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Gib material question

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tweinke

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#1
So the Question is, I want to make a gib for a project that is still in the dreaming stages of design. What is a good material to use? It is a straight gib with set screws to adjust and will be running against cast iron. Steel, bronze, brass, all come to mind but I think I sure would like some advice before I dive in to this. If the project becomes feasible in respect to the skills I have or have access to I will start a new thread.
 

Rooster

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#2
Greetings tweinke, if it helps, the gibs on my Atlas lathe are cold rolled steel.
 

macardoso

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#3
I've seen cast iron, CRS, Delrin, and glass filled teflon. Ideally you want something stiff and with a low coefficient of friction. If loads are high, cast iron is a good coice, if loads are low I would stick with a stable low-frication plastic.
 

RJSakowski

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#4
Ideally, the part that is easiest to replace would be the wear part. It is generally easier to replace a gib than refurbish the ways so I would make the gib the wear part. I would probably choose brass.
 

Bob Korves

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#5
Is the aspect ratio of the gib long and skinny or short and stout? Steel, and other cold worked metals love to spring and move around when machined and fitted. Cast metals are more dimensionally stable, but also usually more fragile.
 

T Bredehoft

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#6
I was told by a master machinst that 1018 steel was better than bronze for gibs.
 

Bob Korves

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#7
Generally, dissimilar materials make for longer wearing gibs. As RJ said, make the gib the wearing part. Easy machining ability and easy to scrap are good qualities for gib materials. Most common are cast iron and brass. Cast iron Durabar is more dimensionally stable.
 

homebrewed

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#8
I've made brass replacement gibs for my mini mill. They were the "long and skinny" variety. The brass I used displayed a tendency to warp, unless I machined off about the same amount of material on both sides of the work. Based on info I found on the web, I also tried annealing it @500F in our kitchen oven but I'm not sure it did much.

Gibs for the mini mill class of machine are not tapered, which simplified the machining job. The downside is that the gibs on mini mills are notorious for poor fit.
 

tweinke

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#9
Is the aspect ratio of the gib long and skinny or short and stout? Steel, and other cold worked metals love to spring and move around when machined and fitted. Cast metals are more dimensionally stable, but also usually more fragile.
Long and skinny and I would say a pretty fair load, also repeated travel. I think I should have also included dove tail and cast iron in my initial post also
 

RJSakowski

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#10
I've made brass replacement gibs for my mini mill. They were the "long and skinny" variety. The brass I used displayed a tendency to warp, unless I machined off about the same amount of material on both sides of the work. Based on info I found on the web, I also tried annealing it @500F in our kitchen oven but I'm not sure it did much.

Gibs for the mini mill class of machine are not tapered, which simplified the machining job. The downside is that the gibs on mini mills are notorious for poor fit.
500ºF is where brass just begins to anneal. 600º to 800ºF is a better choice. Annealing time shortens with an increase in temperature.
 

markba633csi

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#11
I've used 360 brass on my 6" lathe compound with good results- after a short bedding in period the re-adjustments became fewer and farther between. Very smooth with low friction. Higher wear than steel.
 

Richard King 2

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#12
I would use bronze before using steel. Or if I used steel I would bond some Turcite to it. Steel can be ground and Turcited on a Steel gib it can be ground on a flat gib. A brass or bronze isn't magnetic and would have to be milled and then scraped. Unless you used double face tape....some more info would help as far as gib thickness, height and length.
 

tweinke

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#13
I didn't think I would get as many replies as I have! First off Thank You all! Now for the confession, I have acquired a real strong fascination with shapers that will not go away. I would love to have one and have watched CL and whatnot for a small one for some time. What I did find was either too far away or way more cash then I had to spend. I recently bought the Gingery book and did much internet reading on the subject. The Gingery design if I built it from flat stock instead of castings seem the best fit for my budget (build as cash is available) and not overly complicated. The thing that seems to me to be wrong or would not last would be the ram running on aluminum ways. Thinking outside the box for a simpler/cost effective solution I found that there is a mini mill with a cast iron table that almost exactly matches the size of the ram in the Gingery book and the individual parts reasonably priced. So that is where the dreaming is at this point. Some may think the thought is crazy and a waste of time but I think this may actually work with some care. The thought is make the machine as good as I can and hopefully I will succeed. I do know this will be a large stretch of my skill set and tools available to me but this hobby makes the troubles of my day go away. In a way if I pull this off I will admit I will have a bit of a Franken shaper but who knows.
 

markba633csi

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#14
Personally I wouldn't have much use for a shaper- sure they are fun to use and all but a milling machine will do most of that and then some.
Just my opinion. We had a HUGE one in high school, the buffalo. Hydraulic powered and I swear you could take 1" thick slices off a slab of steel; nothing could stop it. Some of the other fools would ride it like a bucking bronco but I never did.
mark
 

tweinke

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#15
I think I will find enough uses for it and do really want to see if I can build it. I do have a mill already but the shaper is more of a challenge then a practical machine
 
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