Carriage Lock Modification for 8×12 or 8×14 Lathe

This is Steve Shyver’s carriage lock modification for a Harbor Freight 8×12 or Lathemaster 8×14 lathe (both lathes are the same size if measured the same way).  His handle replaces the easy-to-misplace hex wrench that comes with the lathe.  Its longer length also makes it easier to turn.

Steve made it using a M8 stainless steel cap screw with a press-on cap he fabricated.  The cap allows the handle to be adjusted so it’s in the proper position when unlocked.  To allow some additional adjustment he put a loose-fitting thick washer under it that can be made thinner to change the position of the handle.  Less than a quarter-turn is needed to lock the carriage.

Steve also told me how to fix a small problem I was having with my 8×12.  I had to really tighten the locking screw to keep the carriage from moving.  Steve told me that less force would be needed if the two M5 cap screws to the right of it were a little loose so the brake “shoe” could rock and pull up against the bed when it was tightened.  The two screws can be seen under the handle in Steve’s first picture.

Photos by Steve Shyver (The SteamshipCO).  Text by Rob.

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