While watching a “Tom’s Techniques” YouTube Video noticed a setup for a Dial Indicator mounted to his Lathe and decided to make one for my lathe.
TOM’S TECHNIQUES – VIDEOS — GREAT STUFF & PDF Drawings!!
Tom also mentioned he would like to see how others made their version …
As with many of my ‘Scrap Metal Engineering’ projects ~ Try to use what items and material I have on hand in the workshop.
The next step was to see if there was even a place to mount it to the Lathe …
Got Lucky and found a nice hollow area whereby I would be able to drill and tap holes … But also I would have access for attaching a nut to the mounting bolts if the tapped holes ever striped out. I Like having lots of backups on Project Designs … Old Scuba-Diving Habit *grin*
Once found enough parts, and an area to mount the unit … started designing …
As usual ~ Like to use SolidWorks CAD software to create Design Concepts …
Along with the Digital Indicator, wished for the unit to work as a Carriage Stop so designed a 3D-Printed End-Cap so I would not chip the paint on my Lathe.
Once the SolidWorks concept was complete it was time to start on the Lathe …
First removed the Aluminum Lower Cover plate to see if there were any items in the way where I wished to drill the mounting holes … Thought it was best to drill and tap the holes prior to making any other parts … That way if the finished holes were not exact 2″ (because I had to drill them in place) … Then I could adjust my future machined parts which would mount to the Lathe holes.
There were a few items in the way but did not conflict with the design plan …
I did not draw the hole height line in the center of the gap because I wanted it low enough so that if later I needed to add nuts to the back of the mounting bolts I could use the bottom of the gap as a support to keep the nuts from turning as the front mounting bolts were turned with an Allen-Wrench.
The plan is since this will be a permanent fixture for the life of the Lathe ~ If over time the soft cast-iron tapped threads wear out ~ I can then just drill out the holes and add nuts to the back hollow area to secure the Lathe Stop Digital Indicator mount.
Once the holes were marked and double-checked for accuracy … I used a punch to mark the holes for drilling and used a series of gradually larger drill bits to get up to the correct hole size for tapping 1/4″ by 20TPI (threads per inch).
As mentioned in previous posts … I write the explanations on this website for the people that area NOT metalworkers, because I know all you experts already know all this stuff 🙂
Another benefit of having a hollow area behind the front mounting area is that I was able to brush the grit off the tap before twisting it back out of the threads
I used my ‘Ratchet’ style Tap Holder to speed up the process …
If you click on any image you will see a larger photo view 🙂
When the holes were done I screwed in two short Allen Set-Screws and left them sticking out about 1/32″ … Then I screwed the aluminum front plate back on with a few screws so it was in the correct position and then gave a few light taps with a plastic hammer.
Then removed the cover and there were two perfectly marked round areas showing me the exact center where I needed to drill the holes in the Aluminum cover. No guessing or measuring ~ Simple-Stupid Quick!
Used a Sheet Metal ‘Step-Bit’ to drill the hole and screwed the cover back on …
With the holes correctly drilled in lathe it was safe to make the next parts …
First item was to use the 1.5″ round-stock and make the Mount Body unit …
This is the round-stock I found in the ‘Phoenix Metal Scrounge 2014‘ and it has a rough exterior finish; therefore, used the Lathe to cut off the rough finish and face off the end of the round-stock … Then cut the round-stock off with the Horizontal band-saw and turned it around and faced off the other end so the round stock was 2.750″ as needed to fit on the front of the Lathe.
Used the Lathe to drill a hole in the round-stock 1/32″ less than the 0.500″ diameter of the Shaft I was planning to use … Then used a 0.501″ Chucking Reamer from my set of 0.001″ Over and 0.001″ Under Chucking Reamers.
Since I will be using a bolt to tighten the shaft in the mount the 0.501″ diameter hole will allow the shaft to slide back and forth without sticking
After the hole was created on the Lathe … I then tack welded a small piece of flat-bar to the bottom of the round-stock to serve as a flat area to press on the Band-Saw table for better perpendicular stability while cutting.
Also scribed Guide Lines to cut-off the unwanted side of the round-stock …
I could have milled off the extra round-stock material but it was much faster and less wear on expensive milling tools to just cut it quickly on the band-saw
Next mounted the sort-of ’round’ stock in a mill vise and the round contour allowed me to carefully machine off the extra material flat
I used the Mill to drill the holes where needed on the mount and tapped the center hole with threads to hold a tightening shaft bolt
When the mount was finished, bolted it on the Lathe, and it fit great!! Yay!!
The next item to modify was a 0.500″ metal shaft my little brother sent to me that he got off an old Xerox Copy Machine … He sent me several about a year ago in different diameters and I have already used half of them … About time to look for more because they are very helpful!! Thanks Don!!
There were two holes in the shaft but they didn’t cause any issues … Just for the fun of it I drew the holes as part of all the SolidWorks Concept drawings
The photo above looks like I work in the dark but it is quite the opposite … I am bathed in amazing light from two extra adjustable lights on the milling machine … They feel like surgical lights in the way they can be moved anywhere needed to create the correct lighting on metal objects being machined.
I turned off all the shop lights to take the photo because the glare on the shinny metal made it hard to see items in the images
Shaft mounted securely even though looked like ‘Cat-in-the-Hat’ Engineering
One nice feature with this Charter Oak Milling Machine is the Mach-1 Quick Change Tooling System … As fast as one can pick up the tooling it is installed on the milling machine … Outstanding Charter Oak Feature!! Worth the $$!!
Charter Oak Automation: http://charteroakautomation.com
If you click the image above it will link you to the Mach-1 Website 🙂
After using a hole starting bit, then used a short bit to drill indicator mounting hole in the end of the shaft … prior to drilling the hole I machined off some flat edges on the shaft
Once the shaft was finished tested it on the Lathe and it worked great! Yay!!
When I was making the example video testing out the Lathe Stop, just as I had worried about, noticed it start to chip the paint on my Lathe Carriage … so decided to stop testing it and 3D-Print up the End-Cap for when I use the unit as just a Lathe Carriage ‘Set Distance’ Stop.
Drew up the part in SolidWorks in about 5 minutes and then used the AFINIA H-480 to 3D-print the hard ABS plastic End-Cap … While it was printing I cleaned the metal shavings off the lathe and when done cleaning the 3D-Printed part was finished. Great Dual-Use of Time!!
As usual the AFINIA 3D-Printer did an Outstanding part on the first try!!
AFINIA 3D-Printer Information ~ http://www.afinia.com
Tested the Lathe Stop with the hard ABS 3D-Printed End-Cap and it was very accurate … Actually used it to make a few parts I needed since it was already on the Lathe … Every part came out the same … Very happy with the results!!
As mentioned, I tested the Digital Indicator on the Lathe Mount & Shaft and it functioned just as it was designed … Very Excited to have a Tool this Accurate!!
If you wish to see the First Test cuts made with the Digital Indicator Unit you can click on the image below and it will take you to the YouTube video
Nothing Fancy but it certainly will work for what I need on my Projects
All-in-all the project worked out well and the design stayed pretty much as it was drawn in the early SolidWorks Concept designs
I will use the current bolt until I finish a ‘Clamping’ style Knurling tool that I am re-designing based off Tom Technique’s version … I found some diamond and straight knurling rollers on AMAZON.com that ended up being a little wider … Since have modify the design anyway, decided to make it so I can quickly switch out the different knurling styles.
Sounds like a good future Project Post for this website 🙂
CLICK HERE to view the SolidWorks CAD files at GrabCAD.com
That’s All … Thank You Tom for the idea!!
CLICK HERE for Tom’s Techniques YouTube Page — GREAT VIDEOS!!
— CHEERS …
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