Mar 1, 2022 | TOOLING

For lathes without a DRO, a 2″ travel dial indicator to measure carriage travel is handy. I quickly made this simple compact indicator mount clamp from two pieces of scrap aluminum. To eliminate the need for a wrench to tighten or loosen it when re-positioning, I used a bicycle seat clamp “cam-action” lever-bolt and nut.  The black zip-tie, in the picture, keeps the bottom clamp piece from twisting when sliding the indicator mount along the lathe bed.  When I made this clap 3 years ago, I was rushed for time, so I chose the zip-tie. Alternatively, the two pieces of the mount could be drilled for a small roll pin next to the clamping bolt. The indicator can be installed from the left or right, depending on which side of the carriage it’s located.  In use, I snug the bottom knurled nut so the mount clamps to the lathe bed enough to resist the indicator’s spring force, but still loose enough it will slip if the carriage bottoms out the indicator.  A long 3/8″ dowel pin can be substituted for the indicator if the mount is to be used as a “hard” stop. When used as a “hard” stop, adjust the knurled nut so the cam-lever firmly locks the mount to the lathe bed and firmly tighten the slotted screw holding the dowel pin.   Bicycle seat clamps can be found online for $3 or less.

Tom Nichols
Automotive Machine & Supply, Inc
Joshua, TX
March, 2022