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Armstrong BXA size quick change tool post found at a random garage sale

John Conroy

Premium Member
My neighbor spotted this deal at a garage sale and called me asking if I was interested. It wasn't too far from home so I drove over and had a look. The Armstrong tool post and 2 Aloris BXA 201 sized tool holders were the only machining related items at this sale and looked pretty mint but dirty. It was a woman running the sale and she told me they were left over items from her ex-husband's stuff. The woman had no idea what they were but knew they were quite expensive to buy new. Someone had told her to ask for $400, I offered less and she jumped at my offer so they came home with me.

I took it apart and cleaned it with solvent to get the dried up grease and dirt out and it looks like new inside. I then re-assembled it with fresh light grease.

I already have a Chinese made wedge style tool post that I am pretty happy with. It has an Imperial threaded mounting post (same size and thread pitch as the Armstrong) and when I checked it I found the tool height to be repeatable to about +- .001". A couple of things about it have always bugged me though. Using the same tool holder mounted in the tool post perpendicular to the lathe bed results in a handle position about 45 degrees different that if it is mounted parallel to the lathe bed. Also the handle was always too far clockwise toward the chuck so I drilled and tapped 2 extra holes so I can re-position the handle further CCW when needed.

You can see the difference in the Chinese tool post handle positions in these 2 pics.

Here is the Armstrong with the same tool holder locked in both positions, as you can see the handle is in the same orientation in both pics

I tested the Armstrong tool post and it repeats tool height at +- .0002" so much better than the Chinese one. The last thing I noticed is that it is much more solid when a tool holder is locked. the handle on the old one has always been a little springy/mushy when locked, the Armstrong one is rock solid.

So is there a difference in performance between a North American built QCTP and an import one? I have to says yes there is.