Craftsman/Atlas 618 [page 15]
Sunday, Feb 19 2017
A few weeks ago I made the wrench replacement for the square nut used to lock the carriage. You can see it in the first picture. It’s made from aluminum so I don’t know how long it will last. If it starts wearing too soon I’ll try making some kind of bushing out of a harder material.
I removed the carriage and drilled and tapped a few 6-32 holes to mount a 1" by 2" aluminum plate on the right side of the carriage on some stand offs so the nose of the dial indicator I used to measure carriage movement has a flat surface. Prior to this change the nose wanted to touch a portion of the cross slide. The gib screw and the non-square surface caused measurement errors whenever the cross slide moved. I’ve been angling the nose of the indicator down, but that intoduced cosine measurment errors. That issue is now resolved.
I will have to move the plate out of the way to adjust the gib screws. I can live with that.
I created a tapered nut replacement to make easy adjustments of my quick change tool post (QCTP). The handle came from my drill press. I only use two of the three that came with the machine. The third was always getting in my way. This change plus the carriage lock change mean the only wrench I need to grab is the 11/16 used to lock the tail stock. I may see about doing something about that, too.
Tuesday, Mar 7, 2017
I got a mill. With a mill on the bench I don’t have room for the drill press that I was trying to abuse in a mill-like manner. The drill press will go away which means I probably should include the handle I took for my QCTP nut replacement.
I made a new handle out of some scrap steel of some unknown type. It was hard enough that my cheapy, mostly used to chase threads metric tap and die set couldn’t cut the M8x1.25 threads. I got a decent HSS die of the appropriate size to do the job.
As part of cleaning things up I changed T-nuts for one with a better fit to the compound – thank you new mill. Of course now the handle to lock the QCTP was at the wrong angle. I drilled and tapped a new hole in the tapered nut at the appropriate location.
While playing in the garage I ground a left and right hand tool at opposite ends of an HSS tool blank so I can switch from turning to facing by moving the tool holder. They cut. Guess I didn’t screw the grind up too bad.