Tailstock lock for the 9x20 lathe owners(also handy for other things)
Anyone with a tailstock that locks with a nut rather than a cam lever will know the frustration of never knowing where the spanner went just when you need it in a hurry.

My first instinct was to replace the nut with a cam lever and I saw various mods doing just this on the 9x20 lathes, but they all looked a bit "Irreversible", that is there was machining of the casting and some looked like they were getting a bit thin as well, so I just bought a suitable spanner and hung it at the back of the lathe and used it for seven years just like that. All good, until I could no longer easily bend down to grab the spanner, so a new location... or a new idea.

In the intervening seven years those spring loaded lever ratchety handle thingys had become widely available from people like McMaster-Carr and others so I figured just get one of those at the right length to be able to properly lock the tailstock and job done, but as always, there was not enough room for any of those doo-hickeys in the right size, sooo...

I removed the original Black Clamping nut and washer,
Bought a standard M8 "Stud Joining" nut and an M8 set screw,
Turned half of the nut down to remove the hex, 0.5mm below the "Across the flats" size, I also cut the setscrew down as short as possible
Next I assembled the unit as shown, with a washer between the set screw and the round end of the joining nut,
I bought a cheap ring spanner of the correct size in this case 13mm, slid the ring over the hex end of the machined joining nut and fit the modified nut to the tailstock lock.

Now I have a captive spanner that 9 times out of 10 works like a camlock lever needing just a single movement to lock or unlock the tail stock, when it needs more, I simply lift the spanner for another bite, as the spanner will not lift off it takes far less thought than trying to use a normal spanner on the original nut.

While I've not yet bothered, I plan to cut the spanner end off and fit a ball to the end for better ergonomics, but leaving as is, works fine and is plenty comfortable for me.

Hopefully this is a useful tip for others, incidentally, the joiner nuts are also really great for other uses, for example, I have a range of little screw jacks made from them as well,

Whatever it is, do it today, Tomorrow may not be an option and regret outlasts fatigue.
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