Lathe Assembly

Taig Micro Lathe II Kit Assembly

The following procedure describes the tools and steps required to assemble the Taig Micro Lathe II Kit

Many people buy the Taig Micro Lathe II Kit as a way to save money and learn about the construction of a basic lathe. The kit comes complete with all the parts required to build a fully functioning lathe (although you will need to supply the motor) and requires both assembly and lapping. Below are details how the lathe can be assembled.

Taig Micro Lathe II Kit parts Confirm that you have all the nessecary parts to built the Taig Micro Lathe II. Refer to the checklist that came with the kit when you purchased it.
You will need these tools to complete the assembly:
  • small square file
  • Allen keys - different dimenions
  • 3/8 inch fixed spanner
  • multi-grip pliers
  • soft hammer
  • small shift spanner
Filing the Taig rack mount Locate the rack channel on the 15 inch ground lathe bed. There is usually a small burr inside the rack channel where the mounting hole comes through. File it off and be careful not to damage or mark the ground lathe bed.
Installing the Taig rack Run the rack back and forth inside the channel to dislodge any other burrs, dirt, etc. Screw the rack to the lathe, using the supplied 4-40 screw.
Taig Lathe Bed Mount the lathe bed on a solid surface. If timber is going to be used, then use coated MDF or plywood. Try to steer clear of raw chip board because it has a tendancy to warp over time.
Underside of Taig Carriage The carriage casting. Notice the two screws on the bottom, they lock the gib in place, just tighten them until you feel resistance, you don't want them tight. The nuts on the side lock the gib adjustment setscrews, loosen those as well, and loosen the setscrews and the center wingnut.
Carriage Gib Screws Another view showing the nuts slacked off and the carriage mounted on the bed. At this point the setscrews should be just bearing on the gib, but not in any way tight.
lapping oil on the Taig bed Put a mixture of oil and mild abrasive, such as Ajax powder, on the bed. (Use a ratio of 1 part powder to 5 parts oil and mix thoroughly before applying) Do not use commercial valve lapping compounds.
Lapping the Taig Lathe Now hold the carriage by the top and rub it back and forth along the bed in full strokes end to end. Bear down. Do this about 20-100 times.
Adjusting Taig Carriage Gib screws Tighten the gib set screws by a tiny amount and repeat the bed lapping again, 20 to 100 strokes, then tighten a little more and lap a little more. Get the idea? You are progressively tightening the gibs each cycle of lapping. Try and lap for at least 2 to 10 minutes for each cycle, and do it until all the slack is out of the gib screws and the carriage slides smoothly along the bed. Then clean everything of the oil and cleanser and re-oil. The longer you lap the smoother it will function, but don't get too obsessed.
Taig Cross Slide Gib Lock Screws For the cross slide the same procedure is followed. Tighten the top screws (inside the t-slot) until they just grab, and set the side set screws until they just touch the gib.
Lapping the Taig Cross Slide Lap the cross slide back and forth just as you did the carriage. Keep tightening the gib screws and lapping. Repeat the cycles of lapping and tightening until it seems smoother or your arm is too tired to continue.
Mounting Taig Crosslide bearing Mount the cross slide screw and bearing. If it won't screw all the way in with your hand, remove the round clip and wrap the bearing with some aluminum or copper sheet (say a piece of soda can aluminum) and tighten it carefully with some pliers. Do not mar the screw bearing! Don't use vise grips as they will bite through the sheet.
Cross slide screw assembled This is what it should look like when fully assembled. Notice the nut over on the carriage top.
Taig Nut Mounting Hole The mounting hole and the nut, you want the long end facing away from the front of the lathe. There is usually a burr in the hole and the nut post may be a bit tight, some creative deburring will make assembly easier. Although the factory does not recommend it, I find lightly filing or sanding the post to reduce it's diameter helps with assembly. You don't want it loose in the hole but the factory sometimes supplies it very tight and that can hinder adjustment.
Hammer Taig Nut into hole. Press or tap (with a soft hammer) the nut into the hole. Try not to accidentally crush the nut sides together as it will make it too tight on the screw.
Taig Cross Slide nut mounted Make sure the nut is parallel to the cross slide.
tweaking Taig nut You can tweak it side to side with a wrench. Be careful! You do not want to whack the wrench into the sides of the dovetails.
Screw Taig cross slide onto carriage Screw the cross slide onto the carriage. You will probably notice some roughness here, generally it will go away after you use the lathe for a few weeks. Sometimes people think the screw is bent, but the screw has enough play in the bearing that it has some wiggle side to side.
Taig carriage eccentric Insert the eccentric bushing in the carriage. Make sure the thick side is against the locking screw. Loosen the locking screw.
Taig upside down It is easiest to put the lathe upside down for this next operation.
Taig Pinion c-clip Insert the carriage pinion and handle into the bushing and slide the c-clip onto the pinion gear. The ears of the c-clip will kind of slide into the pinion grooves.
Taig assembled pinion How it should look once assembled.
adjusting taig eccentric Insert a thin strip of rolling or typing paper between the pinion gear and the rack and rotate the eccentric bushing until you feel the pinion against the rack. Not too tight! Better too loose than too tight. The paper ensures that there will be clearance between the two.

Tighten the setscrew against the eccentric bushing and lock the screw with the nut. Run the carriage back and forth and check to see if it binds, if it does readjust the eccentric so the clearances are looser.
taig headstock depth stop assembly Insert the depth stop into the front t-slot of the headstock and screw the thumbscrew into the headstock.
mounting Taig headstock Lock the headstock to the bed, don't reef down on the wrench, tighten with the small end and it will be on tight. 
installing Taig name plate Slide the Taig name plate along the side of the headstock and along the groove. Do pay attention to the safety warning on the plate when operating the lathe. 
installing 6-step pully wheel Install the 5/8 inch shaft 6-step pulley wheel on the headstock spindle. If you find it does not slip on easily, try placing the pulley in hot water which will expand the dimension ever so slightly, but enough to slip onto the shaft. Under no circumstances should you strike the pulley with a hammer to get it fitted. Tighten the grub screw with an Allen key. 
Taig toolpost Mount the Toolpost.
installing 3-jaw chuck Install the 3-Jaw self centering chuck onto the threaded spindle. Use the specifically designed Taig headstock spanner to tighten the chuck to ensure it does not become loose during operation. A rogue chuck spinning at 4,000 revolutions can do serious damage. If you need to puchase this item, you can locate it here.
Taig rack protector Slide the rack protector into the tiny dovetail channel, take care as it is tight and it can slip and you will bust your knuckles.
installing drilling tailstock Install the drilling tailstock onto the end of the ground lathe bed
installing drill chuck Screw the 1/4 inch Jacobs drill chuck onto the threaded dead center of the tailstock.
Assembled Taig lathe The Taig Micro Lathe II is now assembled. All that is needed now is a motor. The belt and another 6-step pulley is supplied for use on the motor shaft.

Continue if you need instruction on how to install the variable speed motor
build motor assembly Follow the instructions that came with the motor and install the supplied 2-step pulley wheel and guard on the face of the motor. Be sure to place the belt over the larger diameter 2-step pulley.
install mounting bracket Install the motor mounting bracket and mounting bracket spacer onto the Taig headstock using the supplied socket cap screws and washers.
Attached the prepared motor assembly onto the mounting bracket using the supplied socket cap screws and washers. Be sure to align the belt over the largest pulley of the 6-step pulley wheel.

Tighten the belt by moving the motor up the mounting bracket and tighten the screws. Rotate the pulley wheel to ensure the belt maintains it's alignment.
The motor functions with a power source between 110V and 240V, 50Hz to 60Hz automatically, and only requires an adapter plug from your local electrical retailer. It should adapt a 3 pin USA plug to your local country power plug. The adapter plug is supplied free of charge to customers from Australia and New Zealand.
Be sure to rotate the variable speed knob to the minimum and switch the motor controller to OFF before plugging the motor into a power source.

Switch the motor controller to ON and slowly apply power by turning the variable speed knob and ensure the motor turns the headstock spindle freely. The Taig Micro Lathe II is ready for operation.
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