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Carriage Locks

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James Alford24/11/2019 09:24:42
377 forum posts
73 photos

I know that this is probably a silly question, but how do carriage locks work? I recently tried milling with a vertical slide on my Flexispeed. My initial attempts with terrible, with everything wobbly about. However, after tightening all of the gibs fully to lock the cross-slide and carriage, things were vastly better.

When I get the lathe back out of storage, I should like to add something to make locking the slides easier and should be interested in what other lathes use.


Hollowpoint24/11/2019 09:49:44
330 forum posts
31 photos

You are basically clamping the carriage down to the bed. The mini lathe for example uses a large t-nut under the ways which is pulled upwards by tightening a bolt passing through the carriage.

IanT24/11/2019 09:59:08
1534 forum posts
144 photos

As you say James, mostly they tighten the gib to lock/clamp the sliding part - although sometimes there is a separate clamp.

The simple way to do it (assuming a straight gib piece) is to substitute a longer screw for one of gib adjustment screws and have some form of handle/lever on it - or for a quick fix - substitute a cap head screw and use an Allan key..

A better way is to keep the existing gibs screws (& lock-nuts) "as is" - drill and tap a new hole and add a locking screw & lever - assuming there is space to do so without weakening the tool. The reason being that you then keep the correct number of gib adjustment screws and don't mess with their adjustment when locking the gib.



James Alford25/11/2019 21:11:57
377 forum posts
73 photos

Thank you for the helpful replies. I had done something similar to Ian's suggestion, having fitted a slightly larger head to the central carriage gib screw and cut a slot in the head for a screwdriver. I did have one with a lever, but there is so little clearance that it fouled the cross-slide. I shall have a look to see whether there is room for an extra screw so that I do not disturb the adjustment of the gib itself.



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