# Thread: X-axis to Y-axis - are they square?

1. ## X-axis to Y-axis - are they square?

Hello,

This is my first post on this forum. I've been reading it for the last several weeks and learned a lot from all of you.

I am on the market for a manual mill. Currently think of 2 choices - IH or Grizzly 0484. My workshop is in the basement, so there is no way I can bring any bigger machine over there.

I have seen both G0484 and IH (made a special trip to CT this September to see IH). Still cannot decide which one is better built.

Did any of you guys tried to measure if X is square to Y? I would probably use a known good quality square block (like 2-4-6), put it on a table, indicate one side to 0 and then check the other side with .0001" indicator. Anybody did that?

My other question is about tramming. What exactly is that? Does it mean putting the spindle into alignment with the table? And how would you do that without violating the column alignment to the table ways?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Mike

3. Runner4404spd, I was wondering if you or anyone else could clarify how you tram your ih mill. I'm new to cnc and machining in general. Our high school robotics club purchased a turnkey ih mill and I'm trying to figure out how to tram it properly. Right now, it is within 0.005" in the x for the entire length of the table. I've attempted to improve this by loosening the three large bolts holding the head to the column and twisting the head into place. Is this the wrong approach?

I'm intrigued by your comment on shims and I'm uncertain where I should place them or what material I should use. Since the machine is powder coated, I don't see where the column actually meets the base. I hope that my inquiry doesn't sound too uniformed. Thanks in advance.

4. The general method would require a cylinder square or similar device to set on table for a vertical tramming surface. Running an indicator up and down the square on at least two or better three lines will allow the column to be trued to the table. The column is trued by shimming the base of column at the base of machine. After this is done to an as close to true as is possible the spindle is then trammed to the table top using a sweeping arm with an indicator on it and a true smooth plate or sheet of glass. The spindle is trued by shimming the gear box to the Z saddle till the tramming indicator is showing the smallest possible deviation.
As mentioned above by runner the machine should be relatively level in the two planes.

5. 8abagel, i'm not really sure what you meant by .005 along the x axis.

basically heres where you start. you need to get a machinists level i would recommend at least a starrett 98-8. this level is a precision peice of equipment not to be confused with a carpenters level. set up your level on the table of the mill. ideally the table should be centered on both the x axis travel and the y axis travel as this removes table flex from the equation. now look at your level and add or remove shims under the base until your close to level. now rotate the level 90° and check the y axis. now repeat the removal or additions of shims to get y level. now repeat x and repeat y, until your satisfied with the table being level to the ground. this is your starting point. from here don't reposition or move your mill unless you want to redo this.

6. Thank you both for detailing each process so clearly. I now understand what I need to do.

Currently I just have the mill sitting on a stand but it is not bolted down. The stand was built as described on the IH website and seems to be very rigid. I figured the friction between machine and the table would prevent any noticeable movement. This seems to be the case, since we have not seen any shifter after milling a number of parts. That being said, does anyone have a comment and or recommendation concerning the following mounting options?

1. Bolting the table down with shims.
2. Using leveling feet. If so, does anyone have a type/brand recommendation?
3. Leaving the mill unbolted, but leveling with shims.

Thanks again for all of the help.

7. my recommendation is to bolt it down and shim underneath the base. without bolting it down the machine could move around from vibration if you only shim it. mounting feet are another viable option, and have been implemented successfully. for me however, since your in a learning environment and maybe not used the protocols of machining i would bolt down.

8. Thank you guys for your response. I am still waiting for an answer about X to Y squareness. I am afraid it is not adjustable. Anybody checked that?

9. I don't see where this can be adjusted on my IH Manual Mill. But I would figure the IH team will check to make sure the table is true. If the squareness is off you could face the table to make it square to the column.

Also the IH is way better than the Griz Machine. See this comp page.

Mill Comparison

I have the VFD Motor and DRO on mine. Look particularly at Table Size, Table Travel and The size of the Z Column Attachement (IH Larger and more rigid).

Worth the extra coin for sure.

10. The relationship between X & Y is hard set by the dove slides and there is no adjustment or settings possible.

11. Seems still not clear about X Y squareness. Understood it is not adjustable. Any measurements?
Is it a big deal if it is off (0.001 per inch) in a manual mill?

12. Originally Posted by mikey553
Thank you guys for your response. I am still waiting for an answer about X to Y squareness. I am afraid it is not adjustable. Anybody checked that?
It seems that if your one of the lucky one's, you will get one that is square. Mine is not. Squarness on my IH is out .003 in just 4 inches of travel. It is an easy check and only requires a presision machinist solid square. Place the square flat on the table, clamp it down lightly. Indicate one leg of the square parallel with the X axis. Then swing the indicator 90 degrees and indicate the other leg of the square while moving the Y axis.

I need to recut the dovetail of the Y axis on my sadle to correct the squareness problem.

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