I had my lathe down for maintenance so I thought I would post the details of some of my mods.
Commercial ones are available but I liked the low clearance this one provides.
It consists of the bottom "nut clamp". 5/16" thick I believe.
The spacer, so I don't clamp down so hard to break the carriage.
The upper bar that installs in the traveling steady holes.
The socket head cap screw that does the locking. I ground the
head of the cap screw to make it as short as possible and still
have the hex inside.
I did grind down a standard allen key wrench to make it as short
as possible for this locking bolt.
The only area that is a bit of a pain is that the socket head cap
screw locking bolt will fill with chips. Not really a big deal, just keep
a sharp pointed rod nearby and no problem.
I have SHCS's holding the compound on my lathe so I sympathize with the problem of the hex aperture filling with swarf.
My first fix was to take some plastic rod and mill a short hex on the end to match the size of the hole in the SHCS. Cut this off with a thin slice of the (cylindrical) parent material attached. Voila, a plug for the hole. Depending on the type of plastic, if you make the hex slightly oversize so it force fits, it will remain in place when a chip brush sweeps across it.
The plastic plug may prove slightly annoying on bolts that must be accessed frequently. Punch some circular "dots" from one of those freebie advertising refrigerator magnets and stick it over the hole in the bolt. If it gets swept away or covered with attracted swarf, discard and use a new one; they're cheap.
Home Shop Freeware
Paul Jones (01-18-2018)
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