Atlas 10 Lathe TailStock mods (improvements)

Well I figured I would put up some shots of my tailstock.

The DRO is a $9.95 Harbor freight special. When they go on sale for 9.95 I usually buy 5 or so sets
and hack them up for various tool improvements or save them up for christmas presents.

All the materials used in my mods were left over or what I had on hand. so no real need to
get exactly the same. I encourage the re use of old parts laying around when possible.

I moved the DRO to the back It was Ok in the front except.
(1) The saddle assembly/Tool post sometimes hit it. losing me some clearance.
(2) The DRO faced straight up and not at the operator. Viewing it was not natural.
(3) Basically it just seemed to get in the way. :/

Also, my Ram Lock assembly wasnt working quite well. So, I built a new cylinder assembly.
The old one was quite sloppy and would get stuck in the hole/cylinder. Due to the part
being mal-formed.
The new one was cut from some mild steel stock. Probably the same material you would get at a home depot or similar hardware supplier. I turned it down to 0.624  and drilled the top half 0.25 all the way thru. On the lower half I decided on tapping it to 1/4-20. Then I cut a piece of all thread SS(what I had on hand). and cut to fit.
Last step I cut/sanded a 30 degree(ymmv) angle to satisfy the ram mating. (I just hand sanded it it took all of 2 mins tops! NASA would not approve.) the cylinder part I polished up with some 320grit. I wanted it smooth.
Oh and so far the spring is not necessary.
It does perform as expected now.

Last thing you can  just tell/see from the pics. but Ill take some more pics.
I added a spring to the lower lock assembly so now without removing the wrench I can lock and unlock the tailstock before it took several wrench moves. great mod I just need to add some more pics.

I thought about adding a wheel to my TS but honestly I dont think I would ever use it since I almost live and die by my HF DRO. but who knows maybe one day.


Still need to remove the part the held the old dro (oil dripper spot)


View with the TPH very close









Easily removable and the screw clamp is facing the operator
for quick removal or indexing along the ram



Made from parts laying around
I left the angle long to protect the DRO tail section.


8/32 holes drilled in the actual TS. and turned up the 3/4 stands.
Tapped them 1/4 20 to hold the 1″ aluminum angle


The Ram to DRO is cut from some .25 alum plate.
Also very easy to remove.



Yo can just make out the spring. I turned to collars and the spring is in between


New one the left. Works like a charm now. I should have done this long ago.



Ill might add a Quick release turn handle. Though this one works quite well.


The 2 washers just allowed me to space the handle up a bit.
no real reason except I like it higher. or more away from the TS body.
seems like when I turn it my fingers get pinched between the the two.


The DRO is easily zero’d at any point!


BELOW is the OLD DRO setup. no longer in use.
While in its time it did perform as expected.It had a few shortcomings.
the main on being the Tool post holder hit it during certain cuts.













4 comments on “Atlas 10 Lathe TailStock mods (improvements)”

  1. Martin says:

    You can get rid of the tail section very easily and it wont affect the digital scale.

  2. Sam says:

    Martin, I considered cutting it off. then I had one of them moments where I wasn’t sure if their would be consequences. I tend to jump before looking. Ill take your advice and cut it off now. its only ben a few years. 🙂

    1. Martin says:

      I disassembled the plastic part and removed it w/out cutting anything, you can clean it up at the same time, those chinese calipers are often full of filings.

      1. Sam says:

        Martin, I always clean up the calipers and on some of them I even go as far as to do a quick lapping. some of them are quite rough when new. a quick lapping sure makes them smooth. some require more lapping than others. -Sam

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