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Thread: Tailstock depth gage

  1. #1
    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    Tailstock depth gage

    Luckily, the tailstock on my lathe has a flat top. I made an aluminum plate that clamps onto the spindle and added a commercial magnetic back to a dial indicator and, voila, a tailstock depth gage.

    If I had a TS with a cylindrical top, as many of them are, I would think about a V-block with magnets glued into the Vs to attach to the cylindrical portion.

    Last edited by mklotz; 07-07-2017 at 11:32 AM.
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    Ed ke6bnl's Avatar
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    I wanted to make that setup BUT I have to bring my tailstock in flush to remove the live center unless i were to drill and tap an extension to the MT3 on the live center it does not work for me

  4. #3
    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed ke6bnl View Post
    I wanted to make that setup BUT I have to bring my tailstock in flush to remove the live center unless i were to drill and tap an extension to the MT3 on the live center it does not work for me
    If I had that problem, I would replace my aluminum plate clamped to the tailstock barrel with a small aluminum plate glued to a super (ie neodymium) magnet. Of course, you would still have to remove said item in order to remove your center but lifting a magnet would be a lot less trying than unclamping my plate.

    The DI spring exerts negligible force so you wouldn't have to worry about it moving the magnetically anchored plate.

    I can anticipate one potential problem with this idea. While turning ferrous material, swarf may stick to the magnet. If that becomes a problem, a second idea is to replace my bolt-activated clamp with a cam-operated clamp to make application and removal easier.

    Another possibility is, instead of tapping your center and adding an extension, simply glue a short plug onto the end. It's not under any stress when the center is in use and only mild compressive stress when the center is being ejected so any good glue should work.
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    Ed ke6bnl's Avatar
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    sounds good. I glue a hard drive mag to my 3 in dial indicator and that thing sticks to the ways, the same one will now be used for the tail stock and I do have more magnets for the plate on the tail stock I will be making one. I do find it necessary/helpful for drilling to a correct depth. You do a nice job on your modifications. thanks for letting us in on your projects.

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    Thanks Marv! I've added your Tailstock Depth Gauge to our Height and Depth Gauges category, as well as to your builder page: mklotz's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:


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    Ed ke6bnl's Avatar
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    well I went a made up one of your tailstock depth gage set up. works great. My live center had a soft metal plug in the bottom that I was able to drill and tap for a bolt and it works great. the chuck has a tang. another I want it made is completed. thanks Marv

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    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed ke6bnl View Post
    well I went a made up one of your tailstock depth gage set up. works great. My live center had a soft metal plug in the bottom that I was able to drill and tap for a bolt and it works great. the chuck has a tang. another I want it made is completed. thanks Marv
    Thinking enough of an idea to copy it is the ultimate form of recognition. I always get a real warm fuzzy when anyone thinks enough of something I did to make one himself. Thanks, Ed.


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