Skip to main content

Indexing tool for watchmakers lathe

Hello friends
Today I completed the indexing tool for the watchmakers lathe. I've had on my wish list making some very fine rope knurl wheels and in order to do this I needed to be able to very accurately index the chuck. Having recently completed the new stands for the lathe with the accessory mounting t-slots, it seemed a perfect opportunity to design the indexing set up around just that. Below are the results
Watchmakers lathe indexing tool mounted and adjusted

I had used the indexing pin and holes that come stock on the back of the headstock phenolic pulley. It's very hard to get light into there to insure a visual confirmation of inserting the pin into the right hole. I designed this new unit to put the pin on the back of the indexing plate and I put the pin support arm out far enough for good light and good visual line of sight.

I designed and 3D modeled the mounting tabs that use a 1/4-20 bolt to slide into the T-slots. You can see the mounting here.
T-slot mounting for Watchmakers indexing tool

I also developed the indexing pin as a spring loaded assembly. The inside of the very end of the hollow tip is tapered so that when the pin slides home it locks in place with no play at all. The pin is shaped to fit exactly into the index holes in the spindle mounted plate. The back of the pin is also tapered to leave no play at all.
Withdrawing spring loaded indexing pin

indexing pin assembly

Indexing pin guide tip

Indexing Pin

Indexing pin parts

The arm of the assembly is quite robust to eliminate any flex. I slotted the head to be able to clamp down the pin assembly. very handy as I can leave it loose and position the arm angle correctly first, then slide the pin assembly into close contact and tighten it down.
Indexing tool swing arm

Indexing pin arm clamping head

I designed and shaped the levered nut for comfort and ease of repositioning.
Indexing tool with custom clamping nut

I'm happy with the whole assembly and especially happy that it now works as part of the new accessory mounting system.
Cheers, Kevin

Comments

  1. I glad someone's working on indexing for a W.W. lathe. Finding this took way too long. Great work Kevin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Robert. There's other solutions out there but most are the antique versions. I was going to do a worm gear like the larger dividing heads for mills and lathes and decided on this simpler, direct indexing system more like what's found on Levin.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Step #2: Designing and Modeling the Steady Rest

I have a lot of experience in going from concept to prototype as I am inventor with an industrial design degree and am fully trained in drafting and modeling my designs in a 3D program, and have had many of them rapid prototyped using today's cutting edge services available online.
I had also been experimenting with making parts from bronze infused stainless steel from shapeways rapid prototyping service and had been extremely impressed with how detailed, dimensionally accurate and functionally strong the parts made from this material and process were.

Diving in, I developed a micro-adjuster system that was low profile and could be adjusted with finger pressure yet lock down rock solid once dialed in. I also wanted the steady rest to pivot open like on the big boy lathes for the ability to perform multiple machining operations on a part and replace it into the lathe with extreme accuracy. It's also great for multiple parts in small runs.

It was also important to me to make th…

Step #1: Imagining the WW lathe Steady rest

After weeks of creating temporary solutions for holding longer pieces of stock and after an equal number of weeks searching online for a micro-adjustable steady rest (ebay included), I came to the conclusion that the vast majority of what was available for my beautiful little WW lathe were steady rests with much more basic functionality. Additionally, the vintage steady rests were regularly selling for astronomical numbers on Ebay. I resolved to design exactly what I wanted and make it! (Below is the completed result of what began as this wish to have something better than what was available). It is now working so well, I decided to do more than post the fun of making it. I'll be offering the main parts as a kit for anyone who is interested and I'll do my best in this blog to detail all the specific process insights I learned while making this wonderful tool .
It is now working so well, I decided to do more than post the fun of making it. I'll be offering the main parts o…