How Do You Tram Your Router - Wood Build


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    Question How Do You Tram Your Router - Wood Build

    I see a lot of fancy tram plates for various metal builds.

    What mechanism do you use to tram your router on a build out of plywood, MDF or similar material?

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    Default Re: How Do You Tram Your Router - Wood Build

    A quick and dirty solution that gets you in the ballpark; cut a piece of wire coat hanger and chuck it in the spindle. Bend it into a Z shape such that the end pointing down at the table is off set 4" to 6" from the spindle centerline. Lower the chuck down towards the table and spin the spindle by hand. If there is any variance in the dimension between the wire end and the table, the spindle needs to be adjusted (trammed). Worked on my old drill press with a tilt table. On a wooden CNC, will get you close enough on your spindle alignment.



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    Default Re: How Do You Tram Your Router - Wood Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Project_Hopeless View Post
    I see a lot of fancy tram plates for various metal builds.

    What mechanism do you use to tram your router on a build out of plywood, MDF or similar material?

    IMO, what a machine is made of has nothing to do with how one trams the spindle. I haven't seen "a lot of fancy tram plates," although I've seen 2 or 3. I have one of them I use on my benchtop mill and on my 4' x 4' aluminum extrusion-based CNC router. I use the Edge Technology Pro Tram System and I'm happy to have it. It's design makes the process go much quicker than with the homemade alternatives. I made my first tram device. It was a piece of maple, which was used as a beam. I drilled it to accept a dial indicator at one end, and a metal dowel at the other. The dowel was tightened down in my spindle collet. It was just okay; nothing special, and took a lot more time to get things set up than with the Pro Tram.

    Here's a picture of the Pro Tram:

    How Do You Tram Your Router - Wood Build-pro_tram_by_edge_technology_bridgeport_milling_machine_angle__08115-1391121124-600-650-png

    Gary




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    Default Re: How Do You Tram Your Router - Wood Build

    I must admit to never having trammed my machine.It didn't leave ridges when I skimmed the spoilboard and for my hobby projects thats good enough.If I ever do an item that needs more precision I will have to find a way to mount my dial gauge and see what needs to be done.As the spoilboard has already been skimmed I would expect not to find misleading characteristics from a tapering piece of material.Trusting a freshly cut piece of MDF or particle board to be absolutely parallel can be unwise.



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    Default Re: How Do You Tram Your Router - Wood Build

    IMO, what a machine is made of has nothing to do with how one trams the spindle.
    I think he's asking more how to build in adjustment into the machine, not actually how to tram it.

    Most of the parts on my machines are CNC Cut, so I expect it to be pretty square when assembled, with not much tramming needed. I just use shims in the spindle clamp.

    Gerry

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    Default Re: How Do You Tram Your Router - Wood Build

    Quote Originally Posted by ger21 View Post
    I think he's asking more how to build in adjustment into the machine, not actually how to tram it.
    Yes exactly.

    I'm mulling over my Z axis design and was thinking how can I build in some adjustment. Initially I was going with aluminum plate for my Z Axis and I looked at this tram plate as an option. Tramming Adapter Installation - Spindle and Router Mount Assembly Instructions

    Now I'm thinking about going with plywood reinforced with metal angle.

    So with a plywood Z axis how do you build in adjustment. Or is it just simple as shimming up behind the mount.



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    Default Re: How Do You Tram Your Router - Wood Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Project_Hopeless View Post
    Yes exactly.

    I'm mulling over my Z axis design and was thinking how can I build in some adjustment. Initially I was going with aluminum plate for my Z Axis and I looked at this tram plate as an option. Tramming Adapter Installation - Spindle and Router Mount Assembly Instructions

    Now I'm thinking about going with plywood reinforced with metal angle.

    So with a plywood Z axis how do you build in adjustment. Or is it just simple as shimming up behind the mount.

    Shimming behind the mount will get you to tram for front-to-back, but not for side-to-side. Here is a link to Avid CNC's tramming plate. Maybe it will give you some ideas.

    Router Mount Base Adapter - CRP144-03-00 | Avid CNC | CNC Router Parts

    I don't own an Avid machine, but I use their tramming plate. Really simplifies the job. Basically, you need one close fitting hole for a shoulder bolt. The other three mounting holes are slotted. In corner opposite the shoulder bolt is an eccentric nut with a hole for the fastening screw. More complicated to describe than to use. Avid has DXF and Step files, which should allow you to modify the design to suit. The only problem is that you would need to have access to a CNC or mill to make it. I doubt it would translate well to wood.

    I've also read about people mounting a bolt on each side of the spindle and by tightening one, while loosening the other, they can bring the spindle into side-to-side tram. I haven't seen anything other than shims for the fore-and-aft trams.

    Gary


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    Default Re: How Do You Tram Your Router - Wood Build

    There are so many ways to square up a machine that all one can really say is that it depends upon the basic design of your machine. From my perspective you start from the bottom and work up. Get your gantry travel orthogonal to the X. Depending upon the machines design the same adjustments may also impact the squareness of the Z axises the the table. Hopefully the spindle is parallel to the Z and all you are left with is tilt. You don’t want to try to tram the spindle if the Z axis isn’t square to the X, especially if you have a large Z working area.

    Unfortunately it is hard to go into detail, especially when posting from a cell phone. A video for a specific machine would be a far better way to convey what needs to be done. Sadly I have no links.

    One point though if the machine is a wood build it can be difficult to find decent surfaces to indicate against. You will get a lot of noise from the dial indicator.

    Speaking of tools, spend good money on the dial indicator stand. A good stand can make a huge difference. Other items like squares and straight edges need to be good enough for the structure of the machine.



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    Default Re: How Do You Tram Your Router - Wood Build

    I agree with the comment about wooden surfaces.With a rough wooden surface I have laid a piece of metal on top of the spoilboard as there is normally no variation in thickness and then with a suitable pin in the collet you can swing the dial gauge through a full circle to find any inclination of the spindle axis.I expect offcuts of acrylic sheet would work too.Once you have found which way the tilt is you just have to shim or otherwise adjust the machine.I have achieved less than 0.001" over a 12" diameter arc and this seemed more than adequate.If you have any doubt about the parallelism of the metal you are using a quick check with a micrometer will settle matters.



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    Default Re: How Do You Tram Your Router - Wood Build

    I believe Avid / CNCRP shows a way just using the machine and no dial indicator. It just involves doing a test square using a tool and a board. When you get done the board shows no ridges then its correct. I used a dial indicator on mine.

    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. FLA Saturn 2 4x4 CNC Router Mach4 Kimber 1911 45ACP


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    Default Re: How Do You Tram Your Router - Wood Build

    Quote Originally Posted by routalot View Post
    I agree with the comment about wooden surfaces.With a rough wooden surface I have laid a piece of metal on top of the spoilboard as there is normally no variation in thickness and then with a suitable pin in the collet you can swing the dial gauge through a full circle to find any inclination of the spindle axis.I expect offcuts of acrylic sheet would work too.Once you have found which way the tilt is you just have to shim or otherwise adjust the machine.I have achieved less than 0.001" over a 12" diameter arc and this seemed more than adequate.If you have any doubt about the parallelism of the metal you are using a quick check with a micrometer will settle matters.
    Use a piece of thick plate glass. I bought a 3/8" thick piece years ago to use with sharpening chisels and hand hand plane blades. When I built my CNC, I added tramming to its duties. Works great. Go to a glass shop and ask about scrap pieces. Glass should be as flat/parallel a surface as anything.

    Gary


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    Default Re: How Do You Tram Your Router - Wood Build

    Or go to say Home Depot and purchase a granite floor tile.

    Last edited by wmgeorge; 08-29-2019 at 01:13 PM.
    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. FLA Saturn 2 4x4 CNC Router Mach4 Kimber 1911 45ACP


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