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14x40 Lathe Improved Carriage Lock

petertha

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Joined
Jan 15, 2016
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182
#1
After some recent photo rummaging, I realized I never posted my improved carriage lock pics, so here you go.

The stock mechanism was always kind of a vague & iffy. Sometime it would tighten sometimes not. Pushing on the nut & tightening simultaneously seemed to work best. But if the nut ever became loose more than a full turn, the entire clamp & post would extend out of the carriage hole & you had to fiddle it back into position. Even when locked, the carriage never really felt too secure. And sometimes it would spin & partially grab just traversing the carriage.

I had to remove the carriage for another reason so this provided opportunity for a closer look. Hopefully the pics tell the story. The design is not the best. The foot only provides minimal contact area to the casting bed. I think the milled flat on the foot segment is somehow intended to be contained by the front of carriage housing, but it just didn’t match up in my case for whatever reason. The good part is the hole is drilled nice & close to the bed lip.
 

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petertha

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Jan 15, 2016
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#2
So here is what I came up with. A blocky more rectangular foot which provides significantly more contact area. It cannot rotate out of clamping position because of the square foot shape & small clearance gap. For the clamp post I used a double-threaded 0.250” hold down rod from a milling strap clamp kit & it slides inside a turned bushing which is light press fit in the (metric) hole in the carriage casting. This keeps the movement very nicely aligned. I used a hex nut to either finger tight or a wrench if required. Now it has a very positive feel & when its backed off it just slides with no drag. I can also use one of those commercial low profile spring release detent handle clamps on the top threads, but I'm not quite sure I like it yet. The nut is a bit cleaner & the wrench is always handy.

Anyway, hope this helps if you have a similar issue your lathe.
 

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petertha

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
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Joined
Jan 15, 2016
Messages
315
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182
#4
Oops. Forgot to mention I first tried making the threaded rod portion by die threading some drill rod & that's what's in some of the test fit pics. That didn't work out too well (long story) so that's when I switched to a commercial hold-down rod & cutting to length. The assembly was blackened (looks better in real life!) :)
 

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