Have you ever had a simple machine tool improvement project that you wish you did it years ago? That is what happened here. I finally replaced the short little handles on my Unimat lathe carriage and cross slide feed control wheels with ones that are longer, more comfortable, and rotate. This was so simple that you probably think what's the big deal. The big deal is why I waited so long to do this.
The machining is pretty simple. I drilled out the original handles that are a press fit and held in place with a flared end. I then used a 10-32 tap to thread the hole for a 10-32, 0.250" dia. steel shoulder screw with its head turn down to 0.300 dia. The handle is made from 1.25” x 3/8" dia. 6061 aluminum rod with a slight 2 degree taper, drilled and reamed to 0.250”, and a short step hole bored in its end for the shoulder screw. Everything is a running fit with graphite lubricant so there is no looseness and provides a good feel for machining. The first photo is the old style handle and the other photos show the improved handle version.
More photos and information about the Unimat modifications can be seen at http://www.homemadetools.net/forum/m...00-lathe-10111 .