Hi there Guys,
At last I did register although I never needed to, because everything I wanted to know was usually to be found in this forum. I am thanking you for all your help, even if you did not know me.
The reason I registered was because I had something to moan about and something that can help other guys like me. I am not totally new to machines but never had the absolute struggle to set up a machine properly and correctly. I say a struggle because it was one, and it was a long one to such a point where I almost gave up.
OK, here we go. I am really p.ss..d off with the articles on tramming a mill on the web, for one reason, they take a lot of parameters for granted which does not even get mentioned. Believe me I read a good deal of articles about the topic and found that each and everyone make it sound like a few hours work, that is if the following are already in place or adjusted:
1) The piece of floor, the machine is going to stand on, is perfectly flat and level. Especially if you have a stand that cannot adjust the feet for leveling.
2) That you have a very sturdy stand that would not bend or move under the weight of the machine.
3) That the top of the stand is perfectly flat, level and square when standing on your perfectly flat floor.
4) That your machine are flat and steady on the stand and do not move around on the table.
Most of the articles take the points above for granted and implies it indirectly but never mention it directly. They all start with leveling the table. This may be true if the 4 points above is already hundred percent correct by chance. Not likely, especially in my case.
So, you have gathered by now, I was determined to get my mill trammed within 0.01mm(0.0003"). I built my frame put it on the floor, and level the table with my precission engineering level(0.02mm/m). Took me a while but got it very close to perfect. Now for the square column, I started putting in shims and it then struck me there is no way I should be putting in as many shims as I did, not even on a Chinese mill. I then started a very long journey of a few weeks to find why I could not get within my specs and that I needed a lot of shimming to even get near the specs.
I have built my own stand and thought I did a good job, far from it. Well actually the first time I tried the trimming, it was at my old house and i had to shim the colomn on the right side, I then moved and when I put the mill back together I found, I now have to shimm it on the left to get the column upright. Now I was worried that something was bent during the move. Shoot me but, with the help of some articles, I found that I did not properly tighten my gib strip on the z-axis. I now had to shimm on the right again.
Just to be complete, I also had a problem with my Y-axis gibb strip which did not want to go in as before. I will tell you a bit later how I fixed this. Now old the old school guys would say, "WHAT A TAPPET", the problem is the following, but remember I am new to this...........
Well let's go on. Now I still had the problem of the column not being able to be trammed properly. I then thought I need to replace the rubber feet with metal feet to make it even more sturdy. I changed the feet and found the following:
1) The metal feet is sturdy but it causes a hell of a lot of vibration, even when I just winch the z-axis up and down. So the rubber feet is actually good in absorbing the vibrations.
2)The stand was now swaying left and right and front to back. OK, I did not do a good job building a stand because I did not weld some diagonal bars between the legs of the stand to keep it sturdy sideways.
I quickly welded in some diagonal bars into the stand and changed back to the rubber feet. Still not much improvement after all this.
I also have a myford ML7 lathe and already tried to set that up previously but did not have the correct tools. Luckily, I had a book by apparently the GodFather of the ML7 lathe, cannot remember his name, and he had a very good description, setting up the lathe correctly.
The one thing he and other writers could not express more the important thing of getting the lathe ways parallel and level, otherwise you would turn tapered cylinders in the lathe.
This made me very excited in that i have to check the mill's ways, precisely the same thing for the lathe , just shorter. I disassembled down to the ways and put my level on the ways on both sides. Oh, my ......, The ways are not even nearly parallel. What does that mean:
1) I twisted my mills ways quite a bit.
2) The gibb for the Y-axis would not go in properly because the ways is pinching the gibb in the twist it has.This sounds like a very big twist but remember we are talking about prescission machines here and the slightest twist will cause havoc.
3) If corrected, the column will correct most probably itself to very near the specs.
OK, I am not the best stand builder on earth, I obviously did not do a good job at making it square and level. So I had to shimm the base till the ways are absolutely parallel. Remember making the table ways parallel, does not mean necsesseraly level, but having them level also is a plus point. At this stage just get them parallel, and some people do not fasten the mill to the stand and some do, I do for sturdiness. So now put the mill together and now I can level the mill table with the stands feet. Remember my mill is fastened to the stand. If not, you also have to get the base and table level by shimming the base between the base and the stand. Obviously if the floor is level and the stand is sqaure and level on the floor it would not need much shimming to get everything parallel and level.
To be honest I still have to level the table tonight and check the column for squareness but with the experience I got up to now it is going to be a synch to do because everything suddenly squared up after the ways has been made parallel.
Ye, Ye, I know I should not be p.ss..d off with the guys who wrote the articles because without them I would not have gotten this far. Sorry guys
If anybody feel this is not descriptive enough, please give me some pointers.
Well, after this I am sure I would do in a day what previously took me days, well in this case weeks, to sort out At least you now should be at the point where you can start reading all the articles on tramming.
Last edited by Scratchbuild; 08-06-2009 at 08:48 AM.
It was still not the easiest to get my Mill to tram within specs, but I did it!!!!!
I really think the the bottom up procedure has helped me a lot and would have cut my time tramming the mill, by more than a half if not by 80%.
I am a happy chappy and now can fit my DRO 350 to it