Restoring an Hercus 9 lathe!

Discussion in 'Tools' started by wm460, Sep 15, 2018.

Help Support HMEM by donating:

  1. Sep 15, 2018 #1

    wm460

    wm460

    wm460

    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2010
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Tennant Creek Middle of Australia
    Hi ,
    I picked up an old Hercus 9 from a recycling yard, when I got her home I had to disassemble it to get her of the trailer.
    Now she is sitting in pieces on the back veranda, much to the wife's disgust.
    I want to restore her to her former glory, my question is where do I start?
    Apart from removing the years of rock hard grease and layers of baked on dust where do I go from there?

    Thanks in advance,
    Mark.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Sep 15, 2018 #2

    MRA

    MRA

    MRA

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    34
    Hey, I'll look forward to this. I have a Boxford model A which is very similar to yours - though it looks like it'll be easier to change speeds on yours than mine due to your unusual (for this general species of lathe) up-high counter shaft. All are based on the Southbend 9" A model, and all use a similar gearbox and apron, and bed. Gizmos like steadies and toolposts etc are generally interchangeable.

    If you want to read all about it, this is quite a good link:

    http://www.lathes.co.uk/southbend9-inch/
    http://www.lathes.co.uk/southbend9-inch/page3.html
    http://www.lathes.co.uk/hercus/

    As to what to do next, there appear to be two schools on this site - 'clean it a bit, try to use it and see how bad it is' vs 'take it all apart and take a magnifying glass to it'. When I inherited mine I took the first path; I now have a few jobs lined up to do on it but I guess I know which are the most pressing, because I've used it. Then again, it's in use which makes me slightly reluctant to take it apart :)

    (I don't see a tool post - do you have one? Originally it probably had a lantern type, you can use a Boxford 4-way revolving thing, or for maximum rigidity (and cost) a Dickson type).
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  3. Sep 15, 2018 #3

    Hopper

    Hopper

    Hopper

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2013
    Messages:
    578
    Likes Received:
    187
    Those are a very nice lathe and worth putting time and money into fixing up if you have the time and skills. Trap to avoid is pulling it all to a million pieces and then losing momentum and you end up with a pile of parts that gradually get lost.

    As you note, cleaning the gunge off would be the first step.
    Then, inspection. Look for excessive wear on the bed, mostly at the left hand end where the carriage mostly moves.
    Then lubricate all moving parts. Adjust the headstock bearings and carriage gib strips etc.
    Then see if you can get it running in a basic form and do some test turning and see how it shapes up. New V belts will probably be in order.
    If you then decide its worth pursuing, a lick of paint with a brush works wonders, without pulling every thing apart.
    Then just start using it a bit and work through whatever problems may pop up.
     
  4. Sep 15, 2018 #4

    Wizard69

    Wizard69

    Wizard69

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Messages:
    1,203
    Likes Received:
    245
    Nice lathe! It might look like junk but it appears to be in good condition with many of the parts till there. Frankly I've seen operating machines that looked worse.

    If it was me I'd overhaul the stand first. Clean it up and paint it with an good epoxy mastic. That gives you a base to reassemble the machine upon. Then strip down to the bed and clean and paint that and remount it on the base stand. From there it is pretty straight forward.

    One detour that may or may not be required is machining (grinding) the bed ways. Done right it can make a huge difference in lathe performance and makes marrying up the other parts of the lathe far easier (assuming a heavily used and worn lathe). However if the lathe was lightly used the ways may be in good enough shape.

    When stripping down to the bed avoid taking the sub assemblies completely apart! They will sit around for awhile while you get the bed in order. So to avoid lost parts or faulty memory, keep the sub assemblies together until you get to them. I suspect your will feel like you are making good progress each step of the way doing this. The cabinet and bed will finish up pretty fast so you have in effect a half done machine setup and waiting on you to finish the minor components.
     
    bazmak likes this.
  5. Sep 16, 2018 #5

    wm460

    wm460

    wm460

    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2010
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Tennant Creek Middle of Australia
    Thanks for your replies.

    I didn't realise that the Boxford was similar, very interesting to know. Thanks for the links.
    The tool post is missing, I have ordered a QCTP for it.
    The bed doesn't look to bad a condition to my untrained eyes, I live in the middle of Aust so freighting it to be reground is out of the question because of the prohibitive cost.

    This epoxy mastic, is that a 2 part paint?

    BTW She is a ARL model and it had the parts manual still in the cabinet with the inspection certificate.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
  6. Sep 16, 2018 #6

    wm460

    wm460

    wm460

    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2010
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Tennant Creek Middle of Australia
    This is what she looks like now.

    Notice the door, whats the best way to straighten it, 2.5 mm thick steel?
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Sep 16, 2018 #7

    bazmak

    bazmak

    bazmak

    BAZMAK HMEM Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    2,098
    Likes Received:
    1,153
    I have just done 3 Myford ML7s with a total stripdown and repaint.I found the best way is to remove guards etc
    Then main items as sub assemblies.Motor drive,countershaft carriage etc and put to one side.Then headstock
    leadscrew gears etc until you get to the bed.Then clean paint prime etc before checking ways etc.Then treat subassys
    individually so as not get bogged down with lots of bits and complicated.I start with the carriage stripdown
    and clean and prime before fitting gibbs and bedding in/scraping to the ways. I like to clean and prime individual
    parts and fit ,replace/remake/renew where required. Take it slowly and sub assemblies so it doesn't get too complicated
    Enjoy and watch it all come together clean and shiny. I have just bought a Myford super7b in a bad state so when it arrives
    I will carry on with my ml7 restore thread or start a new one.Take plenty of photos and post on a regular basis,people are
    interested and willing to offedr advice
     
  8. Sep 16, 2018 #8

    goldstar31

    goldstar31

    goldstar31

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,905
    Likes Received:
    432
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Haggis Breeder
    Location:
    Twixt Tyne and Tees
    As you know, I've done several ML7's and welcome a new set of opinions on the Super7. Hopefully it is a 'B'

    Just for the record, a fully restored Super7( without the Box), is being offered by the new Myford company for £2995.

    So I look forward to the next gripping articles.

    Keep well

    Norman
     
    bazmak likes this.
  9. Sep 16, 2018 #9

    goldstar31

    goldstar31

    goldstar31

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,905
    Likes Received:
    432
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Haggis Breeder
    Location:
    Twixt Tyne and Tees
    I was impressed with the tests on the Hercus lathe as in www. Lathes.co.uk but got horribly sidetracked with a sale notice for an Ames Triplex lathe. A tad expensive at £1750 but was once dearer than a Cadillac.

    Apologies for being an old man who dreams dreams! But WOW? Then there was an ad. for a Ornamental turning lathe-- and an opportunity to spend the Children's Inheritance.

    Best of luck with the restoration of the Hercus


    Norman
     
  10. Sep 16, 2018 #10

    DJP

    DJP

    DJP

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2012
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    104
    I may be too pragmatic but unless you are restoring this lathe for a museum display, I would take the door off and store it for some future project time. My Myford Super 7 lathe stand does not have a door covering the empty box and it remains clean inside. Later your can treat this door like body work on a vehicle. Remove the bend in the opposite direction that it was created to reduce stretching of metal then use some body filler and paint to dress it up. For now you do not need a door.

    My simple test for a worn lathe bed is to set the cross slide near to the chuck then tighten the locking gib to add slight friction. Now crank the cross aside to the other end of the bed and note where it locks up tight. I doubt that you will be able to reverse the entire bed length on an old lathe but if the friction is constant for a few inches it is usable. At least for my level of precision with small parts.
     
  11. Sep 16, 2018 #11

    larryg

    larryg

    larryg

    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2015
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired Maintenance tech now Farmer
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    One thing I learned early is to "Take no abrasive to the ways!" Stick to solvents and non-abrasive means to get them clean and rust free. A stone, abrasivepaper, or god forbid an electric grinder applied to the ways will do more harm that good in the hands of the untrained.

    lg
    no neat sig line
     
  12. Sep 17, 2018 #12

    wazrus

    wazrus

    wazrus

    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2013
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    8
    Dear WM 460

    I haven't looked at 'em for ages, but years ago, when attending auctions was something I routinely did, a box of Hercus parts landed in one of my lots. As I said, I'd need to exhume them for a better look, but if memory serves, there is/are tailstock castings and some saddle apron castings. Perhaps there are some gears, too and a few other bits and bobs. If you have missing bits, or are even slightly interested, let me know through the forum. All this might be very fine, except that I'm in Sydney and a 'nice' trip (4000km) for either of us, is something we'd not want to do.

    Regards
    Wazrus
     
  13. Sep 17, 2018 #13

    bazmak

    bazmak

    bazmak

    BAZMAK HMEM Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    2,098
    Likes Received:
    1,153
    I do use and see no problem with taping fine grit wet and dry to a granite plate and using WD4o go up and down
    the top of the ways to remove rust and high spots.Also highlights high spots for maybe a spot of scraping.It takes a lot of work
    to even remove a thou from a wide area with wet/dry fine paper
     
  14. Sep 17, 2018 #14

    goldstar31

    goldstar31

    goldstar31

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,905
    Likes Received:
    432
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Haggis Breeder
    Location:
    Twixt Tyne and Tees
    There is always a difference in opinion but it is accepted practice to to make the Classic THREE Plates and also using a stone to remove the remains of high spots after breaking them into smaller and obviously lower spots when scraping.

    Do people actually read somebody else's articles and not actually find out the hard way?

    Regards

    Norman
     
  15. Sep 17, 2018 #15

    kiwi2

    kiwi2

    kiwi2

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    75
    Hi Mark,
    I have gone through a similar exercise to the one you are starting. After getting fed up with grinding my teeth every time I used my Seig SC4 lathe (or that piece of crap as it came to be called), I purchased a Boxford AUD lathe in pretty much the same state as your junkyard find with the intention of getting it going again.
    My initial aim was to determine if it was feasible to get it up and running again without spending too much on it. It didn't have a motor and, although my long term plan was to fit it with a vfd 3 phase motor, initially I put an old washing machine motor in it so I could see if there was anything major wrong with the lathe which would make resurrecting it impossible. I then disassembled the lathe, gave everything a good clean, freed up the frozen bits, (including the Norton gearbox) and getting the chuck off, and put it back together. It was only after I was sure that the lathe would operate in an acceptable manner that I pulled it apart again and started painting it and spending a bit of money on the areas which were identified as needing attention during the initial trials. This meant I had a good idea of how much needed to be done before I started laying out any serious money. If you don't do this, you can end up half way through the restoration coming across an insurmountable problem, having to abandon the project, and wasting the money you had laid out to get to that stage.
    As it turned out, I have ended up with a lathe I really like using and, as I'm sure you will find as well, a real sense of accomplishment for bringing something back to life.
    The other suggestion I would make is to photograph everything as you go. There can be quite a long gap between pulling something apart and putting it back together and although I had a parts manual with exploded drawings, there were a number of occasions when the photos helped determine what went where.
    Regards,
    Alan
     
  16. Sep 17, 2018 #16

    Putt-Rite

    Putt-Rite

    Putt-Rite

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    6
    Occupation:
    retired
    Location:
    Haverhill, Massachusetts, USA
    On the way home with his, my bud stopped at the car wash and blasted his South Bend, then thoroughly went over it with WD-40 to chase the water out. (I think WD means water dispersing)
     
  17. Sep 17, 2018 #17

    larryg

    larryg

    larryg

    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2015
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired Maintenance tech now Farmer
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    I have been know to do the same. The point of my post above is to have the OP think a bit before haphazardly attacking the machine in a way that will do more harm than good. I'm sure that we all have seen a few examples of 'restored' machines that had the ways ground with a hand grinder and then painted. I don't know the OP or his skill level so I assume ignorance of the OP and would rather insult his intelligence than let him make costly mistakes. For all I know he may have skills that would put most of us to shame.

    lg
    no neat sig line
     
  18. Sep 18, 2018 #18

    goldstar31

    goldstar31

    goldstar31

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,905
    Likes Received:
    432
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Haggis Breeder
    Location:
    Twixt Tyne and Tees
    The OP HAD a 9x20 lathe. From new they come with a faceplate, a three jaw SC and a 4 jaw plus steadies and a gear box. Not the best in lathes but if one could tolerate a fairly high low speed of 130rpm( UK), a short tailstock poppet and a rather quirky set of belts( that break on a Sunday), it wasn't a a bad old thing.

    I had one but mine was a wee bit crafty because it had-- a Myford spindle and could also take my old Myford swag.


    There ye go-- laughin' and scratchin'

    Norm
     
  19. Sep 18, 2018 #19

    wm460

    wm460

    wm460

    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2010
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Tennant Creek Middle of Australia
    Thanks for your hints etc.
    I do have a 9x20 lathe, Alan describe as that piece of crap, and that is what it is called if your being polite.:mad:
    A pair of belts 5 X 530mm $90.00 :mad:

    I will certainly be taking a lot of photo, I wish I did when I first dismantled it, I have had 3 trips down to Adelaide caring for my father in the last 6 months.
    I was lucky enough to acquire a obsolete hospital bed, all the electrics/hydraulics work. this made getting the bed etc of the trailer easy.
    I am just a beginner, Unfortunately there is no one here or in Alice Springs that I can to get to mentor me.
    All going well I will get a start on the stand on the week end.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
  20. Sep 18, 2018 #20

    goldstar31

    goldstar31

    goldstar31

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,905
    Likes Received:
    432
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Haggis Breeder
    Location:
    Twixt Tyne and Tees
    Mark

    Far from it being crap, you can do a lot of quite decent work on it. As for belts, I would go to a professional firm who supplies the industry.

    Regarding the possible reduction in speed as there is no back gear? I recall at least two articles in Model Engineer.
    It involves and extra pulley-- and a set of different belts ! Oh, dear?

    I sort of doubt that I have the articles but perhaps someone could oblige. Rambling further, I recall that was a website but I sold my 920 Axminster some years back.

    I'm in the middle of another world. I'm in a morning suit and have a funeral to attend and then on to a Masonic installation tonight then I'm going Scottish rite at the weekend-- with my oriental friends.
    My other side- so to inform- is charitable stuff but I will try to find you something of more use.

    Hospital Beds?? I usually have a date with someone with a large hypodermic to stick into my 'decent' eye i.e. that sometimes works

    Don't give up

    Norm
     

Share This Page