AL320G Lathe - Saddle locking bolt improvement

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joco-nz

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A small little update to the AL-320 lathe. The standard saddle locking system is a plan old hex head bolt into the saddle clamp. Which is fine but it is a pain to keep reaching for a spanner. So I decided I didn't want to keep doing that.

The general concept is to make a replacement bolt with a shaped top that has a handle coming out of it. Here is the result. Turned from a single piece of 18mm free machining steel. Shaft is 6mm and threaded M6 for half its length, with length being 40mm. The head large diameter is 16mm and top small diam is 8mm. Length of the sloping face is about 10.5mm. The hole is tapped M8 to a depth of about 7mm. Everything polished up with 250 then 400 grit wet and dry paper.


Finished part with the handle installed.


Installed in the lathe. The handle is put after the bolt/screw is installed. This is shown in the unlocked position. Locked is with the handle point down the ways to the tailstock end. This is still out of the way of the power handle which points in the same direction when engaging the cross-slide.


Cheers,
James.
 
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rodw

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Very nice idea. Just for fun, try taking the finish through to about 1000 or 1200 grit with wet and dry (I use kerosene instead of water as it keeps the grit cleaner), then finish it off with some metal polish on a rag. I used Autosol from a car parts shop. This will give you a mirror finish. I made a coffee tamper about 5 years ago with a stainless base and a tapered aluminium handle both finished in this way and it still has a mirror finish after daily use. To hold the parts screw into a threaded mandrel held in the jaws and add a lock nut behind it so its real easy to pull apart later.
 

petertha

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Looks good. Nice low profile so it doesn't interfere with tailstock or compound. When I made a new clamp for mine I considered one of these commercial handles. They are spring loaded so you pull them up & set to any desirable position. Ultimately I opted for a regular nut & wrench is handy. For the most part I can sufficiently tighten by hand.

IMG_5889_edited-1.jpg
 

petertha

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The biggest issue I found on my lathe was this goofy stock clamping post mechanism. It was always vague & iffy. If you loosened it too much it would completely get out of position. Basically a bad design because it has low contact area & no good reference datum to keep it aligned as carriage traverses so.

When I had the apron off for lathe repair I redesigned a new one. Works MUCH better. Very positive & firm but frictionless when traversing. Some before & after pics

2017-03-25_15-52-43.jpg


IMG_5887_edited-1.jpg


IMG_5897_edited-1.jpg
 

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