View Full Version : A box way Gilman slide

07-13-2008, 05:23 PM
Oh the god of all things metal must have been smiling down on me yesterday. I saw a local ad for this slide yesterday on Craigslist.

I very quickly contacted and purchased it from the seller! He knew what it was and what it was worth but just wanted it out of his garage. Nobody seemed to want it.

It is a genuine Gilman box way slide. 36" long with a 18" carriage. Hardened and ground ways, weighs in at 200lbs.
Specs- http://www.skfpt.com/hrd-way-features.html

SKF acquired The Gilman company a few years back.
From what I can tell it has never been used! Extremely smooth movement. I think it is accurate to .0005" over 3ft.
How much did I pay?

I'm not sure what I'll do with it. It would make a fantastic z axis for a small cnc lathe build.

07-13-2008, 05:23 PM
2 more-


Coated gib-

07-13-2008, 06:30 PM
It would make a nice CNC lathe as well. Good find!

07-13-2008, 07:15 PM
Looks very nice.....

It often amuses me when manufacturers go to great lengths to make an accurate device and then an employee comes along and can't stamp the serial/model numbers straight...

07-13-2008, 07:38 PM
Well I sure wish this deal had come along when I got it in my head to build my cnc bench lathe. Very rigid, only needs 5in/lbs to move, much superior damping and still capable of speeds well over 300IPM.
At 200lbs it is already 50lbs heavier than the entire lathe I built-

Heck it's just shy a few lbs of a complete Import 9x20 . I would say it's a lot stiffer and heavier than my 40" SB9 lathe bed stripped.

This could be an impressive home brew starting with this slide as a foundation.

I'm very seriously considering a brand new cnc lathe/mill build. I learned a lot on the first one and most of what I learned was what NOT to do.
I certainly do not need 2 small cnc lathes so the original would be used to build v2.
I could use the z-axis off the smaller cnc lathe I built as a milling attachment. I have another spare Mini mill head I could mount it to.

Or I could just cover the Gilman slide and put it in a dark corner and forget all about it,lol

07-13-2008, 08:01 PM
That was the first thing I thought of Steve -- that would make a fantastic bed for a CNC lathe.

It's beautifully made too.

07-13-2008, 08:08 PM
Me I would use it to make a tool and cutter grinder. Turn bed up side down the rest I already have . I will give you $40.00 for it double your money back. Good investment .

07-13-2008, 09:29 PM
Steve: slant bed CNC lathe with 16C collet spindle!


07-13-2008, 09:37 PM
That thing is junk! Didn't you notice all the Craigslist flaking on it?:D

07-13-2008, 10:15 PM
Steve, I see you've met Igor? He had that tied to his Bridgeport on my last trip to see him. A buddy and I p/u a few of the used Toshiba VFD's he had for sale as well as a few other items. You guys are pretty close to each other, practically neighbors. I'm at 79th and Harlem Ave. Nice catch. A great guy to deal with in my book.

doctor demo
07-14-2008, 01:16 AM
That thing is junk! Didn't you notice all the Craigslist flaking on it?:D
Not only that but it looks like someone gouged lightning bolts in it too!:D .

07-14-2008, 01:23 AM
Put it in a dark corner of the shop and forget all about it.

Whats your address, btw? :D

I'm looking forward to seeing what you build from it.

07-14-2008, 10:57 AM
Yes I met Igor. Very nice guy. He was unloading a 3hp Clausing lathe I when I got there.
I think he said the slide came from a factory or something. The carriage has a machined out portion on the top and a bolt on straightedge type deal not shown in the pics. One of the ends is blued and still has the scribe marks where it was drilled and tapped. It was obviously meant for something but I am pretty darn sure it was never used a day in it's life.
I'll have to cut the carriage down if I decide it will become a lathe.
I'm going to take my time and try and come up with a good design this time, unlike when I built the smaller lathe on the fly.

07-14-2008, 12:49 PM
Yes he is, very smart guy. He rebuilt the Mil-Surp trailer that he used to move the lathe. I've been keeping track of his cleaning up process of the Clausing on his web site. I looked that slide over several times and decided to get current projects completed before taking on another. I knew it wouldn't last long when I seen the CL ad.

07-14-2008, 12:54 PM
I've been keeping track of his cleaning up process of the Clausing on his web site.

What's his website?

08-03-2008, 07:58 PM
Well I seem to have a mutating Gilman slide! The dangblasted hunk of metal seems to think it can have new life as a small horizontal boring mill/lathe thingamabob! Sort of like this nice little oldie but goodie-

Off to a good start I think.
Long way to go still.



08-03-2008, 08:30 PM
Cool,a small HBM,I like it.

That's a machine tool the world has forgot,a small either home shop or light industrial boring mill.There were a couple of mfgs once making small 2" or 1-1/2" bar machines,but no longer and not for many years.

Hey maybe when you get finished send some pictures to Seig so I can buy one next year:D

08-03-2008, 08:48 PM
What's his website?

Sorry Lazlo, Didnít see this until just now when it came back up.

http://igor.chudov.com/ (http://igor.chudov.com/)

08-04-2008, 09:38 AM
It'll be a neat machine when it's finished! Very versatile.
Not a little flimsy thing either. It should come in around 350+lbs easily which is more than my x3 mill.

Plans right now for it-
Keep it manual, but I won't rule out cnc down the road.

A decent sized overarm support for horizontal milling with arbors.
A second z axis column mounted to a shorter carriage slide will be added to the right of the slide table. This will be for end bearing support of line bars and also general tail stock center support. It will be equipped with a half nut assembly for the lead screw to decouple easily when not needed for line boring or traveling support.

Power feed will be added to the z axis. An X/Y rotatable cross slide table will be added to the main table.
Gas springs on both columns and lead screw drives.

Yep, Sieg could make something like this. You will see it is being built with MANY off the shelf Sieg parts from various machines of theirs.
Except for the Gilman slide that is.

08-04-2008, 07:27 PM
Anyhow, this is very close to how it will look and give some of you a better idea of what a small horizontal boring mill looks like-


09-28-2008, 03:27 PM
Just a little update on this project. The end support column and table have been installed. The end support table has a half nut installed which is engaged by a recessed allen head.
A secondary jackshaft for the main drive has been installed. It features triple bearings. An overarm support and generous 1.335" OD bar have been added. I want to be able to use this machine for horizontal milling and arbor driven tools. I'm working on making a mt3 arbor .
It's starting to look like a horizontal boring mill now.
Lot's of work left and I have a lot of ideas for this machine right now.
She's already got some mass going on. I would say its around 300lbs as it sits.

1/2 nut assembly for end support table/column-


09-28-2008, 05:30 PM
When are you and the missus going to be away- and what's the code for the alarm system? :)

What a timely project for me to be seeing. You're giving me way too many ideas, thanks a lot buddy. :( :)

09-29-2008, 06:44 PM
darryl, What do you have in in mind? Thinking of a similar project?

I had the day off today so I mounted the DC motor, and have the spindle/headstock lead screw assembly about 75% finished.
I need to now get the head fully operational under power so I can bore the end support bearings to be dead on center with the spindle, as well as the over arm end support bracket.

The second end support column will use a rack and pinion drive for vertical movement and a fine feed mechanism to make it easily match both spindle and end supports at exact center heights. Since both tables are also exact height a surface height gauge can be used to setup center heights.

I can see so many uses for this machine!! It's also going to make a great lathe. I'll probably update next week with more pics.

Alistair Hosie
09-29-2008, 07:41 PM
another great buy ,well done! His honourable, most elequent ,majesterial ,magnificent ,ludship ,SIR JOHN OF SLUDGEWATER will not sleep well tonight god bless the weee soul.OHHH I FEEL a wee tear coming on:DAlistair

09-30-2008, 01:59 AM
Steve, what I had envisioned is pretty much what you've made, in terms of being able to work as a lathe, but with the headstock and tailstock able to move up and down in sync. Your columns would allow that. Normally they would be lowered to the bed and fastened there, which would make for a very rigid structure with of course a certain maximum throw at that point. Then both head and tail could be cranked up to increase the throw when that is needed. The cutting tool would have to be adjustable to suit of course, and here I have an idea that would actially keep the tool near the crosslide, even when working a large diameter. The tool would remain on center, but the angle would change- more on this later.

Now since both tail and head can move up and down simultaneously, it would be a natural to have a spindle at both ends, so a horizontal bar could be chucked. This could carry a boring cutter, or allow the machine to be used as a horizontal milling machine. The carriage and crosslide would be set up accordingly.

As a horizontal milling machine, raising and lowering the head and tailstock would control the depth of cut, etc. For horizontal boring, you mount whatever it is you're boring on the crosslide, and you have all the adjustability you need to center the workpiece to the cutter.

I would also then have an overarm which again rides up and down in sync on the two towers, above the head and tailstocks, and independently of them. It would carry a vertical spindle. It can be raised or lowered to adjust the position of the milling cutter, or it can be raised to the upper limit and locked there, which would stabilize the top of the two towers to add rigidity to the machine when being used as a lathe or a horizontal machining tool. This vertical spindle could be made to travel left/right, or it could be fixed in a central location. Depending on the length of the bed, I would easily be able to get a larger 'depth of throat' than I can on my current milling machine, even if I fixed the vertical spindle on one central position on the overarm. All it would take for me to increase my current capacity in that regard is more than 17 inches between centers.

My drill presses are limited to 7 inches depth of throat, and the mill/drill is just under 8 inches. If this were built as a 24 inch capacity lathe, as a drill press it would increase my capacity by 50%. Nothing prevents me from swivelling the vertical spindle left or right either-

What I am missing with this setup is the movable tailstock. No big deal- I can make another slide which travels the ways and can be kept in alignment with a rod through the fixed tailstock spindle. At this point I could also fit a leadscrew so the movable tailstock functions like it normally would anyway. It could actually be just a steady rest adjusted to hold one end of a rod with a morse taper in the end of it. An internally threaded nut would be clamped in the tailstock spindle so that spindle would turn and adjust the position of the tailstock ram, which would have a leadscrew coming out the back end of it. The movable tailstock would be keyed to keep the ram from turning. If I wanted to, I could have the option to spin the ram and drill with it. I think this could be useful, but I'll have to think on that a bit more.

As I see it, a casting with flat ways and parallel sides gives the means to assemble all this into one versatile machine. The back of the towers gives a place where a sheet metal backing can be attached, and which can direct swarf down and towards the front, where it can be easily removed, as well as a place to mount lights, cutting fluid dispensers, etc. It would probably need a door through the center of the back so workpieces being milled or drilled could be acommodated if the need was there.

Back to adjusting the position of the cutting bit as the head and tailstocks are raised or lowered- if the piece that carrys the cutting tool could swivel off of horizontal, you could keep the tool presenting the right rake angle to the work, as well as keeping it on center to the axis of the work, and also keep it no further from the crosslide than it would normally be. For turning a large diameter, you woudn't have to back the crosslide way out in order to position the tool, and you could keep the cutting tool closer to the ways than you might think is possible.

It might be that you'd set up two positions for the tool holder assembly, one for the 'short swing' mode, and one for the maximum swing mode. I don't think there are any insurmountable problems with this.

That's kind of what went through my head as I saw your pictures, Steve.

09-30-2008, 09:48 AM
Darryl, excellent ideas! The vertical spindle riding on a separate overarm is a great idea.
I had given thought to building a screw mechanism to raise both the spindle head and the end support/tail stock vertically simultaneously on the 2 columns.
But I ended up going with separate vertical controls for each. A lead screw for the headstock and rack and pinion for the tailstock end. To keep them centered with one another for tail stock and line boring work, I'll just have to use a surface gage on the tables. Since both tables were cut from the same carriage and are precision ground, heights are exact to one another. So long parts can easily rest on both tables flat.
At the end support column will be attached a dovetail slide which will traverse vertically via rack/pinion. This slide will feature both a tail stock and a end support bushing for the line boring bars. I'm also considering adding a small drill to make the end column a small drill press.
As my machine progresses it will be become more visually apparent to what it will be able to accomplish. I have a feeling the average HSM guy might not quite understand what this type of machine will easily be able to accomplish that would otherwise be very difficult setups on more conventional machines.

03-07-2011, 12:40 PM
Guys, so sorry to revive an old thread, but I wanted to saw AWESOME JOB to Steve. I am the guy who sold him this Gilman cross slide.

Myself, I acquired a non-working Bridgeport Interact CNC mill and converted it to EMC and Linux. It now has five working axes and rigid tapping.