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Thread: tail stock spanner for SB13B lathe

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    Supporting Member desbromilow's Avatar
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    desbromilow's Tools

    tail stock spanner for SB13B lathe

    the lathe needed a spanner to lock and unlock the tailstock. I fabricated this based on photos of similar vintage ones (LeBlonde style).
    The hex was made by cutting flat bar (30x6 MS) at the length of the flats on the hex nut (1 1/16" AF) - the flatbar was cut mostly through, so I could could "wrap" it around the nut, with the open cut facing outside the nut.
    The open cuts were then filled with weld to create a hex socket with a wall thickness of 6mm.
    The handle was made of 2 pieces, the turned section made on the SB13 from some tough mystery steel from the scrap bin, and the shaft of the handle was some 12 x 18mm offcut from shear reject. The crank in the shaft was made by partially cutting the shaft, and filling the cut with weld. A double J bevel was formed for welding the turned handle to the shaft, and a V bevel was used to weld the hex to the shaft.
    The first photos show the finished welding, with some "filler" weld added here and there to build up the profile I wanted.
    The second set show the painted spanner in use on the lathe.
    tail stock spanner for SB13B lathe-ts_spanner_tvlr.jpgtail stock spanner for SB13B lathe-ts_spanner_svlr.jpgtail stock spanner for SB13B lathe-ts_spanner_uslr.jpg
    tail stock spanner for SB13B lathe-ts_spanner_isp_lr.jpgtail stock spanner for SB13B lathe-ts_spanner_psp_lr.jpg

    overall length is approx 250mm (10")
    45 Best Harbor Freight Tool Modifications


  2. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to desbromilow For This Useful Post:

    JoeH (06-02-2020), Jon (06-04-2020), lawncutter (06-01-2020), metric_taper (06-07-2020), sossol (06-01-2020)

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    Thanks desbromilow! We've added your Tailstock Spanner to our Lathe Accessories category,
    as well as to your builder page: desbromilow's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:



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    The easiest way to fasten / unfasten the nut that locks the tailstock I found is with a ratcheting spanner of the type sold e.g. here https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3290...archweb201603_
    The important property here is that the ratchet is both flat and flexible, i.e. it will fit easily into a constrained space. And because the spanner is ratchet-operated, tightening or loosening a nut is quick.

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    Supporting Member desbromilow's Avatar
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    desbromilow's Tools
    Those type of gear spanners are an option, but I chose the path I took based on the following:
    a) - trying to preserve the "look" of the original lathe as much as possible (SB13B is from 1939) and avoid modification of the original
    b) - keeping the lathe simple to use.

    I had commenced designing a cam lock, and when I talked about it on the SB group, it was pointed out that once you have the nut "dialled in" it only takes about 1/4 of a turn between free enough to slide, vs locked tight... with a rigid spanner, I have found that that assessment is correct, the spanner is less work to build than a camlock, and the rigid spanner is more in keeping with the rest of the vintage lathe.


    Quote Originally Posted by CanBeDone View Post
    The easiest way to fasten / unfasten the nut that locks the tailstock I found is with a ratcheting spanner of the type sold e.g. here https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3290...archweb201603_
    The important property here is that the ratchet is both flat and flexible, i.e. it will fit easily into a constrained space. And because the spanner is ratchet-operated, tightening or loosening a nut is quick.

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    Toolmaker51 (06-07-2020)

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    Toolmaker51's Tools
    My preference is the fixed wrench as well. Having the clamp nut set for minimum clearance makes the difference. Just reach under tailstock, and hand-tighten while you test the travel. Works whether the plate is pulled up by operating the nut, or a cam lever. Occasionally, a lock nut or dab of Loc-Tite is needed to retain that setting. Often enough, the flat wrench proves superior, tighten or loosen without additional fiddling; like in deep hole drilling.

    Flat ratchets do work, sometimes. The issue comes from them not all created equal, with ratchet action too coarse for available swing within the casting, and then turning it over or switching the pawl, loses additional degrees of movement.


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    Last edited by Toolmaker51; 06-07-2020 at 07:50 PM. Reason: detail and more convincing phraseology
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