I received my order in the post from bolt.com.au the other day containing the new gib screws, brass nuts and other bits and pieces.

While removing parts of the lathe I decided that if I was going to go ahead and remove the compound slide, cross slide and carriage to clean out the dovetails, gib’s and replace the gib screws then I might as well take apart the apron and clean it out too.

I disassembled the apron into all of it’s pieces, except one of the half nuts which I was unable to remove, degreased and cleaned each piece individually. There was quite a bit of build up of old grease, dirt and brass swarf. In fact I discovered that some of the oil holes were completely blocked, so all of my previous routine oiling was in vein.

Advance Lathe apron in pieces

After getting a good clean, everything got a coating of one type of oil or another then reassembled.

I wish I had taken a ‘before photo’ of the inside of the apron because after cleaning it came up quite well (compared to before).

Advance Lathe apron cleaned reassembled

I reattached the apron to the carriage using the new countersunk cap screws I purchased to replace the old ones. This was an attempt to stop the apron from working its way lose after just a little bit of use. I also cleaned each individual tooth in the rack, there was quite a bit of gunk compressed into the pit between each tooth.

Advance Lathe apron reattached.

The little piece of threaded brass on the carriage looks like it has been put there to extend the travel of the cross slide, grandpa must have had something to machine with a large diameter and couldn’t quite get the cross slide back far enough without disengaging the lead screw, it’s a nice little mod!

Before the carriage went back onto the bed, the gib screws got replaced with the new ones, including the locking nuts and new oil spread along the dovetail. After placing it back on and doing some adjustments on the gib screws, I am pleased to say it now has a much smoother movement in the carriage.

Advance Lathe carriage gib screws

You can see that the carriage has two gib screws with locking nuts and the 3rd gib screw in the centre is a thumb screw, this is used as a carriage lock, I may make some improvements to this down the track.

The cross slide gib screws were not quite long enough to add my brass locking nuts! :( I wrongly assumed they were the same length as the compound slide when I was ordering them, it looks like another order will be placed shortly.

Advance Lathe cross slide gib screws

The compound slide gib screws look the part! All threads were cleaned out using a 3/16 BSW tap before placing in the new gib screws.

Advance Lathe compound slide gib screws.

Next step is to do some machining to see if I get any better results, but that’s enough for today!

These little improvements to the lathe are all just part of the many things I want to do to the old Advance lathe to improve the quality of the cuts and it’s usability.

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