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Thread: Lathe alarm

  1. #1
    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    Aug 2015
    LA, CA, USA
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    Lathe alarm

    I added a swarf-catcher tray to my lathe's carriage. It can be seen here...

    Lathe swarf tray

    Although the tray clears the bottom of the chucks, when working near to the chuck face the tray can hit the face of the headstock behind the chuck. If I'm threading this means that the leadscrew can try to drive the tray through the headstock if I'm not watching closely. (Don't ask me how I discovered this.)

    This and other situations convinced me that the lathe needed an alarm to warn me of impending disasters. The device I made...

    is fairly simple. A nine volt buzzer alarm and its battery are housed in a plastic container. If the two copper wires emerging from the top of the container are shorted the buzzer sounds loudly enough to get my attention. A microswitch with a long actuator is wired via bell wire across these contacts; pressing the actuator sounds the alarm.

    In front is a piece of brass with a neodymium magnet cemented to it. The microswitch will be attached to the brass flag. Then it's just a matter of sticking the switch under the swarf tray so the actuator contacts the headstock early enough to trigger the buzzer hung somewhere near my ear via one of the hooked copper wires.

    The switch can also be stuck to the lathe ways to announce other potentially dangerous positionings of the carriage.
    Last edited by mklotz; 07-09-2017 at 09:30 AM.
    Regards, Marv

    Home Shop Freeware

  2. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to mklotz For This Useful Post:

    benkeller3 (01-16-2017), olderdan (01-09-2017), Paul Jones (01-09-2017), PJs (01-09-2017), rlm98253 (01-21-2018), Seedtick (01-16-2017)

  3. #2
    olderdan's Avatar
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    Devon UK
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    Ingenious as ever Marv,
    I always use stiff cardboard trays which are easily replaceable and will squash if things over travel, also easy to pick up and dump the swarf. I find the best source of said cardboard is beer boxes which also makes good templates if needed.
    I never throw anything away until I can think of no further use for it.

  4. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to olderdan For This Useful Post:

    dwbachor (01-21-2018), Moby Duck (01-21-2018), Paul Jones (01-09-2017)

  5. #3
    [email protected] tonyfoale's Avatar
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    Nov 2016
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    I use the aluminium cooking trays that some food comes packaged in. They collapse easily. I also use them under bench grinder wheels to catch the stuff not caught by the covers.

  6. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to tonyfoale For This Useful Post:

    Moby Duck (01-16-2017), Paul Jones (01-09-2017)

  7. #4
    Content Editor DIYer's Avatar
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    Aug 2013
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    Thanks mklotz! We've added your Lathe Alarm to our Lathe Accessories category,
    as well as to your builder page: mklotz's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:

  8. #5
    benkeller3's Avatar
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    Aug 2014
    Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts
    I have been thinking about making something just like this for my shaper. Long runs can lead your attention to move to other jobs... your design is perfect simple and movable to multiple machines. Thanks

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