Hi, I'm very new to machining and I just got an RF45 clone mill. I've read as much as I can about prepping of this machine and I was trying to figure out for myself today whether I should lap the ways. On close inspection the ways have a sort of ground fish scale pattern. From a distance the ways look almost like mother of pearl. It looks like the pattern was applied manually because the marks are not uniform in spacing. Can anyone tell be what the marks are called, what they are for, and how they are applied? Just curious.
BTW I'm probably NOT going to try to lap the ways because 1) A well respected guy at IH said that most chinese mills no longer need lapping, and 2) at least to my eye, they seem much better than pictures of others earlier machines, both before and after they lapped. I basically understand the big debate as to whether lapping should ever be done. --But I would still like that question above answered.