Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Clamping Set for my Emco Maximat V10 Metal Lathe

Project:
Building a tie-down/clamping set for my metal lathe/mill

Difficulty Level (Easy, Medium, Hard, Insane):
Easy

Process:
When I was working on the Dividing Head, I came to a point where I had to clamp a piece down to the mill table which was too large for my vise so I decided that instead of buying a Step Block and Clamp Set for about $75 bucks (CAD) at Harbor Freight (I might still buy one at some later time) I would make a quick set in my shop.

The bolts were made out of 1045 and hardened/tempered with my oxy/acetylene torch. The clamps were made out of some scrap 3/8" mild steel I had in my Scrap Metal Bin. One hole was drilled for the clamp-down bolt and the other hole was tapped for the counter-bolt which replaced the regular step blocks.

One thing I learned is that it's important to start the die exactly perpendicular to the bolt blank because I ended up cutting the tread quite crooked. It still works, but it doesn't look too pretty. If I had to make them again I think I would cut the thread on the lathe and then clean it up with the die just to get it to the perfect dimensions. That would eliminate the die pulling sideways and cutting a crooked thread.

Pictures:
Cutting the bolt blank
The threaded end turned to size
Using a die to cut the thread of the bolt
You can see how it cut a bit crooked at the bottom right
Doing the second tie-down bolt
After the heads were cut to fit into the T-slot of the carriage
Clamping down one of the parts for my dividing head once the bolts were hardened and tempered
Close-up
Another view
And yet another view
Drilling the holes with an end mill
Tools:
Metal lathe & accessories
Oxy/Acetylene torch
Tap & die set
Drill press
Angle grinder
Measuring tape
Marker

Materials:
A 2" by 4" piece of 3/8" mild steel
Two 3" pieces of 3/4" 1045 steel
Two self-locking nuts
Two 2" bolts in place of the step blocks

Cost:
$0.00

Time:
3hrs

Savings:
$75.00

Conclusion:
It works great

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