The Hjorth Lathe

image link-topic-sf0.jpg

The Hjorth was a rather late development of an older style of metal-cutting lathe in which the carriage did not slide on the bed but rather was clamped to it. Often it would be used with a simple toolrest and hand-held cutting tools (few now remember that metal was once turned with hand-held tools). In such a configuration it would often have been called a "speed lathe."

In the illustration below, it is shown with an optional slide rest which clamped to the bed but which provided, within the slide rest, some longitudinal tool movement. In this format, it would have been called a "bench lathe," but this term implied more than just its mounting on a bench. For all its simplicity, it is a precision machine. Think of it as a watchmaker's lathe on steroids.

The Hjorth was developed by Henrick J. Hjorth, who was (I seem to recall having been told) a former employee of the Rivett lathe company. It is similar in certain ways to some Rivett lathes (although the Hjorth never had the ways on the front of the bed characteristic of the Rivett).

There is a Rivett lathe users' group on Yahoo! (called "Rivett-608" after one of the better known models of the Rivett). It is probably the best place to go for information on the Hjorth.

[click image to view larger]

image link-to-hjorth-lathe-catalog-no-12-bradley-machinery-0600grey-006-sf0.jpg

The Hjorth lathe at CircuitousRoot is still a restoration project.

[click image to read at The Internet Archive]

image link-to-hjorth-lathe-catalog-no-12-tom-hammond-1999-sf0.jpg

Hjorth Catalog No. 12

I obtained this photocopy of this catalog through the courtesy of Tom Hammond back in 1999.

Here's a local copy in PDF format: hjorth-lathe-catalog-no-12-th-0600dpijpg-img2pdf.pdf (Computer technical note: The version on the IA was assembled using ImageMagick "convert". The version here was assembled using "img2pdf". The images within each PDF are identical.)

[click image to read]

image link-to-hjorth-lathe-catalog-no-12-bradley-machinery-sf0.jpg

Hjorth Catalog No. 12, pp. 5 & 7

This is a scan of a photocopy of three pages (cover, p. 5, and p. 7) of a different copy of Hjorth Catalog No. 12. I obtained it in the late 20th century, and cannot now recall where I got it.

Select Resolution: 0 [other resolutions temporarily disabled due to lack of disk space]