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How do I put a leadscrew handle onto my Boxford, please?

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John Hewes05/02/2014 16:07:30
22 forum posts
2 photos

Hi, I am really getting into this now, and thanks to those who have helped with my previous questions, they really are useful, and I'm learning.

I can now use my new vertical slide, and a cutter in the collet system I have made for my 1/2" Elu woodworking router collet holder. This holds a 1/2" end mill and it works OK.

However, I have read that I should use the leadscrew handle to move the saddle towards the chuck to increase the depth of cut when I am milling, but my old Boxford AUD doesn't have one and there is only a very short end of the leadscrew sticking out of the right hand end bracket.

I am not sure how to fix a handle on here, any ideas, please?

The Boxford handbook does mention a handlewheel at one point, but does not elaborate, so that's not a lot of help. I have been using the saddle handle, but it is a bit brutal for this job!



Robin King05/02/2014 16:26:34
130 forum posts
1 photos


Boxfords were never intended to have one, the saddle feed being either under power from the leadscrew or by using the apron handwheel. You'll find it near impossible to operate one at the right hand end of the leadscrew anyway if working near the headstock because of the length of bed - unless you've got remarkably long arms, that is

Clive Foster05/02/2014 17:42:04
3173 forum posts
113 photos

Boxfords are, in most respects, a close copy of the 9" Southbend so I suspect that the method I used to fit a Myford leadscrew handle to a Southbend pushing 40 years back should work fine. Basic method is to weld an extension piece on the leadscrew, turn it true and fit the handle.

About the only tricky part of the job is ensuring alignment between leadscrew and extension when welding. I removed the screw, chamfered to shaft end ready for welding and drilled the end about 1" deep to take a sufficiently substantial pin. A similar hole was drilled in the rod that was to become the extension. The screw and extension were pushed firmly together before carefully welding up with a cheap arc welder. Too long ago to recall the exact method but I imagine I tacked it together with several small welds on low current turning the unit between welds to minimise any bending. Having got it together I would have repeated the process using heavier welds and finished off with a filling run. Finished by turning to size, fit screw and handle.

If you are careful with the welding, I probably did two welds 180° apart and left things to cool before doing th next pair, the extension will come out close to concentric. Pin needs to be adecent push fit in the holes so you will need to file a small flat before pushing up so the air can get out. Same basic technique works with silver soldering instead of weld but clearly the fits need to be looser for solder penetration. I later put a new acme thread on a the cross slide screw using silver solder to join the parts and everything pulled up true despite the looser fits.

Clearly and extension piece made with a smaller diameter section to act as the location pin could be fitted by the same method.  At this date I have no idea why I used a pin as described rather than incorporating its function into the extension piece.  I see no reason why that variant shouldn't work.


Edited By Clive Foster on 05/02/2014 17:48:44

Michael Gilligan05/02/2014 17:52:32
20289 forum posts
1064 photos

Based loosely on Clive's suggestion ...

  • Drill the end of the leadscrew
  • Turn an extension piece with a suitable spigot
  • Fix with Loctite 638

Big question: will the leadscrew fit through the bore of the Headstock [or, alternatively, do you have access to a bigger lathe] ?


Saxalby05/02/2014 19:46:51
182 forum posts
26 photos

If you need to move the saddle by small amounts, why not get yourself one of the Boxford saddle stops. Often appear on e-bay.

saddle stop 1.jpg

Or make one as I did

saddle stop 2.jpg

Edited By Saxalby on 05/02/2014 19:54:00

John Hewes05/02/2014 20:18:02
22 forum posts
2 photos

Thanks Gents for your quick responses.

Basically, Robin says don't do it, Clive says do it the "proper" way, and Michael suggests quicker way, so I have to decide what to do.

Saxalby, I have a saddle stop and that is what I have been using, it works OK, but I feel that a more sensitive method would be better. (Or maybe I just want a project to get on with!).

Michael, I have not used Loctite in this sort of application, is it strong enough to take the torque with just a bar in a hole, please?

regards, and thanks again everyone, John

Michael Gilligan05/02/2014 20:36:52
20289 forum posts
1064 photos
Posted by John Hewes on 05/02/2014 20:18:02:

Michael, I have not used Loctite in this sort of application, is it strong enough to take the torque with just a bar in a hole, please?



Using 638 ... Personally, I would have no hesitation.

What is the diameter of the Leadscrew ?



Edit: here is a very useful Design Guide from PermaBond

Edit: and here, the Technical Data Sheet for Loctite 638(OLD)

... I've never used whatevever 638(NEW) might be 

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 05/02/2014 20:43:40

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 05/02/2014 20:51:21

Stub Mandrel05/02/2014 20:54:44
4315 forum posts
291 photos
1 articles

I used ordinary superglue and a pin to add a 6mm spigoted extension to the leadscrew of my mini lathe. That was about 12 years ago and still going strong.


_Paul_05/02/2014 20:55:44
543 forum posts
31 photos

I have a Myford Handwheel on my 1953 Model "A" Boxford it's very handy.

Drill and tap the (tailstock) end of the leadscrew make a small stub adaptor and fit the Myford handwheel.


_Paul_05/02/2014 21:32:21
543 forum posts
31 photos

This is what it looks like in the wild, I even painted it.


John Hewes05/02/2014 22:23:16
22 forum posts
2 photos

Thanks, Guys.

Paul, that looks lovely, a work of art, almost.

Michael, the leadscrew is 3/4" dia, so will fit through the mandrel easily.

Not sure how to disconnect the headstock end of it, though, but I guess I will find out.

regards, John

John Hewes05/02/2014 22:24:10
22 forum posts
2 photos

Paul, I meant to ask, do you use the graduations?


_Paul_05/02/2014 22:33:57
543 forum posts
31 photos
Posted by John Hewes on 05/02/2014 22:24:10:

Paul, I meant to ask, do you use the graduations?


Yes normally when trying to measure say an existing taper, mount the part disconnect the gearbox drive (drop the selector handles down) engage the leadscrew half nuts and then measure the taper deflection over 8  or 16  handwheel turns (1-2" ).



Edited By _Paul_ on 05/02/2014 22:35:17

Michael Gilligan05/02/2014 23:28:47
20289 forum posts
1064 photos
Posted by John Hewes on 05/02/2014 22:23:16:

Michael, the leadscrew is 3/4" dia, so will fit through the mandrel easily.



Excellent .. Go for it.

For no more scientific reason than "it feels about right" ... a 7/16" dia spigot about 1 1/4" long should do nicely.

Use the convenient metric approximations if you are that way inclined.

If you can put a Straight-Knurl on the spigot [such that it's a light push-fit in the hole], that will keep the two items aligned and give the Loctite somewhere to go.


Edited By Michael Gilligan on 05/02/2014 23:29:21

John McNamara06/02/2014 01:39:41
1341 forum posts
127 photos


Edited By John McNamara on 06/02/2014 01:44:44

John McNamara06/02/2014 01:44:18
1341 forum posts
127 photos

Hi John H

I would make the extension piece thicker larger by say 100 thou, than needed to match the lead screw diameter, then face the end and add a 5mm V chamfer for welding to both the leads crew and the extension piece.

Maybe boring the end of the lead screw for a pin would help centring although I would not bother I would simply clamp the two pieces in a scrap end of angle iron (with 50 thou packers under the lead screw to roughly centre it).

Once the welding is done the two pieces will almost certainly not be perfectly in line anyway no matter how you do it. pins or no pins. It should be allowed to cool naturally.

Finally the lead screw can be centred in the four jaw, very carefully........then turned to the correct diameter. it will then be perfectly in line with the added piece.

Oh..... Stresses? turn the weld and the first 5mm of the extension to a couple of though oversize first and only then turn the rest of the enlarged end, If there any stresses in the weld we want to let them out first! Finally finish turn the lot to size.


Mar14/02/2014 10:09:23
4 forum posts

On my South Bend 9, I milled a 1/4 inch or so off the leadscew hanger/bearing, which allowed sufficient length to attach an adapter to my handle, A grub screw holds it secure,

Bazyle14/02/2014 17:13:07
6382 forum posts
222 photos

In fact that bearing is 1000% over engineered. You could fabricate one with a short bronze bush and leave loads of room for the adaptor.

About a year ago there was a Boxford on ebay with a very smart right angle drive for the handwheel. I thought I had preserved a copy of the photos but just can't find them. Anyone else see that and copy the pictures? Is there a way of finding pictures I have browed still held deep in my computer's guts?

ega14/02/2014 17:13:07
2566 forum posts
203 photos

Leadscrew handwheels are no doubt less common on larger lathes. Having been used to a Myford S7, when I got my Willson slantbed I soon missed the facility and so fitted the one shown in the picture. The leadscrew was drilled and tapped in situ with the help of a simple jig so to allow an extension to be fitted to carry the new wheel made from a redundant vee pulley with handle bought in from Arc Euro. With the saddle fully to the left I can comfortably rest my hand on the rim of the handle to put on cut. I have yet to figure out a satisfactory way to incorporate a graduated, re-settable micrometer ring.

BTW, the black appearance of the ways is due to the presence of covers made from plastic angle.


John Stevenson14/02/2014 17:32:23
5068 forum posts
3 photos

I could tell you how to use the apron handwheel but then I would have to kill you wink

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