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I had some time this weekend to make a small magnetic base for my G0602 Grizzly lathe.  The lathe doesn't have a DRO (Digital Read Out) so I've been thinking about using my 1" travel dial indicator to make the cuts more precise.  I watch a lot of the machine shop channels on YouTube and a few of the guys just use a simple mag base stuck to the ways.  It didn't seem that difficult to make one and I had some 7/16" diameter neodymium magnets lying around.

Dial Indicator Mag Base Project

I made the base itself out of 1" diameter aluminum rod.  Having the main body made out of a non-magnetic material should help keep chips from getting annoyingly stuck to the base all of the time.  The 7/16" magnets are about the right size to hold everything onto the prismatic ways.  I doubled them up (approx. 3/16" thick magnets) to help the holding power and then glued them in place with JB Weld so the magnet face was flush with the bottom of the base.  To glue them in, I had to make the hole slightly oversize to allow the trapped air to come out of the blind hole.

Detail of the magnets

I filed a flat on one side of the rod and drilled and tapped it for a 1/4-20 thread.  The dial indicator back has a standard mount and a 1/2" long machine bolt worked well to attach it.

Here it is mounted to the lathe and ready to use... See the whole Flickr Set here.

mounted to the ways