Friday , November 24 2017
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Tailstock Camlock for the Clarke CLM300M Lathe

Hello there folks, I’ve had my lathe over a year now, and I’m sick to death of fiddling with the little bolt to loosen the tailstock. Something always seems to get in the way. So after a bit of research I thought I’d have a go at making my very own tailstock camlock. Note: I’ve included drawings in PDF format at the bottom of this post.

The problem.
The solution.

Here we see the tailstock as a whole:

Finished camlock.

So I started by machining a new clamp plate, this measures 42.00mm by 25.4mm. It is 5.7mm thick. The grooves come in 8.5mm from each edge and are 2 mm deep. The hole is 10mm in diameter and is 15 mm from the right hand edge and 13.5 mm from the front edge (closest to the camera in this picture)

The clamp plate.

Next I machined a clamp bolt from 10mm steel bar (of unknown grade) which was threaded on both ends using an M8 die. The bolt is 56.3mm in length, the larger threaded portion is 12.2mm to the shoulder, the smaller threaded portion is 9.2mm to the shoulder. Then I attached a bolt on the end, and put it in the lathe to shorten the length of the nut so that it would clear the bed.

The clamp bolt.

Next I made a cam receiver, it was made from 12.7mm hex stock, centerdrilled then drilled to 6.8mm, then tapped M8, once this was done, it was cross drilled 8mm.

The receiver is 17.6mm in length. The cross drilled hole is halfway along the length.

The Receiver

After these were done, I made the cam. This was done by offsetting the work in the four jaw chuck. This would be easier to do on an individual four jaw, but I don’t have one, I only have a self centering so I offset it by putting some packing material in. The cam was made from 10mm steel (unknown grade) and is 47.2mm in length. The offset portion is 13mm long and 7.8mm in diameter.

Turning the cam.

I did this at quite a slow speed, because I was worried about the work coming out. I wasn’t sure how secure it was. Either way it turned out well.

Finished cam with handle attached.

The cam was pressed into a bit of steel that had been drilled to the same size as the cam, then cross drilled to accommodate the handle.

Here is an overview of the parts 

The only thing missing from the image above is a spring that is used to keep the clamp plate away from the ways when it is unlocked.

In Use:

Here the tailstock is unlocked.


Here it is locked.


Note the nice knob on the end of the handle, this was made using my ball turning attachment. I haven’t shown the handle because the dimensions aren’t critical.

To conclude:

This has been a very worthwhile project, saving me lots of time and frustration. If I was to make it again I would make the part of the cam that goes into the receiver slightly longer, so that I could put a circlip on it so that it wouldn’t come out.

Although this is for the Clarke Lathe, I’m sure that you would be able to modify it for your machine. As promised, here are the plans:


  Camlock_for_a_Lathe_Tailstock_by_Gareth_Bellringer.pdf (262.7 KiB, 1,015 downloads)
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Thanks for reading.

By Gareth Bellringer About the Author



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About GarethBell

Well I am currently 25 as of (2012) I live in North Wales, I work as a firefighter.

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