New MicroLux lathe !!!
>>>> in a word - awesome! and no I have no stock in the company.
After reading for months here about cleaning red grease off the lathe, I stopped by OSH on the way home with lathe in the back to grab a jug
Got home and opened it all up. First surprise - nicely packaged.
Two large boxes - both double boxed.
Heavy closed cell foam everywhere - surprise #2!
Got it all out of the box and found only one ding - looks like someone dropped the headstock end and broke the plywood base - bent the chip pan a little - a couple whacks with a rubber mallet and bingo back in business. They need to use a little heavier plywood on the base.
AND NOW SURPRISE #3 --- NO red grease!!!
All shiny surfaces were coated with nice clear oil - not even any weird odors either. OOOppp... there was a little red grease - the dead center was in a plastic bag and it was covered with red grease - the ONLY red grease on the whole lathe.
After reading some of the setup stories on the web, I was careful and watched some of the things before they went together. Got out a piece of used fine emery cloth. Found my mini anvil from HF and used it as a 'lapping block' with the emery cloth soaked in way oil.
The first hassle was the half nut mechanism. Just felt cruddy. Separated the apron from the carriage (more on getting it back together later). Took it apart - a little sanding across the cam to get rid of the burrs. More lapping on the dovetails - and some white grease - ahhh.... now THAT's smooth!
Next I tackled the carriage itself. The sliding surfaces were not too smooth.
OH! the bed was great but the mating surfaces just plain sucked. Can't believe they want this rough stuff to slide on those beautiful ways. More action with the oiled emery. That took a while, had to take the odd gibs off to get into the groove. Knocked down a few ridges and smoothed out the milling marks. With the apron off I could slide it on the ways to feel how it was going. Then I put the gibs back on. Back and forth a few times with the emery and I was pretty satisfied.
Strange - no actual gibs and no weak metal plate to break either. The action is a bar on each side that grips up under the ways. Looking at the end of the carriage and you see a wide flat with two C's on each side. They can be angled with three adjustment screws. I have those a little snug right now but think it will smooth out fairly quickly.
Now back to the apron and a cover for the hand wheel gears. Hmmm... don't want to drill and tap it. What to use - ahh... the famous "need-a-jackhammer-to-open-it" plastic packaging used on way too many products. I like to save the larger flat pieces for things that need a clear cover or like this that need a tough thin cover. Cut me off a piece about the size of the gear area - laid it on top of the rack gear and poked a hole around with a small X-acto knife. Shove it down snug - fits nice. Hey! I don't need no stinking screws not even glue - stays put real nice like. Fill it up with grease and it just stays there.
Oil the screw and try to rotate by hand - ouch - that hurt - way to tight. Wassup here? loosen the bearing screws and try again. Better - oil the head end. Not much better. Seems to have a bend or something. Take it off completely - oil it - play around with it - put it back on - loose at first - tighten the screws slowly back and forth on each end. Ahhh... that's better but now I have to undo it to put the apron back on - darn. Too bad the half nuts don't open far enough to pop right over it.
Now to put the apron back on the carriage. This gave me fits for a while with a little head scratching. Screwed it on - hmm... won't move -- things are sorta jammed up - half nuts make the lead screw raise up about 1/4". Ughh... loosen it back up - ahhh... that's the trick - you have to close the half nuts and THEN tighten it to the carriage. Hey this is sorta fun - expected a drudge. Feel like I am really accomplishing something.
So, I have the carriage and apron installed, smoothed and greased up and it feels pretty good moving it around. Next I tackle the cross slide and top slide. Now these both have nice real gibs - steal, but real. Some nice things I'm finding here on this MicroLux. Take it apart - went too far - don't need to take it off, nothing under there. Need to knock down the edges on the big U where the screw is with a fine file. Grease up the cross slide - huh - back with the emery again to knock down some sharp edges, burrs, etc. OK, slide it back on - gunna need some adjustment - tight on the near end and loose on the far side - will have to think about how to do that - gibs I think.
Next is the top slide - same as above with the emery with the edges - the mating surfaces on both are really smooth. The top slide felt grindy when I had a load on it. Man the dial is hard to take off! Knock off the edges on both sides. Smoothed that up real nice but I seem to have more backlash than before. Will have to play with that.
Now to the tail stock -- arghh... gotta agree - that thing just sucks. The sliding surfaces were a real mess - took some work with the emery to get that to move like I like it. This lathe comes with the cam lock - nice. But I sure don't like how it lifts up when you move it. First project will be a full cross bar under neath so it acts like bigger lathe. Dare I say Smithy?
I'm just about done for today - gotta find me a MT3 dead center - ahh. Put it in and roll the carriage up and bang! The carriage hits on the motor housing. May have to deal with that. Can't get the carriage up close enough to get the tail stock up there with it's dead center to see how they match up. Well looks pretty close. I'll do the gadgebuilder's alignment procedure before I do any cutting.
The lathe itself is done. Have to do a lot of the little stuff now. There is a nice little hole about 1" by 2" right in the front of the head stock Sweet! I don't have to take the head off to grease up the gears. This hole is for mounting the RPM sensor. This lathe has a digital RPM display. The gear
shift feels nice and smooth.
nuff for now -
Perp & Setup For MicroMarck 7 X 14
Dave (and other 7 X 14 users);
I appreciate your "long windedness". My own 7 X 14 is en-route and I have a lot of unpacking and assembly ahead. Right now I am assembling my bench.
This will be my first lathe, though I have adequate shop experience. What procedures would you recommend for my first assembly and initial prep? Could I use your recent experience as a step-by-step guide? Would anyone else care to make a list of steps or procedures to assemble and tune-up this one?
You are looking at a post thats just under one year old. please pay attention to the post dates when looking through the older material as you might not get a response to the question you are asking.
Originally Posted by B Hebert
You will need alot of kerosene or wd40 and several bundles of rags and more then likely a couple of files.