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Accessory Rail for Watchmakers Lathe

As part of the design process for the new lathe stands, I incorporated an accessory mounting system into the top edges of the brass stands. I had been planning on an adjustable rail system that would mount to the stands and allow me to install dial indicators to improve the accuracy of the lathe from an operator standpoint. The results are below.

Accessory rail and dial indicator mounted.

Because watchmakers lathe of this kind have a cross slide that is not permanently captured to the bed ways and because that cross slide must be capable of being repositioned in the Z and X axis, I had to come up with an approach that would allow a lot of adjustability while getting the dial indicator away from the small feed screw handle so as not to make it more awkward to use.
I decided to engineer a push bar holder that would mount to the bottom of the back end of the bottom slide. You can see how far it drops below the cross slide leaving plenty of room to turn the crank and have good visibility to the dial as well.
Cross Slide push bar extension with final contouring
These few shots show the extension prior to the contouring above. I didn't feel the part had the elegant look that much of the rest of the lathe does so I reduced the material on either side of the support webbing and contoured it in with a ball end mill. Now it visually fits the lathe!
Cross Slide Push Bar Extension for activating dial indicator
Cross slide extension and adjustable indicator pawl
The rail system is full adjustable and I've already used it to pivot up above the bed rails so that I could use the dial indicator to center a piece of round stock in the four jaw chuck.
Adjustable accessory rail system for Watchmakers lathe
I designed the pivot knuckles to use these nifty camera mounting bolts that have bale levers that pivot out for easy adjustment
folding bale levers for adjusting the accessory mount arms.
The extension system on the bottom of the cross slide has a sliding shaft with a pawl that can be rotated to different heights. The pawl was fun to make using the face plate with a jillion holes I made last year. Really worked nicely with the printed bronze infused tiny clamps I created as well.
clamping faceplate aligning brass pawl for machining

Using small boring bar to bore mounting hole in adjustable dial indicator pawl
It's all amazingly rigid and 1000% adjustable. I have plans for a longitudinal dial indicator I'm building next to mount on this system. Love it when things work out as intended.
Mounting rail system in place on watchmakers lathe

Mounting rail system leaves lots of hand space


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