My Modifications‎ > ‎

Carriage Stop

Finally after 2 years I was able to make a carriage stop that will take a dial indicator as well.  Thanks in part to my brothers new Grizzly mill I didn't have to make the V-Way cut by hand or all the detail work, which I had been dreading.   I did this kind of on the fly from a pieces of scrap 1" SQ and .375 plate AL I had until I made the basic shapes, then I made a drawing to get all the hole locations correct, then drilled them on the mill for straightness instead of the drill press.  Once again it all kind of magically came together in the end.

Carriage Stop Final
Final view of the assembly on the Mini.

When I started the process, I didn't think that I could get the dial gauge in there as my extra 1" has a pretty large dial and didn't want to have to bring it way out toward the carriage handle to get enough clamping mechanism.  So I was resolved to use a 1/4-28 hex or SHCS long enough to have some adjustability.  I liked the idea of a threaded stop so the incremental turns would be somewhat metered.  The 1/4-28 will give right at .009 per quarter turn which is plenty good for a fine travel adjustment for me.

So off to work I went on the mill for the first time in about 6 years.  I had never cut a shape like the V-way and it was a bit tricky to set up and get the cuts right because of the flat on the top.  I wanted as many points of contact as I could to insure a good lock.  I took measurements of the V-way and found them to be .25 long on the angles and .188 on the flat.  I also wanted enough beef over the V to insure it didn't flex and came out to be right at .250.  The over hang was designed to  not quite touch the bed flat but hang over enough to get some beef in front of the V, ~.375.  If I ended up with 5 points of contact that worked for my sensibilities.  Trickier done than said.

Carriage Stop Pieces
Partial Assembly

Views of all the pieces and a partial assembly to see the V profile.

With the rough shape in the vice at 45° I started with a 1/4" end mill and began walking into to my layout lines until I reached the depth of one side then came in with a 3/16" end mill to do the flat.  Then flipped the part in the vice to do the final side.  After the initial cuts I did have to give a bit of hair cut, then on to needle files to get the final snug fit for the 1" square  bar.  It's not perfect but it touches all 4 sides and locks on real well.

The base was a piece of 3/8" plate I had.  It was just enough to have the 1" top (milled down to .625 thick) to meet half way along the front face of the way and enough thickness (~.200) to tuck under to the carriage rack. 

The pull down stud is a piece of 1/4- 20 threaded rod and used Loctite 242 to hold it in the base. 
Once I had the rough shape I clamped both pieces in the mill vice to drill the tap drill (#7) for the stud.  Threaded the base and brought the upper hole up to a 1/4" for clearance. 

To insure the bottom didn't walk around every time I loosened it up, I allowed room for 2, 1/8" dowel pins to give it a 3 point lock and bring it home every time.  I couldn't go too deep with the pins to keep from broaching into the stop screw hole but they work great at skosh over an 1/8" deep on the top piece.  I put the stud in and clamped the 2 pieces together with a nut then back to the mill to drill the dowel pin holes from the bottom.  My #31 bit was a bit fat so one of the holes was a bit loose on the press but still worked decently.  I went back into the upper piece with a #30 then lightly chamfered the holes.  Over all it pulls together real nice.

Carriage Stop bottom

Bottom View and 90° clock marks on the adjusting stud.

I ended up using a 1/4-28 x 3" bolt and cut some more threads on far as my poor die would take anyway.  I would prefer more threads but this will do for now until I make and turn longer threads.  Besides 1-3/4" of travel is fine for most of what I do and can move the clamp if I have to.  I also turned the head down to about ø .29 and faced it off so it would contact the cross slide and not the apron.  You can see in the left photo I marked quadrants and filed notches then marked them with Sharpie to create the clocking for fine adjustment.

I made the brass nuts on the fly from some scraps of 3/4" & 1/2".  I wanted a big flat on the top and something I could get some spizzeringtom on it, so I used the 3/4" on top.  It's a bit tall but wanted the stud long enough not to have the nut come off when I loosened it up.  They came out pretty good using my spreadsheet for the medium knurling and a profiling tool for the grove.

In the above pictures you can see that it clamps together pretty seamlessly but that won't do when its mounted. I ended up milling about .020 off the bottom piece to leave a small gap when clamped  You can see it in the picture below that once clamped on the way it leaves about ~.020 -.030 clearance between the two pieces.

Hard Stop
  Note the slight gap between the 2 pieces for better clamping.

Like I said it all kind of magically came together after I made the basic tool.  I started looking at my dial gauge again and realized if I rotated the lug back plate on it 90° it would fit over the end of the 1/4-28 on the far end and all I needed was a screw or a nut to lock it down at a good reading angle.  Obviously I used the brass nut and the magical thing is that with both the bolt and gauge in place I have .930 of my 1" travel on the dial gauge!  Whoohoo!  I have been eyeballing a 2" travel gauge like others use and will eventually get one.

With Dial Gauge
Here it is with the dial gauge and hard stop on the cross slide.

The last thing that was a minor issue was the way cover had some problems folding and being in the way of the dial gauge because of the Big Thumb Nut.  I had just made this second one about a month ago after the first lasted a tad over 2 years.  One of the best Cheap & Cheerful things made for the mini!  After some consideration, because I really like how clean it keeps my ways, I decided to give it a trim so it just passes by the big nut but still gives a bit of coverage on the screw.  Here is how it looks now without the carriage stop.

Modified Way cover
You can see it still covers most of the ways and a bit of the screw up close to the work.


Overall it was a Fun project with some good learning, making a useful tool for the mini from scraps and some magical luck from the universe.  I had a great time with my brother doing things on his new mill with him and now have lots of projects in mind for both of us!  Next up for me will probably be a Carriage Lock and then to tackle some quality Gibs for the new 14" bed,  extended cross slide and compounds.  I may even attempt to clean up the rock and chisel marks on the dovetails with a dove tail cutter. 

Below is the drawing I created based on the finish components.  These are my dimensions and could be any size and adapted to what you want or have in your bin but its a start.  The way dimensions are the good ones to have.   Either way give it a try...its a fun project and useful to boot!

Carriage Stop Drawing
Pick on the drawing to open in another tab.