My experience with Walker cylinder gap and some other notes.

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I recently got a Walker by Uberti and immediately decided to address the short arbor issue before shooting it. With a .0865" shim under the arbor I set the cone to cylinder gap at .0015". Whether it was fouling or heat I had to assist the cylinder several times and once it bound up to where I had to break down the gun. So I put a .088 shim under the arbor which gave me a .004" cone to cylinder gap and a .002" gap between the barrel and frame assembly which the wedge would close up but then it tightened up the cone to cylinder gap at the bottom (6 o'clock) so I put a .002" shim between the barrel and frame assembly. That brought the cone to cylinder to true with still a .004" gap. Nothing is permanent, nothing has been filed or changed which I like as it may all be subject to change in the future. Next step is a test shooting. This lead me to check the gap on some of my other guns. 1851 Navy .44 by Pietta is .007" and with Track Of the Wolf nipples is a very smooth running revolver. Uberti 1858 Remington BP (Slix Nipples) is .008" with base pin binding the only issue up around 24 rounds. Not that the cylinder binds, but the base pin becomes very difficult to remove if I let go much past that. So as part of my reloading procedure I pull the pin and give it wipe with bore butter or ballistol each time. My two cartridge guns, both Uberti, the 1858 Remington New Army Conversion and 1873 Evil Roy also have .008" cone to cylinder gaps.
 

Zulch

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Ed C. I too have a couple of Uberti Walkers. Beautiful replicas. One was manufactured in 2021 and the other in 2012. By the way, are you measuring the cylinder gap with the hammer down or in half cocked position? I've been told that it should be in half cocked position with the barrel pointing north to get a true measurement? I'm no expert but I am curious if this is the correct procedure for measuring the cone to cylinder gap? Also, I'm not sure I understand your comment here? "and a .002" gap between the barrel and frame assembly". Are we talking about a gap between the frames two reference pins and the barrel assembly? Thank you for the post by the way. very interesting. :thumb: Z
 
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Ed C. I too have a couple of Uberti Walkers. Beautiful replicas. One was manufactured in 2021 and the other in 2012. By the way, are you measuring the cylinder gap with the hammer down or in half cocked position? I've been told that it should be in half cocked position with the barrel pointing north to get a true measurement? I'm no expert but I am curious if this is the correct procedure for measuring the cone to cylinder gap? Also, I'm not sure I understand your comment here? "and a .002" gap between the barrel and frame assembly". Are we talking about a gap between the frames two reference pins and the barrel assembly? Thank you for the post by the way. very interesting. :thumb: Z
The cone to cylinder gap should be measured with the hammer at half cock and pointing up so that the hand is not pushing the cylinder forward. Yes, the .002" shim was placed where the locator pins are. Once I found what I needed to shim the arbor I found I had a .002" gap between the frame and barrel assembly. Seems to be working good. I lightly tap in the wedge and in shooting 30 rounds it stayed in place and in a few disassembly/assemblies after cleaning everything falls in place each time. The gun ran very smooth for those 30 rounds. No binding, no cap jams, one cap misfire. Very happy and a big favorite to shoot.
 
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45D

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The wedge should be Driven in with good force. Lightly tapping won't "take up" clearances or impart enough tension. More than likely the thicker spacer you made would be much closer to what you need but you have to smack the wedge in hard to close the frame/barrel lug joint. It's "endshake" you're measuring by the way not a gap. With no bushing to hold a "gap" the endshake closes to zero (or should) with each cycle of the action. That basically makes them "self cleaning " which is pretty much the one "+" an open top has over a revolver with a gap ( it's also why you can get away with such a close endshake measurement).

Mike
 
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The wedge should be Driven in with good force. Lightly tapping won't "take up" clearances or impart enough tension. More than likely the thicker spacer you made would be much closer to what you need but you have to smack the wedge in hard to close the frame/barrel lug joint. It's "endshake" you're measuring by the way not a gap. With no bushing to hold a "gap" the endshake closes to zero (or should) with each cycle of the action. That basically makes them "self cleaning " which is pretty much the one "+" an open top has over a revolver with a gap ( it's also why you can get away with such a close endshake measurement).

Mike
Mike, I did try an endshake ,or gap as I refer to it, at .0015 and experienced binding where several times I had to assist the cylinder rotation. With the larger (.004") endshake there was none of that. I think that the way I have the gun set up, as soon as I push the barrel and frame assembly in place everything is pretty much in place leaving the wedge with very little work to do other than just hold things in place. I can assemble/disassemble the gun several times using various amounts of force on the wedge (other than really whacking it with unreasonable force) and the wedge seats in the same place and the endshake is consistent. I know I have nowhere your experience. I am am simply relating my own personal experience with this gun. I think that by addressing both the arbor and lug fit, getting both to seat at the same time, the wedge does not have to do much in the way of taking up tension. BTW-on my first open top (Pietta 1851) I really whacked the wedge, drove it in to where the screw was almost touching the spring retaining rivet. Other than putting excessive wear on the slots and wedge the gun seems OK but I don't want to go there again. Of the two mistakes I'd rather set the wedge too light than drive it in too deep. Thanks for your interest.
 

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That's fine Ed. You had binding with .0015" (that's what I use for cartridge conversions) for two reasons. The spacer wasn't thick enough and you don't drive the wedge in. The "wear" you're worried about is going to happen because you DON'T drive the wedge in. It's critical to have contact first at the frame / barrel lug. That is the MAJOR contact area. Then you can start dialing in your endshake.

What you describe is a "teeter totter" set up and that obviously means the arbor spacer is too thick or the wedge isn't imparting enough force. The arbor length is the adjustable piece, not the foundation. These things are made of steel - not glass (I haven't broken one yet).

You have to know what you're looking for so you'll know when you've arrived . . . l'm not saying that to be "mean" but your setup sounds like your "searching" for the solution. At least your not afraid to attempt the fix . . . you've just got to understand the "have to's" so you end up with a correct solution (a "bullet proof" setup!!). BUT, you'll never get there without smacking the wedge in hard! Especially if you shoot loads the Walker is capable of!! The Walker is able to wreck itself pretty quickly.

Just trying to help,
Mike
 
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That's fine Ed. You had binding with .0015" (that's what I use for cartridge conversions) for two reasons. The spacer wasn't thick enough and you don't drive the wedge in. The "wear" you're worried about is going to happen because you DON'T drive the wedge in. It's critical to have contact first at the frame / barrel lug. That is the MAJOR contact area. Then you can start dialing in your endshake.

What you describe is a "teeter totter" set up and that obviously means the arbor spacer is too thick or the wedge isn't imparting enough force. The arbor length is the adjustable piece, not the foundation. These things are made of steel - not glass (I haven't broken one yet).

You have to know what you're looking for so you'll know when you've arrived . . . l'm not saying that to be "mean" but your setup sounds like your "searching" for the solution. At least your not afraid to attempt the fix . . . you've just got to understand the "have to's" so you end up with a correct solution (a "bullet proof" setup!!). BUT, you'll never get there without smacking the wedge in hard! Especially if you shoot loads the Walker is capable of!! The Walker is able to wreck itself pretty quickly.

Just trying to help,
Mike
Mike, no offense taken. Just having a discussion on this. My vision on this: I get the gun from Uberti. With the frame seated up against the barrel lug I have no idea of how short the arbor is. So I pull the frame and barrel apart, swing the frame out to the side, push the arbor in as far as it goes and see what the distance is from the barrel face to the lug face. That is my starting point for a spacer. Assemble the gun and check endshake. Make final adjustments by sanding the shim. The wedge is along the same axis as the arbor. Once you have tight metal to metal contact between the barrel, the shim, and the arbor, no matter how tight you drive in the wedge you will not compress steel. Only peen out the slots. That is my endshake. .004" using a .088" shim. It will not change unless I change the shim. The primary force of the wedge is applied at the arbor fit, not at the lug.Now I look at the lug and find I have a .002" gap there and add a shim. There is no teter totter in the gun. It is a solid seating of both the arbor and lug joint. How "hard" the wedge is driven in is subjective. Maybe I'm driving it hard enough to meet your standards already. I don't know. I place the gun on a piece of wood with a hole in it for the wedge and drive it down with a piece of wood. I'm not taking a brass hammer or punch to it. I've found I like to shoot 45 grains of BP in that gun. I will keep an eye out for the wedge loosening or other changes. Nothing I have done is permanent and can be changed at any time. I do not like the idea of soldering, drilling or filing anything on the gun to set this up. This is all MPO and I am open to any discussion or ideas on it. I am not a gunsmith by any means, but was a very good industrial mechanic.
 
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Zulch

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Mike, no offense taken. Just having a discussion on this. My vision on this: I get the gun from Uberti. With the frame seated up against the barrel lug I have no idea of how short the arbor is. So I pull the frame and barrel apart, swing the frame out to the side, push the arbor in as far as it goes and see what the distance is from the barrel face to the lug face. That is my starting point for a spacer. Assemble the gun and check endshake. Make final adjustments by sanding the shim. The wedge is along the same axis as the arbor. Once you have tight metal to metal contact between the barrel, the shim, and the arbor, no matter how tight you drive in the wedge you will not compress steel. Only peen out the slots. That is my endshake. .004" using a .088" shim. It will not change unless I change the shim. The primary force of the wedge is applied at the arbor fit, not at the lug.Now I look at the lug and find I have a .002" gap there and add a shim. There is no teter totter in the gun. It is a solid seating of both the arbor and lug joint. How "hard" the wedge is driven in is subjective. Maybe I'm driving it hard enough to meet your standards already. I don't know. I place the gun on a piece of wood with a hole in it for the wedge and drive it down with a piece of wood. I'm not taking a brass hammer or punch to it. I've found I like to shoot 45 grains of BP in that gun. I will keep an eye out for the wedge loosening or other changes. Nothing I have done is permanent and can be changed at any time. I do not like the idea of soldering, drilling or filing anything on the gun to set this up. This is all MPO and I am open to any discussion or ideas on it. I am not a gunsmith by any means, but was a very good industrial mechanic.
Ed C, Hi. Interesting. I am trying to follow and understand the conversation. So, correct me if I am wrong. Why wouldn't you have just added the appropriate shim measurement in the arbor hole so that you would not have had to place another shim at the lug? Am I misunderstanding you? It sounds like you had to shim at two different places on the revolver to get to where you wanted to be? I may not be understanding correctly. :) Thank you, Z
 
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Ed C, Hi. Interesting. I am trying to follow and understand the conversation. So, correct me if I am wrong. Why wouldn't you have just added the appropriate shim measurement in the arbor hole so that you would not have had to place another shim at the lug? Am I misunderstanding you? It sounds like you had to shim at two different places on the revolver to get to where you wanted to be? I may not be understanding correctly. :) Thank you, Z
Zulch, First of all let me say I am not a gunsmith nor profess to be an expert on this. I'm just doing and saying what makes sense to me. Yes, I did end up with a shim (.088") under the arbor and a shim between the barrel and frame-the lug joint. When I got the endshake I wanted there was a .002" gap between the barrel and frame before driving in the wedge. I could just drive the wedge in to close this up but that then forces the barrel to point down in relation to the frame. To me, that is a teter toter fit. By placing a .002" shim in that location both the arbor and lug joint seat at the same time without putting tension on parts to close up gaps. Maybe this is unnecessary or not the conventionally accepted way to do this but I believe it is working for me. As with anything on the internet, read it and take away what you can use or makes sense to you.
 

Zulch

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Ed C. Hi. Thank you for the reply. I am no gunsmith either. Just making conversation. It's all very interesting to me. Glad you shared your method. Thanks. Z:thumb:
 

45D

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I'm a tuner, not a gunsmith. But, I learned from a tuner ( Mr. Jim Martin) that learned from a tuner that worked in the Colt custom shop.

It's perfectly fine to do things " on your own" but when 100 yrs. worth of info is telling you something, you can take the free advice or spend the next 100 yrs "figuring it out" for yourself. I'm all about learning but I'd rather start with "advanced " teaching rather than being the "pioneer". When the " pioneer " gets there, it's a 100 yrs later!! Lol
Have fun guys!!

Mike
 
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I had Jim Martin work on an unmentionable Colt of mine. As much as I love the gun, speaking with Mr. Martin was the real pleasure. That man is a genuine treasure trove of knowledge who has been there and done that. He also spins a heck of a yarn. As for you Mike, I’ll send something your way once I figure out a gun I can be apart from for a spell. So far I’m too attached. 😁
 
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I'm a tuner, not a gunsmith. But, I learned from a tuner ( Mr. Jim Martin) that learned from a tuner that worked in the Colt custom shop.

It's perfectly fine to do things " on your own" but when 100 yrs. worth of info is telling you something, you can take the free advice or spend the next 100 yrs "figuring it out" for yourself. I'm all about learning but I'd rather start with "advanced " teaching rather than being the "pioneer". When the " pioneer " gets there, it's a 100 yrs later!! Lol
Have fun guys!!

Mike
The pioneer does take prior info into account and says, "maybe it can also be done another way to suit my purposes" This is how progress is made and how followers are given different paths to achieve the same results. Experimentation leads to innovation.
 

45D

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The pioneer does take prior info into account and says, "maybe it can also be done another way to suit my purposes" This is how progress is made and how followers are given different paths to achieve the same results. Experimentation leads to innovation.

That is somewhat true but there's an awful lot to "know" before you ever venture into new or better. What I've learned over the years is there's almost nothing you can think of to do to a S.A. that hasn't already been done. I've called Jim about something "I" thought of, only to find out "it's been done and here's the drawbacks . . . ".

A perfect example - my typical (most popular) setup is to do away with flat springs (except for the main) and replace them with coil/torsion springs . . . with each part having its own spring. It took quite a long time to figure out the most efficient layout/way to use these springs . . which direction to wind the spring . . . how many coils for the trigger . . . the bolt . . . what gauge wire to use . . . deciding I could make a " keeper" (for the stationary end of the springs and the bolt block) out of the combination spring . . . It ended up being much more "involved" than I ever thought!! Ultimately, if I had seen a picture of what a Freedom Arms looked like inside (hard to find!!!), it would have shortened the process considerably!!! That is for the most part where I ended up . . . a F.A. action setup. So, to my point, I basically took the long way around to end up where I am and there's really nothing new that I did along the way . . . (I ended up back in the 1980's !!). Sometimes when the "pioneer" arrives, there's a crowd waiting.

The only thing I may have actually "pioneered" at all would be the torsion hand spring for the Remington, which is necessary for the "action" being converted to all coils (evn though the trigger took a little "head scratching"!!). So, it's possible to have a Remington action as reliable and robust as a F.A. or a Ruger as well.

Not being " preachy", just trying to help (at least shorten the curve for you!)

Mike
 
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That is somewhat true but there's an awful lot to "know" before you ever venture into new or better. What I've learned over the years is there's almost nothing you can think of to do to a S.A. that hasn't already been done. I've called Jim about something "I" thought of, only to find out "it's been done and here's the drawbacks . . . ".

A perfect example - my typical (most popular) setup is to do away with flat springs (except for the main) and replace them with coil/torsion springs . . . with each part having its own spring. It took quite a long time to figure out the most efficient layout/way to use these springs . . which direction to wind the spring . . . how many coils for the trigger . . . the bolt . . . what gauge wire to use . . . deciding I could make a " keeper" (for the stationary end of the springs and the bolt block) out of the combination spring . . . It ended up being much more "involved" than I ever thought!! Ultimately, if I had seen a picture of what a Freedom Arms looked like inside (hard to find!!!), it would have shortened the process considerably!!! That is for the most part where I ended up . . . a F.A. action setup. So, to my point, I basically took the long way around to end up where I am and there's really nothing new that I did along the way . . . (I ended up back in the 1980's !!). Sometimes when the "pioneer" arrives, there's a crowd waiting.

The only thing I may have actually "pioneered" at all would be the torsion hand spring for the Remington, which is necessary for the "action" being converted to all coils (evn though the trigger took a little "head scratching"!!). So, it's possible to have a Remington action as reliable and robust as a F.A. or a Ruger as well.

Not being " preachy", just trying to help (at least shorten the curve for you!)

Mike
I knew I was not going anyplace new as before I started on my project I did days of research on it seeing everything from simply throwing lockwashers under the arbor to Pettifogger's fixes and many of your posts. I chose to use a fix that was not permanent, that did not involve filing or soldering parts or metal to the gun and was actually easier to do than the more involved fixes and yet efficiently did the job of establishing a proper and consistent endshake. I put the post up with the idea of helping anyone who might want to go in the same direction. You now have opened a new door for me. I am familiar with using coil springs on the hand. I had to replace one on a brand new Evil Roy that was shipped with broken hand coil spring. Actually only half the spring was there. Maybe their idea of "tuning"? It is hard for me to imagine how coil springs would be installed on the trigger and bolt. I am always amazed at how the initial, simple and ingenious design of the revolvers of the mid 1800's are still the basic engineering of today's guns.
 

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Zulch, First of all let me say I am not a gunsmith nor profess to be an expert on this. I'm just doing and saying what makes sense to me. Yes, I did end up with a shim (.088") under the arbor and a shim between the barrel and frame-the lug joint. When I got the endshake I wanted there was a .002" gap between the barrel and frame before driving in the wedge. I could just drive the wedge in to close this up but that then forces the barrel to point down in relation to the frame. To me, that is a teter toter fit. By placing a .002" shim in that location both the arbor and lug joint seat at the same time without putting tension on parts to close up gaps. Maybe this is unnecessary or not the conventionally accepted way to do this but I believe it is working for me. As with anything on the internet, read it and take away what you can use or makes sense to you.
I have been schooled as a gun mechanic and have been at it continually for over 40 years mainly on bolt, single shot and muzzle loading rifle, revolver and 1911 hand gun work and to a lessor degree shot guns, along the way you learn things by experience that were not taught in gun school. The trick is to never think you know it all and always be open to ideas that may have merit. Some techniques work better than others on specific application so one size definitely does not fit all in this realm and keeping in mind that there is always more than one way to skin a cat.
There are a number of things more important to good open frame revolver accuracy than having the arbor mate with the well end. The reason this is true is because all the momentum in the barrel group in moving in the opposite direction trying to separate from the arbor. Only the end of the arbor , it's threaded purchase into the frame and its slot end fit to the key is stopping the separation. The arbor end joint wither making contact or not has no ability to arrest this momentum movement, only the end of the arbor slot and key, loaded in compression are blocking this.
Even key fit in the slots, uniform key depth and lower lug height and pin fit are the most important to accuracy and longevity once you get the barrel lapped even , forcing cone cut to approximately half a ball depth , crown square and the chamber mouths reamed round to groove diameter. Fitting the arbor end tight hurts nothing but aids very little if anything to accuracy in my experience if the other points mentioned are adjusted correctly.
The barrel cylinder gap also does not seem to be very important to accuracy if chamber to bore alignment is good and the forcing cone is evenly cut.
Most all revolver barrels I have checked have tight and loose spots in the bores and can stand to be lapped even. Also many times forcing cones, chamber mouths and muzzle crowns don't seem to have much attention paid to them.
Virtually all of these reproduction guns are a good foundation for very accurate shooting machines if gone over a bit and made to work at their full potential.
 
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I have been schooled as a gun mechanic and have been at it continually for over 40 years mainly on bolt, single shot and muzzle loading rifle, revolver and 1911 hand gun work and to a lessor degree shot guns, along the way you learn things by experience that were not taught in gun school. The trick is to never think you know it all and always be open to ideas that may have merit. Some techniques work better than others on specific application so one size definitely does not fit all in this realm and keeping in mind that there is always more than one way to skin a cat.
There are a number of things more important to good open frame revolver accuracy than having the arbor mate with the well end. The reason this is true is because all the momentum in the barrel group in moving in the opposite direction trying to separate from the arbor. Only the end of the arbor , it's threaded purchase into the frame and its slot end fit to the key is stopping the separation. The arbor end joint wither making contact or not has no ability to arrest this momentum movement, only the end of the arbor slot and key, loaded in compression are blocking this.
Even key fit in the slots, uniform key depth and lower lug height and pin fit are the most important to accuracy and longevity once you get the barrel lapped even , forcing cone cut to approximately half a ball depth , crown square and the chamber mouths reamed round to groove diameter. Fitting the arbor end tight hurts nothing but aids very little if anything to accuracy in my experience if the other points mentioned are adjusted correctly.
The barrel cylinder gap also does not seem to be very important to accuracy if chamber to bore alignment is good and the forcing cone is evenly cut.
Most all revolver barrels I have checked have tight and loose spots in the bores and can stand to be lapped even. Also many times forcing cones, chamber mouths and muzzle crowns don't seem to have much attention paid to them.
Virtually all of these reproduction guns are a good foundation for very accurate shooting machines if gone over a bit and made to work at their full potential.
This is all very fascinating to me. Much of it beyond my skills and confidence level. Being a casual shooter, most guns will group right out of the box better than I can freehand shoot. At the end of a session, if I can look at the target and say, "That is a dead man. All kill shots", that is good enough for me. Or if all the milk jugs and soda bottles have been shot, I'm good. At 77, still trying to figure out what I'll be when I grow up!
 

45D

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M.De Land, it's incredible that someone so "educated" and with such a willingness to learn still can't understand why 2 assemblies that can't move isn't a fundamentally better platform for accuracy as well as durability than 2 assemblies that CAN move!! Fascinating!!!!!
Too bad the designers didn't have you around to explain their idiocy of design! Every reproduction made save for Pietta of late as been wrong so you'll side with any of them rather than the actual creator and those that corrected their product! Maybe it's just too impossible to think that "those" engineers could actually understand their own design better than you can ?!! My, my . . .

By the way Ed C. , the wedge position doesn't matter a whit!!! It only works if it's tight! (The revolver doesn't know the wedge's position . . . shhhhhhh. Lol!!!) You are on the right track!!

Mike
 
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M.De Land, it's incredible that someone so "educated" and with such a willingness to learn still can't understand why 2 assemblies that can't move isn't a fundamentally better platform for accuracy as well as durability than 2 assemblies that CAN move!! Fascinating!!!!!
Too bad the designers didn't have you around to explain their idiocy of design! Every reproduction made save for Pietta of late as been wrong so you'll side with any of them rather than the actual creator and those that corrected their product! Maybe it's just too impossible to think that "those" engineers could actually understand their own design better than you can ?!! My, my . . .

By the way Ed C. , the wedge position doesn't matter a whit!!! It only works if it's tight! (The revolver doesn't know the wedge's position . . . shhhhhhh. Lol!!!) You are on the right track!!

Mike
Mike, I'm aware of that. I don't care where the wedge seats but I do like to see it seat in the same place each time on assembly. Regardless of which way components are moving, common sense tells me any unit that is tight fitting with the least movement between parts will wear less and last longer.
 

45D

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Mike, I'm aware of that. I don't care where the wedge seats but I do like to see it seat in the same place each time on assembly. Regardless of which way components are moving, common sense tells me any unit that is tight fitting with the least movement between parts will wear less and last longer.

Yes. I'm pretty sure most folks that can read these forums can understand how important a sound and repeatable foundation/support mechanism is paramount and fundamental to accuracy!! That is precisely the WHY the arbor length situation is the MOST important feature of the open top design!! (and also why the wedge being tight (not it's position) is important!).
The reason I put an adjustable "WEDGE BEARING" is two fold. 1. to allow for mechanical wear from repeated removal/ insertion and 2. For YOUR preference as to "where" you want it to be.
There you go !!

Mike
 
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