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Quick-change toolpost drill


Active Member
So, there was Steve Jordan video a few months ago that caught my attention:

He used a cheap Chinese spindle and chuck to make a small cross-drilling jig for the lathe. On Banggood, the kit was less than USD $15, including shipping, so I ordered one. I've gotten it assembled now and I'm pretty pleased.


There are options for bigger and smaller chucks. On my little Atlas 618 lathe, I can only get the compound so far away from the centre line of the lathe. Long drills were not going to work. However, I see myself using this for set screws and cotter pins, etc. Generally, these are pretty small holes anyway. Therefore, I went for the #2 size kit that includes a 0.6mm to 6.0 mm chuck (just over 1/4 inch).

Jordan's video basically shows how to make a simple set up so the spindle can be held in a quick change tool holder. A 1/4" plate screws to the spindle block. In turn, a 3/8" square is screwed into the plate and provides a surface that the toolholder can clamp onto. Simple!

In the picture, I have a 1/4" jobber length drill bit mounted. The mounted stock is 3/4" diameter. To get enough space for that length of drill, I've turned the compound around and extended it back away from the centre line. That's basically the max for me. Normally, I intend to use stubby drills.


IMG_3260.JPG IMG_3261.JPG


I've seen a few people adapt those units for tool post drills, they look like they should work. I wound up making a whole dovetail block with bushings because it's what I had on hand and I needed the tool, but after seeing Rob (xynudu) from Australia set one up as a basic TPG, I'm thinking about getting one for that purpose.

Looks like you have a nice setup there!
Thanks @Everett I'm having fun in my corner of the basement!

I've seen a couple of plans for using a Dremel-style tool as a tool post grinder. The threaded nose of the Dremel is just screwed into a user-made block that fits the quick change tool holder. (Or a user-made dovetail block.) I guess as long as the threads are cut accurately, it would be secure enough. I'm still working up to internal threading.

I should mention that the Machifit spindle isn't perfect. The shaft isn't a consistent diameter from end to end. Going into the bearings, it is very tight at the driven end but then slides freely towards the chuck end. There is a minute amount of play when the shaft is in the working position. When you get a jobber length drill sticking out the front and a multi-pound drill hanging off the other end, this translates to a perceptible amount wiggle at the tip of the drill. I'll have to see how that works out in practise.

BTW, the kit also comes with a 'saw blade arbor'. I'm not sure what size blades or disks might fit it, though. It might possibly be useful for small cutoffs and the like.