QCTP - Who has built there own?

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Aug 28, 2007
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So I have this lil HF 7x10 lathe that I got a few months back. I haven't really done anything with yet as I am modding my mini-mill. I have been looking on-line and have scene a few examples of sets people have built themselves. I know LMS has a few inexpensive types... BUT... If I can build it, I might as well try right?

So the question is, anyone here built there own? What style did you go with? Piston or wedge? Did you buy plans? Find em on the net? Design your own?

I've modified my 7x14 lathe to hell and gone, but the QCTP I use is one I bought with the lathe. I'm needing a few more tool holders, so I'm likley to take on building those soon. Let me know if you have questions on mods for your lathe. Chances are I've tried it already...LOL

It's running a 5 inch chuck and cutting out as far as 6 inches of Diameter if I'm nice to her.

I was going to build one of these http://www.metalwebnews.com/howto/toolpost/toolpost.html but fortunately my wife & daughter gave me a an AXA wedge style set from Little Machine Shop last Christmas. I highly recommend it!

If you do build one, make it to the AXA size as accurately as possible because you can't make the holders for what you can buy them from CDCO for...$9.00 + shipping! http://www.cdcotools.com/index.php I bought some and they were a little tight but a few minutes with some wet/dry paper fixed that.

If you decide to purchase one, definitely get the wedge style.

Whatever you do, do it ASAP. You won't believe how much more productive you'll be!:)
It's funny this popped up. When I bought my lathe earlier this year, I went on and put a QCTP on it. It is a Phase II piston type, and thought it isn't as tight as I would like, it serves the purpose well and is very rigid. It came in a set with five tool holders. All that being said, I am wanting some new tool holders myself, and looking around I am finding that it may be cheaper to buy a whole set-up versus the few holders I want.

I think that the time and effort spent in making a tool holder or even a tool post, wouldn't be worth the trouble as cheap as they are, but this is my opinion and what I think. Myself, I would rather be making parts than making tools. However, don't let this discourage you if you want to make your own.

In the Home Shop Machinist Magazine May/June 2006 issue there is an article on a QCTP build by Andy Lofquist. Back issues are most likely available from Village Press. It looks like a fairly simple build, and there are also several different types of tool holders that are included in the article as well. If memory serves my right, the unit was dimensioned for a 9" South Bend. This may give you a starting point if you wish to build you own.
Wareagle, I think you have got it in one there on an item such as this.
If something is going to take more than an hour, plus material costs to make, unless you want to do it of course, then they are so cheap nowadays it is not worth bothering with. It would most probably cost more in time and materials to make than buy.
Making tooling is good, if they are generally not available or expensive to buy.


Brass Machine:
I have used an axa on my 7 x 10 it is a little big . I Currently am using a A2Z CNC on the mini lathe. I started working on a copy for the Craftman 109 that is not getting much use.
IMHO the QC tool holder is one of the most re-invented tools that you can make. Village press has probably printed a version a year since they started. The other common tool that you will see a dozen versions for is the ball turning tool.
One thing I have found with the low cost holders is the set screws are not good enough to be used in a sling shot.
I had to buy 100 screws from MSC but with the 100 screws and the holder it is cheaper than a one Aloris holder.

I now have 8 holders and with 4 screws each that is 32

from Conyers Ga.
You have to admit, making your own QCTP is a really good project to learn with. Layout, dovetail cutting, boring, drilling tapping are all used on a fairly simple project which will give years of real life usable service. What is time to an hobby machinist?....(grin). This thread sent me out on Google where I spotted a design I really like. Since I live in a world of cheap scrap yard material and near endless hours to play I'm likely to give this one a shot.


That is one of the ones I have been eyeing.

I have almost all the material to build one and several holders. Money is kind of an issue right now... got a baby on the way plus Christmas is right around the corner.

I have got some skills with my mill and lathe (I took a few classes at the local vo-tec) but I am no where near the skill level I want. I feel I am still a beginner with machine tools.

So ya know, I am probably going to make the jump and build one.
Hi All,

I have two completely different lathes but have fitted QCTP to both. One is piston the other a wedge style both from ArcEuroTrade. For the money they now cost I decided to buy them both. I can use them to build other things more effectively. They are probably the best addition to any lathe both in the time saved changing tools, the accuracy of positioning the tools and the versatility given. I agree building your own will give practise in virtually all aspects of machining but the cost of the materials is probably more than buying a readymade unit. Why not practise on something of more use....a 2" scale traction engine that can pull you around the garden on your specially built trailer with a can of beer in your hand. Nobody notices the QCTP but they sure notice the trip around the garden!!!!


Good idea. But I have about 95% of the materials and tools to build one already and 0% of the cash to buy. With Christmas and a new baby coming... I am kinda broke!

I do agree about being a good addition to my tooling. I got to use a good setup in class and have become addicted to ease of use. Mind you that was towards the end of class... started on an old southbend with the lantern tool post... lots of fun that.

Wow!!... a two inch traction engine from enough metal for a QCTP.... You really are good!!...(LOL) I saw mention of the goal of a good machinist being the reduction in the number of tools he uses. I can see the value of being able to work with a minimum of tooling. In a pinch one could manage to solve a problem with little to work with.

However, this theory discounts the fact that some of us just love having tools. I enjoy creating and using tools, often tools with limited or special functions. Yup... I could build a quick jig for rounding an rod end, but making a rotary table was fun and it will be well used for years to come. As much as I enjoy the engine building, making a quality tool gives me the same kind sense of self satisfaction. The pleasure comes not so much from the having, but from the doing. I'd bet I'm not the only one either....LOL

A few bits of Scrap metal.................... $15.00
One Box of Bandaids.............................$ 1.25
A few hours of quiet enjoyment............. $0.00
Not waiting on the UPS truck to come .... Priceless

who wouldn't have any place park the traction engine anyway...
Too late... I started squaring up the block for the post. Hopefully it won't take too long to get the QCTP built. The idea of making a tool that will get a lot use is great to me. Considering the only tool making I have done is building a couple of clutch holders to assist in tearing apart motorcycle engines... of and the occasional hook out of a wire coat hanger.
This might be a little late but here is a couple of tool holder I got with my Levin lathe. They would be easy to make. The first one uses a 1/2 in post with the holders held in place with a split coller tighten with a set screw. I instaled this unit on my Craftsman 6in lathe. The second is not interchanged with other holders. I would not use them for heavy cuts.


I built one for my old 10" Atlas. I copied a QCTP from a Hardinge HLV. It worked great and I sold the post for $100 when I sold the lathe. It's a dovetail type with a draw bolt that intersects two right angle dovetails ( front and side of post) One turn of the handle draws the bolt in and locked the holder. Worked great.

If I find a picture I'll post it. I still have the drawings I made.


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