Luckily, the tailstock on my lathe has a flat top. I made an aluminum plate that clamps onto the spindle and added a commercial magnetic back to a dial indicator and, voila, a tailstock depth gage.
If I had a TS with a cylindrical top, as many of them are, I would think about a V-block with magnets glued into the Vs to attach to the cylindrical portion.
Last edited by mklotz; 07-07-2017 at 10:32 AM.
The DI spring exerts negligible force so you wouldn't have to worry about it moving the magnetically anchored plate.
I can anticipate one potential problem with this idea. While turning ferrous material, swarf may stick to the magnet. If that becomes a problem, a second idea is to replace my bolt-activated clamp with a cam-operated clamp to make application and removal easier.
Another possibility is, instead of tapping your center and adding an extension, simply glue a short plug onto the end. It's not under any stress when the center is in use and only mild compressive stress when the center is being ejected so any good glue should work.
sounds good. I glue a hard drive mag to my 3 in dial indicator and that thing sticks to the ways, the same one will now be used for the tail stock and I do have more magnets for the plate on the tail stock I will be making one. I do find it necessary/helpful for drilling to a correct depth. You do a nice job on your modifications. thanks for letting us in on your projects.
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