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El-Cheapo tail stock to go with my indexer

John Conroy

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
#1
I stole the idea for this tailstock from another forum and made a few changes in the plans. I wanted to build it all from scrap parts but I had to buy a length of 2" round aluminum from the "drops" bin at Metal Supermarket.
I don't have any pictures of the machine work in progress, just the finished parts.

I mounted the 2" round aluminum in my 4 jaw chuck and bored the hole off-center for the tailstock spindle and the stud for the adjuster nut. Then I milled 2 flat sides on it and split one end with a slitting saw mounted in the mill and drilled a couple of 5/16" holes for the through bolts. I milled a flat on the bottom side and drilled and tapped a hole intersecting the spindle bore for a depth stop screw. I turned the spindle from 3/4" CRS with a taper on one end and a slot for the adjuster nut on the other. Then I milled a slot for the travel stop screw into the spindle. I drilled and tapped a hole in the split end for a pinch bolt.







The scrap metal for the sides and bottom was purchased by the pound from a scrap metal dealer who empties the metal bin where I used to work. You may recognise the source, all 3 of the pieces were rough cut from the same part with my band saw then machined on the mill. After the 3 parts were machined they were clamped together and the holes were drilled for the through bolts. The flat side were done with my shop built flycutter and the rest was done with a 2" indexable end mill or a 1/2" end mill.









The adjuster nut was made from a piece of 1-1/4" CRS with a 3/8" threaded hole and a knurled OD as well as a slot to match the one in the spindle so it pulls or pushes the spindle.







The sides and bottom were bolted together and the bottom was milled flat with them assembled.







The spindle body it adjustable for height and there is also a pic of the tailstock in use before I finish machined the outer part of the side pieces.





 

Alexander

Super User
Administrator
#2
That footstock is preety nice buddy.I'll probably make one my self one of these days. I like the design, It is really simple
 
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#3
Awesome work I am collecting the parts to make one myself , I would be very thankful if you could give me some measurement ? I got to know this forum by searching : |tailstock build| on google image when I saw this one I found it simple and strougly made, then I looked at your other project going on John you are a really talented machinist I enjoyed lookin at your motorcycle build .
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
#4
Nice work John.
One question - is there a feature in your assembly that helps preserve the dead center arbor staying positioned in a horizontal plane after you have adjusted it up or down, or how do you dial that aspect in?
 

John Conroy

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
#5
Thanks Oliver, I am away from home on business this week but I will post measurements when I get home.

Peter, there is nothing to keep the horizontal arbor level. I just use a digital level if I want it perfectly level.
 

Janger

(John)
Administrator
Premium Member
#8
ah I see. The sides are beveled because of the origin of the sides? (hint last picture everyone). I thought you were deliberately bevelling them and I was going to ask why. I do have another question, why does there appear to be a milled flat on the spindle? 2nd last picture. Of course I have another q too - you briefly said you bored out the barrel for the spindle. Did you drill holes and then finish with boring? Or ream the hole? Given your barrel can compress to lock the spindle is the boring dimension not that critical? I was surprised at how accurate the barrel on my tailstock is - and I was wondering how this could be bored so accurately - perhaps it is actually reamed?

I learned a lot looking at these pictures John Thank you for posting them.
 

John Conroy

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
#9
Yes the sides are tapered due to source of the steel I used. I drilled the holes for the spindle and only had to bore the last .020" and it came out very straight but you are right, it was not really critical because the pinch bolt arrangement allows no movement when tightened. As for the milled flat on the spindle, do you mean the one at the tip? I use that so I can mill very close to the end of the supported shaft. It is less than half the thickness of the spindle so it works well with a small pilot hole.
 

John Conroy

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
#15
There is no good reason except that was the shape of the scrap plate material I started with. I bought 4 of those railway track brackets for $12, they weigh about 15 lbs each. The tail stock is made from 1/2 of one of them.
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
#16
You put a lot of thought & work into that, John I'm impressed. Particularly boring that long hole for the arbor & multitude of slots & fits.

You got me thinking about resurrecting my hair brained 'offset' tailstock idea for my lathe. I figure because they aren't commercially available there must be a good reason! ha-ha. Seems like I'm always wrestling with my compound limiting or conflicting with the tailstock. Or I have to extend the quill so far out for clearance, its loses rigidity anyway. This isn't to scale, just intended to show general idea & rough out dimensions. I'd beef it up & incorporate some of your nice adjustability features.
 

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