Last night while looking for a sheet metal roll former that Dad said was up in the loft somewhere, I ran across an old X-Y table, or at least something that resembles an X-Y table. It's fairly small, the table is about 2" x 2" with 2 t-slots in it, the bottom slide has around a 3" travel and the top slide might be a bit more. The top slide can also be rotated to any arbitrary angle relative to the bottom slide. Through prodigious use of penetrating fluid and a razor blade to scrape dust and crud off, I got everything to move fairly smoothly once again and managed to partially dissassemble it to get a better idea of it's condition. The worst part of this table is the tail end of the upper slide is extremely chewed up. I don't know what it was used for in the past, but there are gouges from something like a saw blade going from side-to-side (maybe about 1/16" deep at the worst), and the tail end (away from the hand crank) looks to actually be cracked for about an inch. The table will still slide over this area, it just takes a smidge more force.
I'm more of a woodworker than a metalsmith (the most metalwork I've done in a day so far was [OA] welding up some spiderweb wall sconces out of3/16" rod) right now, but I would like to know how I would get this table back into useable condition and what kind of grease/oil I should use on it.
-- Natharias at lycos dot com