Tuesday, February 6, 2007
Four Bolt Compound Clamp
While I was waiting for Northern Tool to ship my lathe, I spent a lot of time looking at Little Machine Shop.com. A link to their store is in the right sidebar. If you don't know what's out there for mini lathes and mills, their site can be very informative. I bought some of my stuff from them. I also found the Yahoo 9x20 lathe group. Lots of good information there too.
The most common complaint and the most recommended modification for these lathes is that the two bolt compound clamp, that is the part that clamps the compound rest to the cross feed table, is weak. It is. Parting is a panic with a two bolt clamp. I have to give a lot of credit to a guy named Steve Bedair. He has a first rate web page. I'll add a link to his page as soon as he gives me permission.
The photo above shows the original clamp and the new one with the compound rest attached. I took great advantage of Steve's instructions. I got a much steadier compound rest. Parting is much better, and there's less chatter and vibration otherwise. A smoother finish on parts all around.
I made the clamp out of a piece of half inch thick by four in wide cold rolled 1018 from Metal Express. Good people there, and only a day away from me by UPS standard ground.
Update: Steve Bedair's site has been added to "Useful Links". Check it out.