Dial Gauge Mount

This is one of the first lathe tools I made using my new milling machine. It would probably be very easy to make this with the Z-axis on the lathe, but with a milling machine it is trivial.

The dial gauge mount is simply a piece of 16 mm square aluminium bar with a 10 mm wide slot milled to a depth of 8 mm all the way along the length of the bar. There are then two 5 mm deep 10 mm diameter holes cut further into the bar (using the same milling cutter as was used for the slot) and two 10 mm × 5 mm NdFeB magnets are glued (using superglue) into the holes. An M6 hole is drilled and tapped to a depth of 7 mm on the side opposite the milled slot and this is used to mount it to the dial gauge. This went from concept to completion in about 20 minutes: that's how simple it is!

Photo of the mount attached to a 30 mm travel dial indicator:

The dial gauge mount can currently be used in two positions. If the tailstock isn't being used, it can be mounted directly onto the lathe ways and used to measure the travel of the carriage along the ways:

Alternatively, if the mount is fitted to the other side of the dial gauge, it can be attached to a piece of 10 mm × 8 mm mild steel that I have screwed to the side of my tailstock. Using an aluminium plate that clamps over the tailstock barrel, the dial gauge can then be used to measure the position of the tailstock barrel:

As it is held in place by magnets, it can be easily removed when not in use. This also probably helps prevent the spring in the gauge from any damage that might occur from being permanently compressed.

To help get a better idea of how it is made, I've added a simple model of the mount to the bottom of this page. You'll need a relatively modern browser for this to work, but you should be able to drag the object around with your mouse to look at it from different angles. It really is very simple.

It seems you are using an outdated browser that does not support canvas :-(