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How to Adjust Gib Strips

Updated February 21, 2017

Gib strips are a type of screw used to connect pieces of metal lathe. They can be adjusted by moving the set screws up and down. Adjusting the gib strips is necessary to improve the smoothness of operation of the dovetail joints. Moving these screws up and down to get them just right is almost always required when working with metal lathe. Getting the compound rest to work properly is the key to adjusting the gib strips when working with metal lathe.

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  1. Locate the three sets screws on the side of the compound rest. Crank the compound rest until the lead screws disengage and slide the top part from the bottom part. Find the gib strip, dovetails and lead screw.

  2. Apply a light coat of white lithium grease to the gib strip, the lead screw and the dovetail. Slide everything back into place and loosen all of the locking nuts with a wrench.

  3. Tighten the middle set screw until it is firmly in place and back off 1/4 of a turn. Hold the set screw in place to keep it from moving and tighten the locking nut. Repeat the same procedure for each of the remaining adjusting screws.

  4. Test the compound slide to verify that it is moving properly and is in good working order. Repeat the process if it is not smooth but do not tighten the screws quite as much.

  5. Tip

    A compound rest is a device found on a lathe tool that has a rotating spindle. It is used to mount wooden or metal objects.

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Things You'll Need

  • Compound rest
  • White lithium grease
  • Wrench

About the Author

Alexander Callos

Alexander Callos began writing in 2005 for "The Lantern" at The Ohio State University and has written for various websites, including Bleacher Report, Top Ten Real Estate Deals and Columbus Sports. He has published articles for CBS Sports, SI.com and other websites. He graduated in 2007 from The Ohio State University with a bachelor's degree in public affairs journalism.

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