataract lathe gears. If you needed to, you could slip this over a 50 tooth gear and epoxy it in place to make a 60 tooth gear. $50. If you need a 50 tooth gear for this purpose, add $100.

Adapter for Hardinge thread chasing attachment. I made this to allow me to use a Hardinge thread chasing attachment on a bed that had some holes in the tail end for a different thread chasing attachment, but not located in the proper location for my thread chasing attachment. The 3/8-24TPI screw is a Hardinge screw. The 1/4" dowel pins are spaced 2" on center. The threaded hole is 1/4-28TPI. The top cutout is the width of the T-slot and provided clearance for the T-slot. $50.

A 1913 Hardinge catalog lists stepped wheel chucks as illustrated below. I would like to have a set.

Hardinge rear T-slot lathe bed. Required for use with the rear thread chasing attachment. With no accessories, no small parts tray. The brass Hardinge logo was removed by a previous owner. Inscribed in the end of the bed, "Hardinge Bros. INC., Chicago, USA, No. 3766." T-slots cleaned out. Threaded holes cleaned out with proper taps. Bed does show use, but no serious damage. Newly cleaned, prepped, primed and painted with the original color. There is no paint where paint does not belong. $350.

It is my intension to replace the bed on my thread cutting lathe with the newly spruced up bed above, but the bed below is quite acceptable to me, so I am willing to sell either bed. There were several reasons for buying the above lathe bed. The bed has the rear T-slot, it came with a parts tray, and the price was attractive. I have been wanting to spruce up my thread cutting lathe. With a 2nd bed, I could spruce up the bed and then make a quick swap. There is still a lot of work involved in swapping out beds, however, and I am pretty busy, so until I do swap out beds, both remain available...but, of course, only one or the other.

Hardinge rear T-slot lathe bed. Required for use with the rear thread chasing attachment. It is the bed seen with the lathe at the top of this page and in the photo on the left below. With no accessories, no small parts tray. It has been rescraped by a previous owner. Functions well; I have been using it for many years. $200. Hardinge made different rear thread chasing attachments. Some were made for beds with a cross section like you see in this image. Some required a rear T-slot that was positioned further back. A set of 3 spacers like the one you see in the below photo, made out of steel castings, machined and ground on the mating surfaces, complete with T-bolts, that go between the rear T-slot and the rear thread chasing attachment, are available for $350. You should be able to tell whether or not you need these spacers when you try to align your threadcutting toolbit with the lathe centerline. Know also that there were threadchasers made for 7" and 9" lathes.

Spanner wrench for Hardinge thread chasing attachment. The ugly one came in with a lathe 30 years ago. When I got the spiffy new lathe you see below I thought a more elegant spanner wrench was called for and I made it. The ugly one is $75. The elegant one is $150.

Handcrank for Hardinge lathe. Designed to fit over the tail end of a particular quick closer (with a diameter of 2.38" or a little bit less) as illustrated. Conveniently, the quick closer is knurled and grooved, providing a good grip for the screws. I have 2 lathes it will fit; a Hardinge and an Elgin. A hand crank is sometimes required. I needed to make a 2" X 2TPI nut for a wood vice. I made it out of Nylon. This is one of those threads I can cut only if the follower is not lifted from the thread guide until the thread is finished. The cutting tool moves too fast to cut the thread under power. Look at the size of the chips. Quite a lot of force was required to hand crank. The crank worked flawlessly. It is solidly mounted. You can use it with or without the extension handle. It is readily removed and replaced with 3 screws holding it on. An additional benefit is that it is much easier to install and remove collets using the hand crank. The vise works better than new and that nut will last well beyond the other components. That is a 1" socket drive wrench being held in the vise. I wanted to hand tap a piece of Nylon in my Elgin lathe. The Nylon was slippery and turned along with the tap. I installed the handcrank on the Elgin lathe and was able to tighten the collet down enough to do the job. $350

Hardinge toolholder for rear thread chasing attachment for 7" lathe. It is in extremely clean condition. It has been very little used. The threads were refreshed as required and it was properly stripped, cleaned, prepped, primed, painted and adjusted. It fits on a 1.25" diameter shaft. $OLD

Hardinge thread chasing attachment component, "banjo." Holds the gears between the spindle gear and the rear T-slot mounted shaft. Original Hardinge cataract lathe part essential for front or rear thread chasing accessories. RARE. $OLD.

THE LATEST AND GREATEST HARDINGE LATHE WITH REAR THREAD CHASING ATTACHMENT YOU LIKELY HAVE NEVER SEEN

The older lathes like the one at the top of this page require an overhead countershaft in order for the flat belt to clear the thread chasing attachment. This lathe has an underneath triple V-belt drive with a 2 speed motor and 8 different speeds total. Pretty nice! But do not expect to find one. I have seen several underneath triple V-belt drive Hardinge Cataract lathes with the rear T-slot, but this is the only one I have seen with the threading attachment and like most such lathes the threading attachment was incomplete. I had to borrow some parts from the lathe pictured at the top of this page to complete this lathe. The various speeds are 230, 460, 825, 1650, 1250, 2500, 1950 and 3900 rpm. I made one pass over a scrap piece of tubing just to test the thread chasing attachment. I cut a 1MMP thread. Works well.


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