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Straight rod for setting drill press table and cross-slide vise perpendicularity

bikemutt

Plastic
Joined
Mar 5, 2022
Hello, first post, glad to be here!

I want to ensure my drill press table and vise are perpendicular to the chuck, I've been looking for a rod that's known-straight which I can chuck, then gage off the table or vise base with a machinist square.

I've tried using a drill bit but the flutes make it hard to visually align the edge with the square. I've also used a transfer punch but uneven light between the punch and the square makes me suspect they're not perfectly straight. And I've used pin gages, but they are rather short, I'd like to have at least 4" exposed. There are custom "long" pin gages I see from time to time on eBay and such but they've all been very small diameters, too small for this application.

I know, it's just a drill press, I'm a card-carrying OCD Anonymous member I guess :)

Suggestions welcomed, thanks.
 

TGTool

Titanium
Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Location
Stillwater, Oklahoma
Bear in mind that with that method, it will only be as good as the chuck is straight, no matter how good your rod is.

The suggestion for tramming (though I didn't follow the link) is probably showing how to use and indicator which will eliminate any inaccuracies with the chuck. That is, it is using the rotational axis of the spindle with is true rotation. Even if he chuck was bent at several degrees, the indicator will run true but the rod will be off.
 

bikemutt

Plastic
Joined
Mar 5, 2022
Thanks TGTool,

This is a Llambrich 1/2" keyless drill chuck with an integrated shank, I paid more for it than I did for the used press, lol. From what I can tell, it runs pretty true indicated by a Mitutoyo instrument off a chucked pin gage; +0.0010 / -0.0005.
 

bikemutt

Plastic
Joined
Mar 5, 2022
Thanks for the video link beege.

Even though I'm more interested in having the cross-slide vise square to the spindle, the technique for getting the table square is worthwhile for times when I need just the table.

I have the vise attached to a 4-point base so it's easy to get it square to the spindle, knowing the table is "square enough" by itself is a bonus.
 

bikemutt

Plastic
Joined
Mar 5, 2022
The problem I see with tramming, in this case, is the table is sufficiently imperfect that comparing two, tiny indicator points may lead to an inaccurate conclusion. Using a precision square is not as sensitive as something like a spindle square, but it averages the discrepancies in the table surface and may represent a more accurate representation of how a workpiece will sit.

Having said that, I'm going to take your advice and try the tramming method as well.
 

TGTool

Titanium
Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Location
Stillwater, Oklahoma
The problem I see with tramming, in this case, is the table is sufficiently imperfect that comparing two, tiny indicator points may lead to an inaccurate conclusion. Using a precision square is not as sensitive as something like a spindle square, but it averages the discrepancies in the table surface and may represent a more accurate representation of how a workpiece will sit.

That's why you place a small, parallel flat of some sort on the table and touch the indicator on that. I often use a gauge block or a 1-2-3 block because I know it's faces are parallel to a very close tolerance and it can bridge any holes, slots, or the roughness of the typical Blanchard ground surface. Check one spot, spin the indicator around, slide the gauge block under and compare. You don't need a gauge block, but something you can trust or is easy to check.

If you're intent on using a rod or shaft, check with your square, then rotate the spindle 90 degrees and check three more times. This will show you any angularity, and if there is any you'll have to average it out.

If you have weld boogers or other bumps on your table you're sort of screwed in setting an absolute square table as you noted. Square is only true wherever the vise or workpiece sits.over the bumps/
 

fciron

Stainless
Joined
Oct 14, 2009
Location
Louisville, KY, USA
Even indicating off a piece of cold rolled steel will be more accurate than your eyeball and a square.

The other nice thing about an indicator is you can see what you’re doing as you make adjustments.
 

boslab

Titanium
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Location
wales.uk
The rods off an old laser printer, or inkjet printer are straight, well as straight as you can practically get a free rod, pick one out of the trash, or dumpster ( dumpster diving is good by my estimate)
Mark
 

rons

Diamond
Joined
Mar 5, 2009
Location
California, USA
A mechanical engineer built a sub-table with adjustment screws in each corner. Raise/lower each corner for perfect alignment using a .001 indicator.
 

52 Ford

Stainless
Joined
May 20, 2021
A mechanical engineer built a sub-table with adjustment screws in each corner. Raise/lower each corner for perfect alignment using a .001 indicator.

They ONLY leveled their drillpress table to the thousandth???

Kinda sloppy, idn't it? :D
 

bikemutt

Plastic
Joined
Mar 5, 2022
The DP is a Harbor Freight floor model with 13" swing, an original SKU; I mean there's crap, and there's crappy crap :D

Anyway, I replaced the single-phase motor with a WEG 3/4hp 3-phase motor, driven with a TECO-Westinghouse VFD. I left the belt drive system intact in order to keep the motor at a speed which still allows the fan to help with cooling, and to offer the motor some mechanical advantage. I've enabled the VFD JOG function in forward and reverse which is handy for tapping holes. I found cogged v-belts to suit this machine well; quiet and minimal slap vibration. I've already mentioned the integrated shank Llambrich MT2 keyless chuck.

The cross-slide is the best I could find; 4" jaws, made offshore. It's outfitted with a DRO I made myself which employs two draw-wire encoders, a USB interface and a retired Asus tablet. I wrote the software since that's what I used to do before I retired. The DRO resolves to 0.01mm, 4 ten thousands, which is silly for a DP but hey, why not? The best part is the DRO is immune to backlash since it doesn't interface with the handwheels.

Squaring up the cross-slide is my second to last goal for this beast. I'd like to address quill slop as my last goal but, I don't know there's anything I can do which costs less than just buying a highish end mill drill.
 

52 Ford

Stainless
Joined
May 20, 2021
The DP is a Harbor Freight floor model with 13" swing, an original SKU; I mean there's crap, and there's crappy crap :D

Anyway, I replaced the single-phase motor with a WEG 3/4hp 3-phase motor, driven with a TECO-Westinghouse VFD. I left the belt drive system intact in order to keep the motor at a speed which still allows the fan to help with cooling, and to offer the motor some mechanical advantage. I've enabled the VFD JOG function in forward and reverse which is handy for tapping holes. I found cogged v-belts to suit this machine well; quiet and minimal slap vibration. I've already mentioned the integrated shank Llambrich MT2 keyless chuck.

The cross-slide is the best I could find; 4" jaws, made offshore. It's outfitted with a DRO I made myself which employs two draw-wire encoders, a USB interface and a retired Asus tablet. I wrote the software since that's what I used to do before I retired. The DRO resolves to 0.01mm, 4 ten thousands, which is silly for a DP but hey, why not? The best part is the DRO is immune to backlash since it doesn't interface with the handwheels.

Squaring up the cross-slide is my second to last goal for this beast. I'd like to address quill slop as my last goal but, I don't know there's anything I can do which costs less than just buying a highish end mill drill.

Sounds like power downfeed and flood coolant are the next step. :D


When you say quill slop, are you referring to the backlash in the rack and pinion or slop between the quill and its housing?
 

bikemutt

Plastic
Joined
Mar 5, 2022
Sounds like power downfeed and flood coolant are the next step. :D


When you say quill slop, are you referring to the backlash in the rack and pinion or slop between the quill and its housing?

Between the quill and it's housing.

I can see deflection even with screw length bits, and feel the slop by hand, I have not made an effort to quantify it yet. I'd like to first learn the best ways to start and complete a hole before starting down a hopeless, or expensive, or both, rabbit hole :(.
 








 
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