Some Notes On Setting Up the Taig Milling Machine

The Taig milling machine does not come with a lot of documentation, so I thought I'd take a few pictures when I set up one the other day.

You will need the following tools:
Adjustable wrench, or 7/8" socket wrench (preferred)
Precision Square
Allen Wrenches

Dial Test Indicator (preferred) or Dial Travel Indicator on 1/4" dia. arm for sweeping the table

New - Some Notes On Setting Up the Taig Milling Machine V2

The table as it comes from the factory. Clean the mating surface in back of the machine clean of all grease, dirt, etc.
The column as it comes from the factory. Clean the mating surface (the round shape at the bottom of the column.

Assemble the column to the table with the wrench. Make it just tight enough to move by hand, but not so loose that it falls to the side (been there, left a nice gouge in my table the first time I did this).

Place the square on the table and adjust the column so the headstock is square to the table.

Tighten it up and you can start using the mill.

If you want more accuracy, use a dial test indicator to "sweep" the table. It is easier if you use blocks rather than running the tip into the table slots. You can drive yourself crazy trying to take out the last .001", so don't! But seriously, if you can get it perpendicular to within .001 over 8" that is pretty good for a milling machine. With practice you can get it under .001", but it takes some finesse.

Tighten the column, reindicate (might have shifted, I told you you could go insane). I find that tightening it as tight as possible with my hand choked up on the wrench so it is near the head is pretty good. Too loose and the column will shift, too tight and it will bend something (40 ft/lbs is too much! I did it and bent the front of the machine)

The right hand table gib adjustment screw.

Tighten the left screw inward while loosening the right screw out to tighten the table, to loosen the table tighten the right in while loosening the left out.

The screw in the middle of the front of the table locks it.

The left hand table gib adjustment screw. (top screw in picture)

The y-axis gib screws, adjust the two screws in or out to adjust the gib. The bottom screw locks the table

The top column gib screw. The top screw will tighten the gib when tightened, while the bottom screw is loosened out. The bottom screw will loosen the gib while tightened, as the top screw is loosened.
The bottom column gib screw.

Sometimes the z-axis dovetail mount is out a tiny bit, which can through compounding of errors make the spindle not perpendicuar to the y-axis. Do not adjust it unless you know what you are doing! In practice I have found sometimes slipping a thin (.001) shim in the dovetail plate will correct this problem.

But again, don't do it unless you really know how to chase down errors! This can really drive you crazy sometimes. Not to mention driving me crazy when I try to fix your problem via email.

This is a drawing I did showing the mechanics of the x axis tapered gib from the top. Some clarifications:

If either of the screws A and B are loose, then the gib can move freely against the tapered surface. This will cause binding when the table travels to the right and looseness when the table travels to the left. The screws push a thick washer that bears against the gib ends and rides in a counterbored hole. When adjusted both screw heads must be tight against the gib ends.

As you can see, if you tighten A and loosen B, then the gib will move right, tightening the gib against the table.

Think of the screws not so much as tightening and loosening the gib, but as positioning the gib against it's angled surface.
It is the angled surface that actually presses the gib against the x-axis.

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