My version of the mini lathe carriage clamps. Simple fix for a nice snug and fairly easy to adjust solution.
1. Get rid of the original cast iron clamps with set screws. (save the screws and nuts in your screw and bolt stock) (Use clamps for a drilling template for the new brass clamps)
2. Pick up some 3/8 thick brass stock about 1.5 to 2 inches longer than the stock clamps and a bit wider.
3. Measure the difference between the lathe bed and the saddle at the point where the clamps attach to the saddle.
4. Mill a small relief for most of the difference. ( Leave about .010") I want to be able to make them tight.
5. Drill the 3 holes for the hex head bolts as noted below in each of the clamps. One for the front and one for the back. They will most likely be different so be careful to keep track of them.
For the brass stock make it wider than the original clamps. Try to keep as much width as possible on the lathe bed side when you drill the new attachment holes in the brass clamps. I just used the original clamps for a drilling guide and used a transfer punch to locate the holes in the brass. I offset the original clamps so I would have as much contact with the lathe bed as possible without allowing the clamps to hit the lathe bed or the carriage rack gear. For the length I just put the original clamp in the center so I had the same amount of extra length at each end. I have about an inch on each end and that inch does not seem to get in the way when using the lathe.
Now it is time to assemble. I clean all the holes in the lathe carriage and the new brass clamps with acetone.
Use a q-tip for the carriage holes.
Use blue lock-tite..(not red)..you want to be able to move these bolts but you want them to be stiff.
Put the blue on all 6 hex head bolts and install them. Snug them up until you have a nice running fit.
The bolts in the front can only be adjusted with the carriage disassembled...The rear 3 bolts may be adjusted anytime and will stay put since they have some blue lock-tite on them. After the carriage runs nice and snug put on the front of the carriage and you are done.
If you need to snug it up later just tighten the hex bolts on the rear clamp a bit.
I have been able to grind down a hex key wrench and get to the two front bolts without taking the carriage apart. When I do a tear down for cleaning I will take care of the middle one at that time.
The carriage is now quite snug.
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