Hardinge DSM-A Automatic Turret Lathe

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Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2007
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In my thread Sent Home From Work to Work I show making parts for a machine at work.
I thought some of you might be interested in seeing the machine.

It's a 1970's Era, Hardinge DSM-A Automatic Turret Lathe.



The wear around the buttons on the control panel prove the machine's "experience".

Automatic then meant something other than what it does today.
It runs off micro switches and mechanical relays. When a cross slide is programed to run
it feeds in until a threaded adjustment rod contacts it's micro switch, then it returns to it's
home position. An adjustable hydraulic valve controls how far it rapids in before going into the feed speed
that is set by another adjustable hydraulic valve. The return speed is controlled by a third valve knob.

Are you following this? ???

The 6 position turret infeed depths are controlled by another micro switch system and 6 adjustable rods.

The "Programing Unit" is even more entertaining.
Little cam lugs on a rotating nylon drum are moved to the right to enable an action for a cross slide or other
tool slide. Moving the cam to the left disables that tool for that position.
Then there is a smaller rotating drum below that with adjustable cam stops on it. The turret rapids until
the roller hits one of the cam stops. Then it slows to the feed set by another set of adjustable hydraulic slides.

Maybe this will help to make sense of all that:


It sounds pretty antiquated but it works very well for the need at hand.
You would think adjusting depth with a screw would be difficult and unreliable.
It isn't that hard and I ran 2200 pieces on this machine today with only 4 minor adjustments.

All it it's doing is cutting a snap ring groove and cutting a chamfer on each piece.
The snap ring groove has .004" tolerance. I've had no problem holding that.

So with all of my hobby shop made parts, here it is at work making parts:


It was a lot of fun getting this machine ready to make parts and it's even more fun to run!
It does keep you busy loading parts and watching for anything that may go wrong.
(And things DO go wrong occasionally!)

I Love My Job!!!

That was awesome!!! ;D
Thanks for sharing that and taking the time ti upload the videos!!

Those old machines are still so cool!
I love all the clicks it makes, sounds like it is thinking.

That is Really cool Rick!

Thanks for posting that....you don't see that much anymore!

First Crash!
(I'm sure there will be more.)

This permanently swedged assembly is supposed to be two separate parts.


I'll be working at home in my hobby shop again tomorrow making new parts for the loading
mandrels. The die springs will be replaced with Belleville spring washers and the spacers
will have double the wall thickness.

Back to the drawing board...


It has been awhile since I posted this thread about the the old Hardinge DSM-A automatic
turret lathes, (also known as Automatic Screw Machines), that we have at work.

I have made a lot of modifications to the parts loaders, collet ejectors and programing processes
since then. They are much more reliable and precise.

We have two of these old workhorses and until today, each machine had an operator.
Today I had one of the fork truck operators turn one of the machines around so the control panels
were facing each other. I wanted to see if it was possible to feed parts to both machines at the same time.

On a good day, running one machine, you can easily process 400 parts per hour.
I couldn't run that speed operating two machines, but was able to get a consistent 740 parts per
hour out of the pair of them.

Labor is 70% of manufacturing cost so proving this can be done is a BIG step toward growing the
secondary machining department at this company.

Even better, one of the guys who runs those machines is all excited about trying to run both of
these machines at time himself!

Damn Machinist's Mentalities! :D

ksouers said:
Don't let the shop steward find out! :big:

There is no Shop Steward.

I was hired there to set up the secondary department and machines.
This is a new area for the company. All of their secondary machine work had been outsourced
up until now.

It's kind of fun to be in on the ground floor of an expanding young company.

This is what we have to work with, and THIS is what we can DO with it!

I'm lovin it!