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T-Slot
11-05-2001, 11:03 PM
The carriage and crosslide locking scresws on my 3in1 machine are allen screws. I usually leave an allen wrench hanging in them so I can tighten them as needed, but most often the wrench vibrates out or I knock it out when reaching for it. Trying to figure a way to keep a wrench tight enough to stay put. Thought about brazing the wrench fast to the screw, but that doesn't leave enough room to swing the wrench. Thought about thumbscrews but would like more leverage. Kinda thought I saw a screw with a locking or spring loaded slot or something along those lines somewhere. Any thoughts?

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MarshSt
11-06-2001, 01:03 AM
The Carr Lane catalog has all kinds of hold down hardware that you may be able to use in this application. I have also seen snap on knob heads for allen bolts advertized in some of the engineering and plant maint. magazines. Can't seem to find one right now though.

Steve

MarshSt
11-06-2001, 01:03 AM
The Carr Lane catalog has all kinds of hold down hardware that you may be able to use in this application. I have also seen snap on knob heads for allen bolts advertized in some of the engineering and plant maint. magazines. Can't seem to find one right now though.

Steve

Thrud
11-06-2001, 01:48 AM
If the allen wrench is big enough you could drill a 1/8" hole in the end and install with epoxy a Rare Earth Niobium Magnet (Lee Valley Tools sells these). The wrench will forever more stick in the setscrew (rambuncious little buggers, will lift about 2-5 lbs. of steel). They even have a 1/2" Spherical magnet and ones with holes in them. The have ones that are the size of quarters that will pick up a 30lb. block of steel!

Keep them away from your wallet, TV, Monitor, magnetic tape - these are not playtoys!

Dave

JimH
11-06-2001, 01:49 PM
Also try Reid Tool Supply CO. They carry all sorts of adjustable handles (along with many other useful items).

www.reidtool.com (http://www.reidtool.com)

1-800-253-0421

Just a satisfied customer.
Jim

rmatel
11-06-2001, 06:40 PM
T-Slot,
I too have a Smithy, LTD. If you want to commiserate, my e-mail is mailto:rmatel@famvid.comrmatel@famvid.com</A>
Bob


[This message has been edited by rmatel (edited 11-06-2001).]

SGW
11-06-2001, 07:54 PM
I agree, JimH, Reid is a great company to deal with (usual disclaimers...). And thinking about it, their "lift-to-adjust-the-lock-position" lever handles might be something to look at for this application. I used a couple of those on something I built and like them a lot.

T-Slot
11-06-2001, 10:12 PM
Just ordered one of those lever handles right before I read your post, SGW. That will work for the carriage lock. Can't use it on the crosslide because it will hit the tailstock when I crank the carriage all the way to the right. Got Reid's catalog coming. Probably find something in there. Like the magnet idea Thrud, but I think my parts are too small. Checked out Carr Lane's website. It amazes me how many tool suppliers there are out there. Keeps you busy just reading catalogs. Well I'll be damned, a fellow Smithy owner. I'll send you an e-mail soon as I rest my fingers some.I got right to this point a while ago and when I went back to see your name, RMatel, all my reply went away.

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Thrud
11-07-2001, 12:39 AM
"lift-to-adjust-the-lock-position" something we Emco Maximat owners have had for 40+ years - I prefer Bondaus ball drivers and allen screws.

Dave

SGW
11-07-2001, 08:50 AM
One drawback to Allen screws on a machine tool is that the heads fill up with chips and you have to keep cleaning them out. I think that's why South Bend (and others) have always used square- or hex-head bolts on parts that need adjusting.

But I will agree about those ball drivers -- great invention! So much more convenient to use than a regular Allen wrench.

John McGlynn
11-23-2001, 07:11 AM
Hi,

I had something of a similar problem with a (Chinese) precision vise which had a removeable handle which wouldn't clear the top of my mill table.

The solution I found was to substitute a ratchet ring spanner for the handle.

These spanners have a small pin which reverses their rotation/ratchetation(?).

If you have the room, substitute a hex head bolt for the allen head then fasten a rachet spanner to it with a few pieces of PK. The spanner can then be "parked" horizontally when not in use.

We get the spanners (again, from China) here in Oz for about $A16 per set so they shouldn't be more than $US8. They range from about 25mm down to tiny ones of 3-5mm.

It ultimately depends on the room you have though.

As others have said before, I love those ball nosed allen keys too!