Antique Engines and Old Iron
[Home] - [HELP] - [Forums] - [Articles] - [Photo Gallery] - [Groups] - [Chat] - [Classified Ads] - [Subscribe] - [Links] - [Books] - [Sponsors] - [Tools]

Go Back   SmokStak > SmokStak® Shop Equipment Tools and Techniques > Machine Shop and Tool Talk
Forgot Password? Join Us!

Notices

Machine Shop and Tool Talk Shop Equipment, fabrication, repairs, how to fix it, which tool to use for the job. Machinist shop talk, straight to the point.

Machine Shop and Tool Talk

Leveling methods for my lathe...


this thread has 8 replies and has been viewed 3719 times

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-11-2011, 11:31 AM
0002tense 0002tense is offline
Registered-I
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Somerville, New Jersey
Posts: 29
Likes: 38
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default Leveling methods for my lathe...

I'm getting ready to park my south bend 13 in position. Now comes leveling and I know the ideal way is to use a (precision level) for this and I've done this stuff countless times in my past when I had these levels at my finger tips. Now, I no longer have access to these levels. This is a great little lathe, but it's like a speed lathe compared to what I use to work on. yet, I'd like to get her as (0n) as possible. Can I get some thoughts on another method? thanks
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 04-11-2011, 01:33 PM
oldtractors's Avatar
oldtractors oldtractors is offline
Email NOT Working
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Iowa Falls, Iowa USA
Posts: 1,366
Likes: 1,399
Liked 1,650 Times in 653 Posts
Images: 5
Default Re: Leveling methods for my lathe...

Google "rollie's dad's method". Level doesn't matter as long as it cuts straight from one end to the other. I leveled mine with a carpenter's level, then used rollie's dad's method.
__________________
Jim Evans
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #3  
Old 04-15-2011, 08:40 PM
John Campbell John Campbell is offline
Registered-I
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Tonopah, Nevada U.S.A.
Posts: 10
Likes: 1
Liked 42 Times in 4 Posts
Default Re: Leveling methods for my lathe...

Probably the best level is a length of clear tubing with water or other liquid that may have color. Position one on one end of whatever you want to level then take the other to desired location. Works great and is cheap and as long as you want.Good Luck John
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #4  
Old 04-21-2011, 09:45 PM
16GaarScott 16GaarScott is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Wellman, Iowa
Posts: 103
Likes: 293
Liked 112 Times in 46 Posts
Default Re: Leveling methods for my lathe...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0002tense View Post
I'm getting ready to park my south bend 13 in position. Now comes leveling and I know the ideal way is to use a (precision level) for this and I've done this stuff countless times in my past when I had these levels at my finger tips. Now, I no longer have access to these levels. This is a great little lathe, but it's like a speed lathe compared to what I use to work on. yet, I'd like to get her as (0n) as possible. Can I get some thoughts on another method? thanks
Try ebay you never know maybe can get a level relatively cheap.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #5  
Old 04-28-2011, 12:09 AM
outlawenterprises outlawenterprises is offline
Registered-I
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: South Central KS
Posts: 17
Likes: 16
Liked 10 Times in 7 Posts
Default Re: Leveling methods for my lathe...

Remember, there are 2 absolute necessary measurements when leveling a lathe. First, Z axis is most important (or left and right for the machine declined). The X axis (roll) will be fine as long as it is in the ballpark.

The second being the alignment of any tool holders (ie tool post, turret, tailstock) to the face of the chuck. Obviously, this would cause off center cuts and tapered holes.

Finally, a couple tips for anyone that does not know. The best place to level off of is the "ways" of the Z axis (unless the machine has a milled place specifically for leveling). These are almost always placed completely perpendicular to the face of the chuck (or parallel to the bore). Additionally, the ways are usually made to be "flat" in space, hence the reason for placing the level here.

The longer the bed, the more precise you have to be with the leveling. To be absolutely certain of not adding in any possible sag, always move the tool post / turret as close to the chuck as possible before leveling. This allow all the weight to be centered and not through off your level to one end or the other.

If anyone has any questions about machine tool maintenance or setup or whatever, thats how I make the money to support my other habits...
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like This Post:
  #6  
Old 04-30-2011, 06:49 PM
mrxlh mrxlh is offline
Registered-II
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Bossier City, LA
Posts: 69
Likes: 1
Liked 14 Times in 12 Posts
Default Re: Leveling methods for my lathe...

I would grout it on shimmable chocks, that way, you can correct for any sag in the bed with standard precut shims.

If the headstock is bolted, it can be aligned to the tailstock. The tailstock should also have adjustments to align it to cut straight.

Another option is if you have any friends in the compressor business. They will be able to have access to edge align, or level align, which is a computer alignment system. Larger compressors are no longer aligned using soft foot to ensure bearing bores are straight, they now use the top rail using one of the above systems.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-06-2011, 09:26 PM
Miner Miner is offline
Registered-I
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Princeton B.C. Canada
Posts: 26
Likes: 14
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
Default Re: Leveling methods for my lathe...

Outlawenterprises,
I have to hesitate about asking this as I know it might take a lot of time to type it out.

I do know a fair ammount about getting the twist out of a lathe bed. And yes, Level is just a faster way to get to a static condition so the final adjustments under cutting conditions can be done. I've played around with my Emco Compact 5 lathe that has a fixed tailstock that can't be offset for taper turning and I've had the lathe adjusted to turn parallel to .0002 at each end of the test bar. I'll be the first to admit that it will not maintain this adjustment for more than a hour or two if I'm lucky due to thermal effects and the underlying stick type floor construction. I've bought a new and larger 11"X 27" (cough, cough) Chinese built lathe that has a tailstock that can be offset for taper
turning.

Adjusting the lathe bed using jacking bolts is an easy enough procedure that I understand, And I have the high precision level, micrometers and dial indicators to trust my readings. Where I am uncertain is the proper procedure of getting the tailstock offset adjusted. Do I level the lathe bed, Adjust the tailstock offset to the headstocks center of rotation, Then under cutting conditions adjust the jacking bolts so the lathe turns true end to end? In therory, The tailstock would be slightly misadjusted when using it for drilling ect. Maybe I'm making a mountain out of a mole hill, But it seems to me that I'd be chasing my tail getting both the bed true to the lathe headstock and the tailstock true to the lathes center of rotation. Any thoughts?

Pete
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-07-2011, 01:06 AM
outlawenterprises outlawenterprises is offline
Registered-I
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: South Central KS
Posts: 17
Likes: 16
Liked 10 Times in 7 Posts
Default Re: Leveling methods for my lathe...

Pete,

To answer your questions, you are could be making a mountain out of the proverbial molehill but you also might not be. You said that you can level a machine within .0002 on test bar. I am going to assume that this is a 10" or 12" bar since that is the standard. If this is correct, then you have the machine 95% leveled. Once you have the cross slide (X axis) exactly though the center of rotation, the tool holder exactly perpendicular to the center of rotation and the Z axis exactly parallel with the center of rotation, the machine leveling screws need to be locked down.

Now, you want to align the tailstock. Like you already said, you want to adjust it exactly to the center of rotation. Once this is done, lock it in and do not worry about possible droop of the machine. Most of the time, the droop is negligible and will not been seen in a finished part. The only correct way to get rid of droop when drilling with a tailstock is to use a steady rest on your stock.

Remember, the tooling alignment, machine twist, etc. is independent of the tailstock. If you adjust the leveling screws again after you have set the machine, it will throw out all the previous alignments done.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask...

Mick
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #9  
Old 05-07-2011, 01:14 PM
Miner Miner is offline
Registered-I
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Princeton B.C. Canada
Posts: 26
Likes: 14
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
Default Re: Leveling methods for my lathe...

Mick,
Yes I neglected to mention that was a 12" long test bar cut between centers. That 12" is pretty well the maximum length that can be turned between centers on this lathe. I used a 2" diameter mild steel bar. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. Your answers help a lot.

Pete
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

F o r u m Jump

Similar Threads Chosen at Random
Thread Thread Starter F o r u m Replies Last Post
Methods for Modern Sculptors, Ron Young casting,creamic shell molds, molds, wax PTSideshow Blacksmithing and Metallurgy 9 12-30-2010 11:38 AM
Looking to buy a lathe Todd Hodges Machine Shop and Tool Talk 16 03-10-2010 01:21 PM
lathe, maybe,, maybe not Dick-CT Antique Gas Engine Discussion 3 05-18-2005 09:18 PM
Preservation Methods for Original Finish Baggsy-Wy Antique Engine Archives 19 10-26-2003 12:17 PM
Painting methods? Bill Blackburn Antique Engine Archives 2 12-26-2002 08:36 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:35 PM.

Smokstak and Enginads site search!


All use is subject to our TERMS OF SERVICE
SMOKSTAK® is a Registered Trade Mark
A Community of Antique Engine Enthusiasts
Copyright © 2000 - 2014 by Harry Matthews
P.O. Box 5612 - Sarasota, FL 34277