Some time ago Walt and I embarked upon a project (the Waldon Lock) to improve the Stubby’s banjo locking mechanism. We built and tested locks, and for some time both of us have used them successfully in our shops. Recently we had another Stubby owner buy and try the lock. Below is an interesting testimony and I thought I would share it with you.
From: A stubby user
I just finished installing a Waldon lock on one of my Stubby banjos, and it is a marked improvement. One of the few complaints voiced by Stubby owners has to do with the way the banjo locks to the ways. Many of us feel that the locking action is not solid enough, allowing it to creep, and requiring frequent re-tightening.The Waldon lock solves this by making everything beefier. The bolt is twice the diameter, so it has a taller nut and deeper threads. The sleeve which slides over the cam is longer and thicker, which reduces bowing slightly. The clamping plate is also larger and thicker.
Now, when I flip the lever, it comes to a definite stop–not like before. Once it comes to that position, I can lean on it really hard without feeling any further movement, and it stays put. I compared it with another leading lathe in the same price range, and the Waldon Stubby is not in second place.
|The old locking plate||The new locking plate||The old and new studs|
In the above photographs, you can easily see how much more massive the Waldon clamp is. Note, also, in one of the pictures, there is visible damage from use, further reducing their holding power. It looks like continued use would eventually strip the threads, although I have not heard of this happening. A quick fix for this condition is to put on two nuts, as shown in one of the pictures. However, while this does help, I believe it merely transfers the load to a previously undamaged part of the thread, so eventually the problem could return.
I have been using the lock for a few weeks now and it clearly is a noticeable improvement. Surprisingly the banjo is easier to use because of its more solid engagement and disengagement action.
I m glad I made these modifications and think that Omega should include this design modification on all lathes.
An even more happy Stubby user 🙂
As a reminder you can get plans to build your own by emailing me firstname.lastname@example.org