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View Full Version : My attempt at a carriage indicator clamp.



T.Hoffman
08-25-2011, 04:44 PM
Doing internal blind hole threading for the first time last week- turned out great but I quickly realized that I need an indicator holder for the carriage movement!

I had a mag base mount I used in the meantime, but that got me motivated to make something new.

I didn't want to have to use wrenches for installing or moving the mount- especially from the underside of the clamp. I remember seeing a member's design here (Roy Andrews, credit to him) that I liked since it used a handle and pivot clamp.

This is what Roy made (hope it's ok I'm showing his pic of his work):

http://i460.photobucket.com/albums/qq329/joshuaz223/machining/003.jpg

I modified that design a bit, and made my handle for it out of some ABS I had laying around.
I was quite surprised at how rock-solid this mount is with just a little tightening on the handle:

http://www.blackfrogmusic.com/pics/temp/latheclamp1.jpg

http://www.blackfrogmusic.com/pics/temp/latheclamp2.jpg

Goes on and off in an instant, and reposition easily- no tools required.
I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, I had just enough of a scrap chunk to make this.
I still want to add some grooves or something to the handle for better looks.

gvasale
08-25-2011, 05:16 PM
Not bad. I like the idea of not needing a wrench to attach it.

MotorradMike
08-25-2011, 05:18 PM
Very nice.
How did you cut the slot?

jungle_geo
08-25-2011, 05:21 PM
Wow that looks nice with very clean details.
You could make it so you can interchange a micrometer head for the DI by boring the hole where the DI barrel attaches a little larger and making a split sleeve for the smaller DI barrel. Then you can cut a series of precisely spaced shoulders with great accuracy and fast, but then you might want to add a cam lock where the SHC is to make the change from DI to micrometer head a tool-less change. :D

dockrat
08-25-2011, 05:24 PM
very nice and you can use it without the DTI as a carriage stop for cutting to a shoulder or boring to a specific depth.

Forrest Addy
08-25-2011, 05:39 PM
Ive seen a lot of indicator stops but that has to be the simplest to set I've sever seen. Puts the indicator right out where you can see it.

Did you use a handle off an angle grinder to tighten the clamp?

T.Hoffman
08-25-2011, 05:46 PM
I used a slitting saw with R8 arbor for the slot, .035". I only have three blades for it, .035 being the thickest and largest diameter. I went in as far as I could with that blade- I would have liked to go in .100" further to make the clamping force even easier around the indicator barrel, but it works fine as is.

Right now I don't have a micrometer head (lots of things I don't have yet), but I guess that option to add it in is always there down the road....

The handle isn't from an angle grinder, but that would sure work just fine.
Roy's handle might be from something like an angle grinder in the first picture I posted of his work, that looks more like a production handle part.
The handle I made is just some 1" ABS that I bored down the inside, leaving around .200" at the far end, and then threaded the remainder to put a 1.5" 1/4-20 button head bolt in.
I epoxied the bolt and threads to the ABS when I installed it. After letting the epoxy cure I ground down the end threads to my desired final length of exposed bolt.

I made the bottom "lip" that provides the upward clamping force so that when it is tightened up on the ways of my lathe, the lip is centered in the middle of the V-way width above it.
I'm not sure if that is why the clamp is so secure with just a little tightening of the handle, but it works great.

http://www.blackfrogmusic.com/pics/temp/latheclamp3.jpg

http://www.blackfrogmusic.com/pics/temp/latheclamp4.jpg

http://www.blackfrogmusic.com/pics/temp/latheclamp5.jpg

http://www.blackfrogmusic.com/pics/temp/latheclamp6.jpg

dneufell
08-25-2011, 08:24 PM
like the kids say .... "dude,that is cool!"

Black_Moons
08-25-2011, 11:12 PM
Very nice, Do you find the handle getting in your way at all? I think I would of been tempted to make it a pivot handle.
Sorta like this:
http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/attachments/f33/16629d1256573373-vise-jaws-vise-handle-visehandle.jpg

Just so it would fold down/outta the way when not in use.

Highpower
08-25-2011, 11:31 PM
Beautiful job T.H.

What is the material?

http://www.blackfrogmusic.com/pics/temp/latheclamp4.jpg

T.Hoffman
08-25-2011, 11:34 PM
Very nice, Do you find the handle getting in your way at all?
Well I haven't used it in action a lot yet since I just made it this week, but the handle is under 4 inches, and I can easily shorten that if needed.

I think my carriage frame sticks out farther than this handle does. Just from tinkering around with it- it didn't seem like it was going to be a problem, but I'll report back if I need to shorten it up...

Hawkeye
08-26-2011, 12:03 AM
For a factory looking handle, buy a cheap screw driver. Heat the blade with propane torch and pull it out with pliers.

Black_Moons
08-26-2011, 12:07 AM
For a factly looking handle, buy a cheap screw driver. Heat the blade with propane torch and pull it out with pliers.

Wonder if you could just weld to the shaft insted? (Without cooking it. maybe a little water after welding)

Paul Alciatore
08-27-2011, 06:20 PM
That is nice. I may have to make one like that.

I have discovered that the main thing to avoid in such devices is you should not mount the DI or stop screw on the lower or clamp part. I had (well still have as it is such a pain as I would not even give it to anybody for free) one that came with my lathe and the mounting hole for the DI was on the lower, clamp part while the upper part that fit over the way for good alignment, had no such hole. I had nothing but trouble with it as even the slightest bump on the DI would knock it out of zero. I had to make another one to completely replace it as there was no room for modifying the original.

T.Hoffman
08-27-2011, 11:15 PM
Beautiful job T.H.

What is the material?

Just some scrap aluminum I had laying around.
Thought about steel, but didn't want to take a chance on scratching anything on the ways.
And trying out this design for the first time, aluminum was easier.

Tobias-B
08-28-2011, 06:03 PM
Yeah, that's pretty... that might go in the 'make one when you have time' file...

Thanks!

t

darryl
08-28-2011, 06:10 PM
Very nice. If the handle does get in the way, just use a bolt instead. The handle would be a removable part that has a socket built in to turn the bolt. You already have chuck keys, etc- one more drive handle isn't going to be a big deal to make a home for.