Derbyshire cross slide lock down for watchmakers lathe

I saw a wonderful idea on Pinterest where a gentleman had made a lock down nut with a lever on it for his cross slide. It eliminates always having to reach for the allen key. I made one and originally put a straight shaft in it for leverage like the one the gentleman made. Since the Derbyshire cross slide is for a watchmakers lathe, the straight shaft was too small and uncomfortable on my fingers. I tapped it out and remade it as a small ball ended lever. MUCH better and it works like a charm. I've made it so that the lever is straight up when the nut is allowing movement and a 1/4 turn to the right locks everything down well.
I also love the way the ball end looks and matches the other handles and cranks on the derbyshire cross slide.

Watchmakers lathe derbyshire cross slide lock down 

Watchmakers lathe derbyshire cross slide lock down 
The screw is actually quite tiny (5-40) so I used the machining and drilling attachment on my WW lathe to locate and drill out the hole for the ball end lever. Sorry about the blurred shot.  Didn't see it was out of focus until after the set up was complete and torn down.

Drilling the lever hole in the 5-40 screw
Since posting this a week or so ago, I've become increasingly unsatisfied with the performance of the Version #1 of the lock down. I redesigned it to have small brass star wheels as cinch nuts and went back to the simpler lever shaft. This works exquisitely well and frankly, gives me a finer degree of control than just the recessed set screws that needed to be tighter than I wanted them not to back out during vibration. Success....finally. 
Sometimes willingness to iterate makes all the difference...

Lathe cross slide lock down version #2 with cinch nuts

Lathe cross slide lock down version #2 with cinch nuts


  1. Kevin,
    I like your idea for the cross slide lock down using a small ball as the handle. I think I will try something similar for the compound lock on my 7" mini lathe. There is not much room so this should work. I made some of the clamping screws with levers posted on . Thank you for the posting very clear photos on your blog. Many great ideas. Regards, Paul Jones

  2. Hi Paul
    Thanks. I found the ball was very comfortable to handle in a small space. I've come to prefer the small knurled nuts I did as the 2.0 solution but you might have different space constraints on your 7 inch.


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