Disassembling the HLV-B
You may ask, "Why tear the lathe completely down into parts just
to remove the ways for grinding?"
I plan to move the whole machine into my basement shop and I have a wooden
stairway. My wife thought she could save herself by buying an old house with
a narrow wooden stairway. Ha!
In case you ever need to do such an insane thing, here are the component
How obsessive! Total: 1340 lbs
Countershaft / speed changer
Carriage with motor and slides
Leadscrew and stop rod
Carriage control box
Bed, casting only
I keep subtracting these weights from the estimated total of 1250, hoping
to end up with nice small numbers for the bed and cabinet so I can roll them
downstairs into my machine shop with a Yates appliance dolly.
Update: The actual total, nuts, bolts and everything, comes to 1340 lbs.
The pictures that follow are mostly taken in my garage where the forklift
unloaded the machine.
I got a lot of help from the HLVH maintenance manual, but the HLV-BK model
is different in many key areas.
Another key resource for advice and especially inspiration has been Kurt Bjorn, who restored his HLV machine.
These are somewhat disorgainized notes I copied from my notebook.
They are probably too detailed for anyone with common sense, but
I wanted to remember the order of the steps as well as the location
of some obscure fasteners.
Removing the carriage
Removing the spindle
- Remove the carriage control box.
- Remove the lead screw taper pin.
- Remove lead screw bracket.
- Engage half nut and use carriage crank to pull out lead screw 1/2".
- Disengage half nut and carefully pull out the lead screw.
- Remove carriage motor and catch the transmission fluid in a pan.
- Crank the carriage toward the tailstock end until the rack disengages
- Remove the carriage gib. It has two large set screws.
- Slide the carriage off the tailstock end.
- Remove speed control crank wheel and open the cabinet.
- Remove lock nut on the motor platform elevation screw.
- Tilt up the front edge of the motor platform and slip off the belt.
- Put the speed control crank wheel back on and use it to raise the
countershaft and loosen the spindle belt.
View into motor cabinet from front. Belt has been removed.
- Remove the collet closer.
- Remove spiral snap ring that holds spindle hand wheel in place.
- The hand wheel is forced onto a shallow taper:
Drive in two wooden carpenter's taper shims on each side of hand wheel.
Tap on the shims to pry off the hand wheel. There is a compressed wave washer
behind the hand wheel.
When it comes loose, it may go flying off if you don't hold onto it while
tapping the shims.
- Remove wave washer and backing washer.
- Remove headstock back cover.
- Undo lock screws and taper set screws underneath on the spindle
The pulley, shown on the left in the view below, is attached to a
carrier cylinder. Both have lock screws on top of set screws with long tapered
ends. The lock screws have the hex hole cut all the way through. Be careful
not to insert the wrench too deep so it engages the actual set screw before
you have removed the lock screw on top. When the set screws are out, you should
be able to slide the pulley back toward the tailstock end and lift off the
belt. The gnarled hole on the right is for a pin spanner used to retain the
spindle if you need to undo the front or rear ball bearing preload/retaining
Pulley and carrier cylinder
- Remove three cap screws that hold the bearing retainer at the spindle
- Put the Thread/Feed knob in the Thread position. This is important
because you are going to bash out the spindle and you want the spindle gear
to pass through the teeth of the mating gearbox gear rather than destroying
it if the teeth don't happen to mesh.
- Using a clean rawhide mallet or a soft wood block, gently tap on
the spindle end. The front bearings will start to emerge from the headstock
front. As soon as they are clear, clean their top surfaces with solvent and
mark the upper edge so you can replace them in the same orientation. This
may be superstition, but Hardinge recommends this step.
- Reach in and lift the belt so the spindle doesn't get hung up while
- Continue tapping on the spindle until the bearings are free, then
pull it out the front.
- Let the belt drop down into the cabinet.
- I suggest you reassemble the pulley on the spindle before you forget
how things go together. You can rotate and slide the pulley and cylinder
while looking down through the set screw holes to get the taper holes in
the spindle lined up.
Overall view of the spindle
Spindle front showing, left to right, the preload ring, two ball bearings,
the spindle nose retaining ring, the spindle end with Hardinge taper.
Spindle rear showing, left to right, gearbox drive gear (it is in one
piece with the ring that has the set screw hole), bearing retaining ring,
rear ball bearing.
Headstock nose after spindle removal
Removing the headstock
The current state of the disassembled machine.
Removing the gearbox
- If your machine has been painted by persons differently-ambitioned,
carefully cut through the seams between the headstock, gearbox and bed.
- On the rear of the headstock near the base remove the two
set screws. Each screw is topped by a locking screw.
- The headstock is held onto the dovetail way by 2 large cap
screws that go up through the end of the dovetail way and through the dovetail
way segment at the inside rear of the headstock. You can't see these cap
screws but they are easy to feel on the under side of the way ends.
- To remove these, a 3/8 hex wrench is required and there's
not much room to apply the torque. I intended to move my machine down a flight
of stairs, so I removed the counter shaft assembly entirely. This makes it
easy to reach the headstock bolts from below with a long socket extension
and an Allen cap socket. If you have the strength of a gorilla and a 4" socket
wrench with a 3/8 Allen socket, you might be able to get them loose from above.
- If you have no paint seal, very little force is required to
slide the headstock forward and off the tailstock end of the machine.
View into the headstock from below with the counter shaft speed
The two cap screws that hold the headstock are easy to see:
The counter shaft speed control unit comes out easily in one piece. It
weighs 60 pounds as shown.
The headstock shifted forward. The cap bolts are standing on
the way surfaces.
Closer view of dovetail under headstock front:
Dovetail segment at rear of headstock
- Remove the rear cover plate and undo the two set screws that
hold the shifter yoke in place on its shaft.
- On the bottom edge of the gearbox you will see a nut with
a protruding pin. Tighten this nut to extract an alignment dowel.
- Using a real, correctly sized pin spanner, remove the front
bearing retaining ring on the lead screw drive stub.
- The gearbox is held by four cap screws. Two are on the outside
bottom edge. Remove these first.
- Prop up the gear box with two stacked wood 2x4 segments.
- The upper cap screws are on the inside upper edge. Their are
two access holes for these inside the rear gear case cover door. To remove
them, use a very long T-handle hex wrench or a small socket wrench with long
extension and a hex socket.
- Pull off the gear box. Try twisting slightly to break any
paint seal against the rear of the bed. I used a plastic dead-blow hammer
to gently tap on the stub of the lead screw drive. The leadscrew drive shaft
will pull all the way out with the gear box. The shifter yoke shaft is supposed
to stay engaged with the left/right lever pivot and pull out of the gear
case. I found I could shift the gear box on the way off and disengage the
shaft from the lever so it stays in the gear box.
Removing the control levers:
Removing the dovetail way
- Remove the nuts from the lever shafts on the back side of
- Remove the cotter pin from the High/Low/Off lever crank where
it engages the rod from the drum switch.
- Slide out the High/Low/Off shaft from the front while keeping
track of all the pieces that are stacked on the shaft. There are about 20
spacers, shims and collars in addition to the crank itself. Slide them off
one at a time and keep them in order. As soon as the shaft is out, stack
all the pieces back on the shaft, including the pivot bushing inside the
rear hole in the bed. Replace the nut and washer on the end.
- The stop rod shaft has a detent pin and spring held by a set
screw on the front side of the bed. Remove these and shift the lever far
over so the crank can be disengaged from the shaft.
- Slide out the Left/Right shift lever keeping track of all
- Note: where the lever cranks engage the shafts, they are cut
away for a square nut that fits into the shaft. This square "nut" simply
slides onto a pivot and will fall off easily when you disengage it from the
- Pull out the stop rod shaft.
- Remove the detent spring, pin and lock screw so they don't
fall out and get lost.
- Remove the cap screws on the short dovetail segment and gently
pry up evenly on both sides. The two taper pins come off with the segment
because their large ends are at the top. Push them out from below to remove.
- Remove the cap screws on the rear of the main dovetail way.
- Remove all the cap screws visible on the under side of the
front edge of the way.
- Undo the spring loaded mounting nuts that hold the bed on
the cabinet. There are three of these: one under the foot of the bed and
two at the headstock ends.
- Using 2x4 segments creatively, pry and block up the bed.
- Remove the 3 mounting studs keeping careful track of the leveling
shims for each.
- You can now roll over the bed 90 degrees to access the cap
screws inside the bed.
- Undo the capscrews inside the bed. See photo below.
- Pry the dovetail way off the dowels at each end. These are
simple straight dowels, not taper pins. If they come off with the way, simply
push them out.
At this point, I found a great big stainless steel shim the size of the whole
dovetail way underneath. It measured 0.006. A similar shim was under the
headstock dovetail segment. Someone had rebuilt the lathe before and removed
0.006 from the top of the way. To compensate for the backward shift of the
tailstock, they added 0.003 shims under each pad. This, however, was incorrect.
A little arithmetic shows that the tailstock would be expected to shift:
h/sqrt(3.0) where h is the amount removed from the top. For h = 0.006 we
get a shift of 0.00346. By using a shim of 0.003 instead, the last rebuilder
gave the machine a permanent taper offset of 0.00046. This will cause
a 0.001" shift in diameter for all work done between centers.
Bed rolled over
"Give me enough two by fours and I
will move the Earth" - Greek philosopher
Underside of bed
Cap screws inside the bed
Bed with the dovetail way removed
Bed under the way at headstock end
Shim for dovetail segment and tailstock pads
Dovetail ways and shims.
Weighing the bed on the bathroom scale.
The lathe was made the year I was born and it weighs...
Disassembling the cabinet
- Remove the bed. Explain to your wife that you need a "family"
engine hoist. Actually, two people can lift it easily.
- The tray and coolant sump are welded in one piece.
Five bolts attach this assembly to the cabinet.
- Remove the electrical box:
- Remove the switch control arm that attached to the Stop/Low/High
- Take notes on the wire labels from the motor to the drum
switch. Then remove the wires.
- Remove all the bolts that attach the electrical box to the
cabinet and remove the whole box.
- Detach the cable retaining nut on the inside of the cabinet
and pull out the wires that went to the drum switch.
- The motor and pivoting platform may be removed together:
- Use wooden blocks to support the motor platform.
- Remove the tilt adjuster nut and screw.
- Remove the pivot bracket bolts on the back of the cabinent.
The brackets slip off the pivot pins that remain attached to the platform.
- The entire motor, brake & platform assembly may now
be removed through the back opening of the cabinet:
- Rotate the platform 90 degrees around the vertical axis,
then tip it up and out the back opening.
- Remove two cables that enter the cabinet from the electrical
box: one for the spindle motor and one for the carriage.
- Remove the two cabinet doors.
- Remove the collet rack.
Cabinet top before cleaning and painting