View Full Version : ideas on straight and tapered gib making

04-28-2017, 11:40 AM
I haven't posted much project work in a while and Milton's comment got me inspired to share some photos on gib making - here's a series of shots on making both a straight gib and tapered gib.

Use a feeler gauge to figure out the gib thickness - the ones with the tapered ends are needed for small parts like this


The blank, sawn from a piece of cast iron. Forrest says for thin ones use steel as CI can crack....I've not have problem yet but then again the few i've done mightened have been thin enough


scrape one side, mill the other, then setup in the part it mates with to cut the angles. You could tip the head, but this is faster



04-28-2017, 11:41 AM

and you're done!


Tapered Gibs.

more complicated, there are likely many ways to make them....this is what I came up with

same first step, measure with feeler gauge - make sure you measure the thick end of the opening!

Procure material. When they sell large hunks of durabar they cut off (huge bandsaw) the outer 1" or so as it will contain cracks from cooling. Such a hunk of scrap is shown below - you can still whittle out useful bits from them though


04-28-2017, 11:43 AM
get the blank to basic dimensions, then tip the head and mill one angled surface. You can just see in the bottom right hand corner of the work a missing sort of cresent shape - this is an example of the cracks you can encounter. anyway, I just saw of slices until i get one that stays in one piece where i need it to lol




Now, with one side angled, the second side needs to cut - its an angle in two directions so is trickier to hold.
Carefully measure the length. Then measure the large and small openings in the cross slide assembly.


04-28-2017, 11:44 AM
Knowing the exact change (or taper) over the castings, calculate it over the length of the blank gib. then set up packing including gauge blocks so the work is held with one end the correct amount higher than the other. Note the piece is reversed - the broken out section is at the top now


mill away and the taper starts to emerge



there's some work on the end required, I also turned new bolts from some chrome moly


04-28-2017, 11:44 AM

and add in some oil passages


oil passages in the sliding pieces


next, scrape the side going against the angle piece (cross slide) flat. It doesn't so not need to go nuts on points per inch.


04-28-2017, 11:45 AM
the last step is to scrape the second side to the carriage cross feed way....done using the carriage and cross feed to spot it


and we're done! (actually the below is slightly out of order....I guess I got the gib fully scraped and fit before I finished it to length and taped the hole



04-28-2017, 12:05 PM
Nice thread. Kudo's. :cool:

04-28-2017, 12:07 PM
I wanna be just like you when I grow up!;)

04-28-2017, 12:19 PM
What - fat and ugly???

OH! you mean Mcgyver.... never mind.

04-28-2017, 12:28 PM
A very nice write up. I'm not sure where or when I'll ever need to make a new gib. But there are lots of great process ideas in this thread.

04-28-2017, 12:31 PM
What - fat and ugly???

lol....I'm not making any claims one way or the other :)

thanks for the compliments Gents

04-28-2017, 12:59 PM
Perfect timing, I just got my lathe bed back from the grinder and will be making new gibs when I get to that point in the rebuild process. Nicely done Mcgyver, I appreciate the detailed explanation and the photos.


04-28-2017, 01:17 PM
Since you did such a great job on this, when can we expect chapter 2 to come out? Specifically, "looooooong tapered gib making"?

Can you tell I'm thinking of a new gib for my mill??? LOL.

04-28-2017, 01:24 PM
I'll have to pass the gib making baton over to you then....but photos are required :)

off the top of my head I'd do it in a similar way. With a long gib the vise won't work so I'd be thinking a series of suitably tall blocks and angle plates clamped to the table and then clamped to the blank gib. That's just off the cuff.....i'd probably do some thinking and reading etc before making chips. This milling btw is essentially roughing, as I scraped both surfaces afterward to the already scraped dovetail surfaces

J Tiers
04-28-2017, 04:19 PM
Interesting. That one is different from some, it is very wide and not tall. The one on the topslide appears even different from the crosslide gib.

I am more used to seeing CI tapered gibs which are not as thick (wide) as they are tall. That one appears equal, or even wider (horizontal distance) than it is tall.

04-28-2017, 10:06 PM
Nice work. Thanks for posting!

04-29-2017, 10:30 AM
Yes, very nice. But I think you just wanted to show off that new shiny Kurt vise. :)

04-29-2017, 10:53 AM
Yes, very nice. But I think you just wanted to show off that new shiny Kurt vise. :)

thanks guys.....lol yeah the vise ends up being pretty prominent. While a nice vise, I kind of don't like shilling for someone in every photo.....I thought of painting it over or photoshoping it out. These are part of growing collection of content that will hopefully one day be another series article so more reason to make it less like a Kurt commercial

Paul Alciatore
04-29-2017, 02:57 PM
Well, if you are feeling guilty about that Kurt, just ship it to me. I promise to give it a good home and I will even pay the shipping costs.

Nice post on the gibs. I will save the link to this thread for when I need to make some.

J Tiers
04-29-2017, 03:25 PM
A piece oof tape fixes the advertisement problem. If you use duct tape, roughly torn off the roll, you can get to that "backwoods shop" look, if having good equipment embarrasses you :D

Mark Rand
04-29-2017, 07:04 PM
For longer tapered gibs, if you've got the (worn) orignal, then glueing it to your piece of stock with superglue/Loctite/double-sided-tape, then milling or grinding flat, will work to get the rough angle.

If working with thin section cast iron bar, it can be worth stress relieving it before machining. Finding that it's turned banana shaped after the first cut can ruin your whole day.

The latter comment has nothing to do with personal experience. Oh no, not at all.:(

04-29-2017, 07:58 PM
I wish this site had rep points because I would give you one.

Tundra Twin Track
04-29-2017, 08:20 PM
Nice work Mcgyver,very nice!