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Hendey, page 1

Hendey 16 X 8 Metal Lathe


We dropped Benny off at his greenhouse, then Jacky dropped the trailer with the tail inside my garage. He warned me to take it slow and not let the weight get out of control. He also warned me not to try to stop it if the thing started to tip.

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I tied some polyethylene over the lathe in case of rain.

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I made a ramp from some rough-sawn poplar and 2x6 pine boards, with extra supports along one of the steel ramps on the trailer. All of the wood was screwed together using #8 x 3" decking screws. The mill was pretty easy -- I just used a large crowbar to 'walk' it down the ramp on the plywood that had covered its cabinet. A 'come-along' (ratchet hoist) and chain were attached to the uphill side, just in case it wanted to go down the ramp too fast.

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It was dark by the time I finished re-rigging the ramp with heavier timbers spanning both steel ramps. I didn't want either wooden ramp to bow at all as the lathe descended because that could lead to tipping. I was dealing with the mass of a car but it stands on a narrower base and with a higher center of gravity. I used a hand cranked boat winch with the cable passing through a pulley block attached to a log chain around the feet of the lathe and the hook end of the cable attached to a 6x6 post set in concrete. The load binders and the come-along were used to steer the lathe as it came down the ramp. The feet were not allowed to get closer than 1/2" to the edge of the wooden ramps. Wedges and a 3/4" (nominal) pipe were used to get the feet from the trailer deck to the ramps.

I wrapped the bed and tailstock in plastic just like I did the headstock, to keep the dew off overnight.

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The monster was awakened early the next morning to continue its descent. I had to pull from the base of two posts, one to either side of the direction of travel. A combination of a hand cranked winch, a ratchet hoist (come-along) and the load binders was used to keep the lathe centered on the ramps as it descended. Two pieces of 3/8" x 3" steel with an end on a 3/4" (nominal) pipe were used to ease the lathe's feet from the deck of the trailer to the top of the ramp board.

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The wooden blocks that were bolted to the feet of the lathe were a problem. They randomly pivoted on their bolts (1 bolt per block). One block under the tailstock end split apart as it moved off the ramp and onto the concrete. I moved the saddle and tailstock as far toward the other end as possible, then jacked up the end of the lathe just enough to get the bolt out, bending to bolt in the process to avoid jacking higher. A scrap of 2x12 became a substitute for the block. This was repeated for the heavy headstock end as it reached the concrete floor.


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Headstock, left and right bearings.

Main gearbox with index plate for threads and feeds.


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A short steel rod held in the 9" 3 jaw chuck, which is in turn held in the 14" 4 jaw chuck. (This is not a setup suitable for working).

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The back gears, flat belt, countershaft and 3HP, 220VAC, single phase motor.

The back side of the saddle.

Serial number 25044.

Teardown and Cleaning

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2 gear covers and 1 gear removed. The little riffle file was needed to file a ridge off the end of the keyway to allow the gear to be removed. The keyway and shaft have taken a beating at some time.

A pair of 2x6s (nominal), 10 feet long were bolted to the feet of the lathe so I could move it from one bay of the garage to another. It had been unloaded in the spot that my wife's car normally occupies. Some short pieces of 3/4" (nominal) schedule 40 pipe were used as rollers. I used the rollers under the headstock end, only, and let the lighter, tailstock end drag across the concrete.

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The two chucks and the faceplate came off easier than I expected. I used some scrap lumber placed over the ways to protect them in case I dropped either of the heavy chucks. It's a good thing; the 4 jaw chuck was heavier than I expected and dropped the inch or two to the boards. I bolted a scrap piece of 1/8" x 1-1/2" x ~30" steel to the faceplate, tapped the end one time with a small hammer and the faceplate loosened right away. Hendeyman, on, explained the numbers cast into the faceplate.

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The back gears, countershaft and main spindle were tough to get out. The back gears were tough just because it wasn't obvious how to remove the shaft and eccentric. The countershaft was missing oil filler plugs (I substituted corks for now) and seemed to have suffered from a lack of lubrication. It was removed as a complete assembly after getting the main spindle out to free the belt. The toughest part of getting the main spindle out was getting the bronze (or maybe brass?) collars loose. Both had damaged slots and threads and both resisted all efforts to turn them except by the use of a small punch and hammer.

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The "Outer Compounding Gear Box", as it is labelled in the 1920 Hendey Operator's Manual linked to by John Oder, also on, was easy to remove -- one hex nut and a slotted head screw. That's not the slotted head screw in that 3rd photo above; that's the shaft on which the gears inside turn.

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On John's advice, I measured the gap between the flange of the spindle and the bearing body, and the thickness of the thrust washer. I will need a shim about .002" - .003" thick behind the thrust washer.

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It took 2 full days and nights fighting that countershaft assembly to disassemble it to the components shown above. I didn't remove the large, double-V pulley from the shaft.

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The collars have some raggedy damage while the gear from the end of the spindle has only minor dings. I hammered out a rough tool for reinstalling the collars. Some of the mushrooming around the slots in the collars was hammered out using an auto body hammer.

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The multiple layers of chipped paint on the headstock were just plain ugly. I scraped, wire brushed, and finally resorted to a chemical stripper to clean it off. This was followed by more brushing, including a cup and a wheel wire brush in a drill, and a wipe-down with kerosene.

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More details: The tool tray, threading gears, end of the lead screw, reverse rod, automatic stop rod, end of the main gear box, looking up at the gears at the end of the lathe, and the stop rod to bell crank lever.

Hendey, page 3

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Copyright 2009 Terry Vessels
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