I would like to know if I can buy some gizmo that can provide a
definite, positive stop to the lathe carriage before the cutter or the
carriage hits the chuck. Any suggestions, at least what are these
You got the name right. They also make micrometer carriage stops
so that you can move the carriage a controlled amount.
I often use a carriage stop when turning to a shoulder. After the
bulk of the turning is done, I can adjust the micrometer dial a
little to take a cleanup cut on the shoulder or get the final
My atlas lathe came with a homemade carraige stop. Since the atlas
was a flat bed, it was very easy to make something that clamped
to the bed with a fine thread screw sticking out the side that
stopped the carriage.
My rockwell lathe has a V way so the carriage stop has to have a
matching V. Same principle, but this one also has a micrometer head
for precise adjustment.
There is a good article in the latest "Home Shop Machinist", available now
in good bookstores, on a device to automatically disengage the half nuts
at the end of threading. It's very clever, but I don't know if it will
work on a South Bend. The exact reference is:
"An Automatic Carriage Stop for Thread Cutting" by James McKee M/J 05 HSM
If you want something that will prevent power-crashing the carriage into
the chuck when powerfeeding, then you need a limit switch setup, perhaps
backed up with a solid beefy carriage stop. I don't know where plans for
a limit switch setup are.
My 1938 F.E. Reed has such a feature. One uses a split collar around the
feed drive rod as the stop. When the carriage finally bumps the collar, it
moves the feed rod left, disengaging a spline clutch. [and it doesn't work
using the threading lead screw ! :( ]
Be *very* cautious in your application of carriage stops, especially if you
machine doesn't have a reactionary clutch for the longitudinal feed. One
mistake can cost you the feed train. It's especially bad if you're using a
lead screw with half nuts, such as when threading. The slightest mistake
in judgment will destroy your machine.
very true, but hitting anything can be bad news. For example I frequently
use a carriage stop when turning to a shoulder. I believe that running
the toolbit into the shoulder isn't much different than running the
carriage into the carriage stop. Both will put a big load on the feed train.
You got to know when to dis-engage!
Very true -- better to ruin what you are machining than the
machine. Suggest that you consider using a magnetic backed dial
indicator. You can get the micrometer feed control and if you
over-run the stop ythere is less damage of machine damage.
Exactly. I heard once that bad golfers plan for failure while good golfers
plan for success.
Shit happens, but if you haven't the presence of mind to keep track of your
stop, perhaps you deserve to buy a new gear...
I worked on a Harrison lathe a couple of years ago that had a friction
clutch on the feed rod. A bit fiddly to get the torque rating correct, but
it worked. Further, many lathes are made to have carriage stops turn the
power feed off automatically. Ignoramus should check his machine for this
capability. The machines I've seen which this feature typically have a pin
sticking out where a carriage stop would normally make contact.
I bought a brass micrometer for $2.49 at HF for just this purpose. I'll
cut the frame off and keep the good part.
Not much more (and not much more accurate) than a good bolt.
Fort Worth TX
Chuck Sherwood wrote:
If I understand you correctly, that's pretty much what I do. when
turning, I run the feed until the carriage is ALMOST to the carriage
stop, then disengage the feed, and finish to the stop by hand feeding
When threading, I first cut a stop groove at the end of thread location
(when that is permissible), then cut the thread, I run the carriage
under power until the threading tool is in the stop groove, then
disengage the feed. I don't see much use for the carriage stop here,
except to keep you from accidentally HAND running the carriage past the
stop groove,or running into the chuck.
Sure, if you run into the stop under power feed you'll likely make a
mess of things. But you'll make just as big, or maybe worse, a mess by
over running your cut into a shoulder, or running the carriage into the
A carriage stop the automatically disengages the feed is a whole
different animal than a passive stop. Most small lathes don't have that
Like most everything, carriage stops have their place, and they can be
You know, the factory carriage stops I most often see listed on ebone
are for the 10" & 12" Atlas lathes. That is the exact machine you would
NOT want to use a carriage stop on. All the gears and the halfnuts are
Perhaps Atlas/clausing, in their wisdom, figured out that the more of
those found their way onto lathes, the more replacement parts they could
Harold and Susan Vordos wrote:
True enough, but if the tool jams in the work you may well damage any of
several parts of the lathe anyway. That's hardly less damaging than
running into a carriage stop under power.
Some lathes have crossfeed stops for similar reasons.
One place I use a carriage stop is when I HAVE to work very close to the
chuck. Often such work is hand fed. I do a set up, position the carriage
stop, and turn the spindle over by hand looking for any interferrence,
resetting the carriage stop as needed. Then in a moment of inattention
of stupidity I can't (easily anyway) run the tool or carriage into the
When working in close quarters, I almost always try a mock rotation or
two by hand before engaing a power feed. One learns this especially when
running a shaper! It's easy to overlook some potential collision of
It's cheaper and simpler to replace just a stripped pot metal change
gear then have to replace a bent spindle or broken casting! ...
Especially since you'll likely break the change gear doing THAT anyway!
The soft metal gears act a lot like a shear pin. They're there for when
you do something DUMB!
Otherwise, the pot metal change gears seem to last just fine. I've been
using an Atlas 6" with them for nearly 30 years. They show little wear.
I have a stop on my lathe however I only run up close to it and then
hand feed, as there is no clutch or auto disengage on it. I normally
use a mike head in it or can substitute a threaded rod and threaded
bushing if its just for a plain stop, without the need for adjustment.
The one I made is on my Projects Page on my website.
Put some color in your cheeks...garden naked!
Granted, but why not give us steel gears and a cheap shearpin on the
leadscrew? Instead, we have
Zamak reversing box gears (3)
Zamak change gears (3)
Zamak reverse tumber gear (2)
Zamak apron bevel gear
Zamak leadscrew support
Any combination of these can fail if you crash the tooholder while under
Note: There is a very popular mod of the right leadscrew support,
replacing the Zamak unit with a steel replacement and an aluminum or
Don't get me wrong, I like Atlas machines, just finished restoring a
10F. But it is an inexpensive design, intended for home shop use.
Can I interest you in an OE Atlas Carriage stop?
I have (and use) a micrometer carriage stop. It has nothing whatever to do
with stopping the machine's turning movement in the X axis. Rather, I use
it for setting up shoulders. Face a part, mount a cutoff tool, bring the
edge of the cutoff tool to rest against the work, zero the carriage stop and
bring it to rest against the carriage, then crank out the carriage stop the
desired amount and move the carriage (by hand) until it again rests against
the stop, then lock the carriage and use the cutoff tool to machine the
I don't think a carriage stop of this nature should EVER be used to try to
stop the carriage in any kind of safety sense.
There are such carriage stops, but not on my lathe. Typically they kick the
carriage feed out of gear. I have heard of lathes without this feature being
outfitted with electrical limit switches which will kill the power to the
machine. This has somewhat the same effect, except it seems likely that the
power train's rotational momentum would keep the carriage feeding for some
time before frictional forces (and cutting forces should the cutter be
engaged) stopped it.
The 2 kinds of carriage stops I write about are VERY DIFFERENT and they
should REALLY not be confused.
I hope that's clear enough.
Some of the the Clausing 5900-series lathes have a clutch/brake lever and a
kick-out was an option. The kickout will disengge the clutch and engage the
brake to stop the spindle fairly quickly. The kickout doesn't seem to be a
precision device, though. It doesn't seem like it could be accurately set
to better than 50 thou or so.