Inexpensive DIY tachometer for a mill or lathe

Here’s an idea I haven’t seen before.  Adam made a very inexpensive tachometer for his variable speed X2 mini-mill using a cyclometer (bicycle speedometer).  Almost any wired cyclometer will work and you should be able find one with a nice big display for about $15 or less.   (You probably don’t want to get a wireless cyclometer because they’re more expensive, you’ll have an extra battery to replace occasionally, and you might get erroneous readings caused by the receiver picking up electrical noise from your motor).… Read the rest

A Homemade DRO for the 7x Mini-Lathe

This article describes how I added an easy-to-make DRO (Digital Readout) to the cross-slide of my 7×12 mini-lathe.  It uses an inexpensive digital dial indicator that I bought from Harbor Freight for about $25.  It works very well and you won’t have to drill any holes in your lathe or disassemble it to install it.… Read the rest

Free Plans: Quick-Release Lathe Mounted Dial Indicator Holder

QRHLD1SwarfRat Enterprises has a set of free plans for a quick-release dial indicator holder that mounts on the front of a mini-lathe.   The holder is made from a 5-inch long piece of .875-inch square aluminum stock.  It also uses a quick-release lever from a bicycle seat or wheel that can be purchased inexpensively or salvaged off an old bike. … Read the rest

Lever-Operated Tailstock Cam Locks – Three Well Known Designs you Can Build and a Kit you Can Buy

It has been more than a year and a half since I bought my 7×12 mini-lathe and I finally decided I needed to get serious about building or buying a cam-operated tailstock lock for it. A lever-operated lock is probably one of the most popular modifications for the mini-lathe because it increases your productivity by eliminating the need to find a wrench and turn a nut every time you want to move the tailstock.… Read the rest