Well I finally got around to setting up the Micromark lathe I bought a few months ago and I thought I'd share my experience in case anyone else is interested.

The minor assembly required was fairly straightforward and uneventful, with a few minor problems.

Trying to adjust the screws on the carriage/saddle "slide plate" was a real PITA.

But before I could even do that, I had to figure out why the carriage/saddle manual-feed hand wheel was so hard to turn.

I loosened the six slide plate screws underneath the saddle, to make sure they weren't causing a problem, but the hand wheel was still very hard to turn.

I ended up having to put shims between the saddle and the apron, as the pinion gear was apparently too tight up against the rack.

After installing the shims, I then put the carriage on, ran it down the ways, and then took it off again. I did this several times, each time adjusting the screws a little bit until there was no noticeable slop.

I finally got it to where the slop is gone and the thing moves smoothly, with just a little bit of a noticeable drag, which seems ok to me as a newbie.

Anyway, the cross slide seemed to be set up perfectly as it came out of the box. It seems to go the full specified 65 mm distance very smoothly, without any noticeable slop or binding.

The compound slide was not set up so well. I could not get the specified 55 mm of (effective) travel from it. It was too loose over the last 10 mm or so of travel on the tailstock end of the range, and it was binding over the last 10 mm or so of travel on the headstock end of the range.

After fiddling with the set screws for over an hour, I finally got the compound slide to go the specified 55 mm of travel, albeit with a somewhat noticeable increase of drag as it approached the headstock.

I think it is useable like this, but I plan on working on it some more (e.g., lapping and lubing it) after I swap out the bottom piece of the compound with the milled-down one I just ordered from LMS.

I then put dead centers in the spindle and the tailstock and ran them up nose-to-nose. It looked really good...there was no perceptible vertical or horizontal displacement between them...to my eyes at least.

Then I mounted the factory 3" 3-jaw chuck and put a 1/2" drill bit in it. I put a dial indicator against the drill bit and rotated the chuck by hand one turn...the motion of the indicator needle was barely noticeable. I'd say it moved maybe 0.0002" to 0.0003" if it moved at all.

Then I mounted the QCTP I got from LMS and tested all the tool holders (w/tools) to see how well/easily I could put them on the center line.

Although the QCTP itself seems well made and robust, I was disappointed that the turning tool holder was almost at the bottom of its range (with a 3/8" shank tool bit there was no room for the adjustment knob/nut), and the cutoff blade tool holder was at the very bottom with no adjustment available.

Although this QCTP may be acceptable like this, I just don't like the idea of any adjustments being at the extreme end of the range, so I ordered the milled-down compound bottom piece to hopefully remediate this problem.

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