So I have my taig cnc mill, and I'm trying to set it up. I've been working on it on and off for close to 18 hours now (about 3 hours a day for 6 days)
I have a 2x2x3 square block of aluminum that I am taking .001-.002 cuts off the top.
I am using this vise:
LittleMachineShop.com - Vise, 4" CNC Mill
It is awfully big on the table, but I needed the capacity for the project I got the mill for in the first place, and didn't understand how large this thing was when I ordered it. I imagine if I can get this thing working, I can snatch the leadscrew out of this vise and make a new one with a smaller profile.
I am using the 1/2in cutter here:
LittleMachineShop.com - End Mill Set, 6 Piece 2 Flute
I used this dial indicator to line up the column:
LittleMachineShop.com - Dial Indicator, 1" x 0.001"
On a full pass on the X axis the indicator moves about 1/4 of .001, as far as I've read that's pretty darn good.
My problem is this:
When I'm taking a cut off the aluminum block, I'm passing over it on the X axis, shaving off .001-.002, then making a 1/8in step on the Y axis, and passing over it again, over and over until the surface is done. It always leaves ridges that run along the X on the surface.
I've tried tightening all the gibs, and I've tried adjusting the X and Y gib. That had 0 effect, except of course the hell and a half of readjusting them to get the machine running smoothly again.
I've tried shimming the dovetail headstock mount. I don't actually know if that is where you are supposed to place the shims in order to adjust the Y axis, but I read somewhere that to adjust any misalignment with the Y axis to shim something up in the general toolpost region, and after inspecting the area, the only place it made sense to put a shim was behind the dovetail headstock mount. This has produced extremely erratic results. I have been using pieces of paper about 2.5in long, 1/3in tall cut off the back of the littlemachineshop catalog.
on top of that I think the table might be warped. When I was tramming the head on the X I mounted the indicator in a collet and passed it over the X axis of the table. It was smooth motion of the needle for all but about 2 inches of the table, slightly off center, where it would have a sudden drop and rise of about .002. I've tried giving it a little rubdown with 400 grit wetdry, it seemed to help a bit, but not completely.
This is insanely frustrating me. The only reason I have given it about 3 hours a day is because I have to take the rest of the day to cool off after 3 hours with this machine. Can someone please help. FYI I am not a professional, nor do I have any experience in a shop, or any shop buddies I could call.
Thank you for your time.