Smithy 3-in-1 Initial Setup

I'm sure this is elementary to most of you here, but I'm in need of
some advice.
I have a Smithy 1220XL that is about 5 years old. I've never been
real happy with it, primarily because I dont know what I'm doing as
regards getting the machine set up so that the carriage/cross-slide
can be traversed but still maintain some degree of rigidity. I"ve been
able to turn out a few small things but not with the degree of ease
and enjoyment level that I think the machine is capable of.
(At this point I'm not concerned with the mill, only the lathe. I
need to learn to crawl first.)
I've googled the newsgroup but came up with nothing that specifically
helps a rank newbie on this problem. On the plus side, I see that
many folks are able to do some quite spectacular (to me) work, so it
gives me hope.
I think I understand the basics of gib adjustment but I seem to be
missing something. If I get the rigidity right, it takes two people
to crank the lead screw, and if I get that right I'm killed with
Is there any recommended reading that might address this? Would any
of the parts benefit from polishing? Are the ways ok 'out of the box'
or do I need to give them some kind of attention?
This is probably a very open-ended type of question but I repeat, I
don't know what I'm doing. I'm confident in my ability tho, once I
gain some knowledge.
If any of you have any road signs that will get me pointed in the
right direction it would be much appreciated.
Larry Prince
Ridge Custom WoodWorks
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at ridgeworks dot com
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Are you using way oil?
Ron Thompson Was On the Beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast, Now On the Beautiful Florida Space Coast, right beside the Kennedy Space Center, USA
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The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. --Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)
Reply to
Ron Thompson
I have that model, and I'm quite happy with the lathe section. You shouldn't try to make 1/4 inch deep cuts with it, but I've found it to work resonably well on steel and aluminum turning.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
Some general tips for lathe inspection and adjustments
Secure a 12-18" piece of bar stock in the toolholder, and apply minor to moderate pressure (something similar to firm thumb pressure) to the free end in all directions. This will show where the loose mating surfaces are, and where flexing/deflection is taking place. Dial indicators or other visual indication will allow you to see how much improvement is accomplished by adjustments.
Removing leadscrews (or just the anchor point) will permit you to slide a feed part along it's full travel to feel if there are tight spots. Inspection of the parts mating surfaces will often reveal wear patterns that can indicate poorly fitted surfaces. Finger snugging the gib screws will usually be a good starting point and "exercising" the sliding parts by reciprocating them repeatedly (oiled or lubricated, of course) will indicate where the parts fit loosely.
When irregular or unacceptable high/tight spots are encountered, determine if you want to proceed with corrective measures.
Gibs that are bent or warped will be problematic. The flex will give the operator a false "reading" when the screws are adjusted by feeling the torque. The pressure that's transferred unevenly thru a warped gib may feel OK when checked for movement, but it will provide a source of chatter with the machine's actual working forces applied. The points of the gib screws can be touched up so that they're all the same blunt shape. Some gibs have point-drilled spots for the screws to fit into.. the positions might be poorly aligned. Making a new full length, full width gib might be a consideration where inadequate gibs are installed. A medium polishing job should work well in most cases.
The Smithy bed ways could be the most peculiar ways presently in production. The large dovetail has no flat back-up surface that's usually associated with a dovetail. This makes for a wedging effect for the gib screw adjustments and some difficulty in setting/controlling the adjustment clearance for the carriage and tailstock. I ended up filling the point-drilled spots in the gibs with braze, and tightening the gib screws to get them to bite into the brass. This does a fairly good job of keeping the gibs from walking away from their set positions. The original problem was that the gibs would shift around and bind.
WB .............
Reply to
Wild Bill

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