Monday, October 12, 2020

Craftsman 534.0601 Replacement Tailstock Clamp

I was turning a new tool handle a while back, and in the middle of turning, my tailstock clamp broke.  I suppose I had tightened it a little too much, and cast iron isn't "strong".  It is brittle.  I looked eBay over for a few months and found very little, and last Saturday, I thought I should go through my scrap bin and find some steel to mill a new clamp.  Luckily, I had a spare to finish (a second lathe) the tool turning, and I used that to measure for the new part.

I grabbed a chunk of steel, and virtually squared it up (technically, I left the large surfaces alone because they'd be close enough).  I did this one slightly wider than the original (more meat equals stronger part, right?).  With the stock squared, I milled the mating surfaces to match bottom of the bed (just like the old clamp, about 0.08" down from the top surface).

I then flipped the part, and milled the slot for the through-bolt and it's head.  Here's the broken clamp (right), the spare I used as the measurement in the back, and the new one in the front :

Now I have the spare headstock put away (with it's clamp), and I have the solid steel one in place on the bed.  I dare not tighten it too much because I don't want to snap the lathe bed.  Since the part was a cast iron part, I made the choice to stamp it with the original part number (L2-7).  This I did in case someone needs to replace it in the future - they can look up the part number along with the model and know what they need.

I installed it, and it works as it should!

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