Case Study: 5 Unique Slide & Spindle Projects from Gilman Precision

Bonesaws. Telescopes. Household napkins. While it may seem like these things have nothing in common, the truth is Gilman Precision has a hand in ensuring the quality of these products by providing industry-leading slides, spindles, and repair services. Check out these unique projects to see how Gilman Precision supports a wide array of machinery used across the globe!


If you’ve ever gone to the hospital for a bone graft, chances are the machine used to cut the bone utilized a Gilman Precision spindle. The spindle is made from stainless steel with precision angular contact bearings and food-grade synthetic grease. Because the spindle needs to be washed down with bleach water, special seals and Tin (titanium nitride) coating are used on the nose end. The spindle also has automatic tool change capability using an ISO 20 taper. 

Spindle Repair

Like macaroni and cheese? The spindle that makes that special cheese powder is repaired exclusively by Gilman Precision. What makes this spindle difficult to repair is its length, measuring five feet long, lubricated with food-grade oil, and running at 14,800 RPM. Dynamic balancing is critical and the expert technicians at Gilman Precision have the know-how to make sure this machine operates vibration-free for a long spindle life.

Dovetail Slide

In Chile, South America, there is an LSST (Large Synoptic Telescope). Periodically the multi-ton, 28-foot diameter lens needs maintenance. During the maintenance procedure, fine adjustments need to be made to reconcile alignment errors between the maintenance cart and the lens. Gilman Precision is contracted to produce dovetail slides to facilitate the smooth, precise movement required to reconcile these errors between the lens and cart.

Hardened Way Slide

A paper converting company needed smooth, rigid movement to produce napkins, and Gilman Precision produced a hardened way slide to meet their needs. The hardened way slides Gilman Precision supplies are actuated with a ball screw and includes way covers to keep the ball screw and way surfaces clean. The hardened way slide can also withstand the high-cycling, repetitive motion of the napkin-converting machine.

Linear Guide/Spindle

It’s no easy task to bore a titanium block for the landing gear of the F35 strike fighter. Ultra-precision and smooth motion are required, as well as a vibration-free spindle. Gilman Precision supplied a five-axis linear guide assembly with a belt-driven spindle to perform this difficult operation. There are two axes of rotary motion and three axes of linear motion. The slide units are driven with ball screws and way covers to keep the ball screw and linear guides clean. 

Have a slide or spindle in need of repair? Contact a Gilman technician at 800-445-6267 or

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