Have you ever made an item of workshop equipment and found it so useful that you
wondered why you had not made it earlier, at the top of the list of such items in
my workshop is my saddle stop. It was made to a very simple design and took only
an hour or two to make and has repaid the time spent many times over. Even so, the
advantages are not just a part being made more quickly as often this aspect of using
a saddle stop is very marginal but its real advantage is in an easier operation and
a better quality end product. What then are its uses?
Boring a Blind Hole
This is a common workshop task and one where the benefits of using a saddle stop
really become apparent as it is not that easy with visibility of the results being
very limited, especially if the hole is deep and not much bigger than the boring
tool being used to make the hole. In this case visual contact with the machining
taking place is almost nil.
There are though two ways of carrying out this operation using the basic stop described.
Method one is to set up packing to the depth of the hole being made and position
this between the saddle and the end of the stop, using the saddle traverse to hold
this in place. Photograph 1 show's this done using my distance gauges that I use
for such operations.
If the viewer has a set of slip gauges then these could be used but such tasks rarely
need the accuracy with which they are made. However, depth is seldom that critical
and a scrap of flat bar will often be more than adequate. Typically, if the hole
needs to be 18mm deep, two pieces, one 10mm and the other 8mm thick would suffice.
With the spacers held in place the top slide can then be advanced until the tip of
the boring tool just contacts the front of the stationary workpiece to be bored when
the packing can then be removed, Photograph 2. Having completed that stage, and using
only the saddle, the tool can be traversed into the workpiece until the saddle contacts
the stop, this will be with 18mm movement of the tool ensuring the bore is the correct