I have been using magnetic test indicator holders with the quick release magnetic bases for setup work on the lathes. However, I thought it might be easier to use a flexible arm held in the quick change tool post for most of this work. Shown is an easy to make aluminum bracket designed to fit in the same space as a 3/8” square cutting tool holder. The bracket part was made from 0.625"x1.25” 6061 aluminum bar stock, milled and fly cut to size, drilled and reamed with 5/16” diameter holes to hold the adjustable arm base in either horizontal or vertical positions, and locked in place with an 8-32 SS cap screw. I purchased Shars Tool online the adjustable test indicator holder arm that fits any test indicators with either 3/8” diameter shafts and/or side dovetails.
Nice tool, neatly done.
Could you develop more why you find it easier than the quick release magnetic base ?
Great question and probably my unique problem. The two issues I have with my magnetic bases are: my failure to totally release the magnetic lever and end up scratching the paint on the machine tools or the machined surfaces (my operator error but nonetheless something I dislike doing); and 2) my magnetic test indicator holders have the conventional stiff vertical rod with a hard-to-adjust horizontal rod and usually requires several additional adjustments and/or moving the carriage to locate the dial indicator. Perhaps installing the flexible arm (the blue and black parts in the photos) onto the magnetic bases would be a tremendous improvement. Also, on my other small Unimat lathe (shown in other posts to HMT), I plan to permanently install similar aluminum holders into the cabinet base for attaching the flexible arm as needed (on the Unimat there a few steel/cast iron surfaces for magnetic attachment). I hope this helps with understanding my reasons.
Paul Jones (12-18-2014)
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