To ensure a long lifetime of safe and accurate
operation, lubrication and adjustments must be
carried out on a regular basis.
The moving surfaces of the lathe, such as the
dovetails and leadscrews, should regularly be
lubricated. 20W non-detergent machine oil is
recommended, but ordinary 10W-30 motor oil
also works well for this purpose.
A light coating of oil should be maintained on
the lathe ways at all times. This will help to
prevent rust and will help the carriage and
tailstock to move smoothly along the ways. All
of the unpainted bright metal surfaces of the
lathe, such as the tailstock ram, chuck, spindle,
compound and cross-slide, leadscrew and
protected to prevent rust.
Oil ports with spring-balls to seal out foreign
material are provided at several locations on
the lathe. An oiler with a fine tip that opens the
ball while oil is dispensed should be used on
these ports to inject a small quantity of oil. A
few drops of oil should be injected into each
port at least monthly, and more often if the
lathe is used frequently.
If the lathe will not be used for an extended
period of time of several months or more, all of
the plain metal surfaces should be protected
with a liberal coating of oil to help prevent
Bearing Race Lubrication
All of the sealed bearing races used in the
lathe, such as those supporting the spindle,
are permanently lubricated. No oil, grease or
other lubricant or solvent should be applied to
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Bare Metal Surfaces
Bare metal surfaces such as the table,
dovetails and quill should be protected by
wiping them periodically with a light coating of
oil to prevent rust. Light rust caused by damp
conditions can be removed by wiping the
affected area with WD-40 or a similar solvent.
Adjusting the Gibs
Gibs, or gib strips, are metal strips with a
diamond-shaped cross section that are used
as the bearing surface on one side of a
dovetail slide. As the dovetails gradually wear
with normal use, the gibs are adjusted to take
up any clearance so that the dovetails operate
smoothly and precisely.
On the cross-slide and compound slide, set
screws with locking nuts are used to adjust the
gibs. To adjust the gibs, loosen each locknut in
turn, then gently tighten the set screw until
resistance is felt.
gib adjustment screws
Back off the set screw 1/8 turn, then, while
holding the set screw with a hex wrench so
that it does not turn, tighten the lock nut. When
the gibs are properly adjusted, the cross-slide
and compound should be free from excess
play, but move without resistance or excessive
force needed to move the handwheels.