How are you guys leveling your machines? - Page 2
Close
Login to Your Account
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 21 to 37 of 37
  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Shandaken, NY, USA
    Posts
    4,231
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1107
    Likes (Received)
    6651

    Default

    I call using a "master precision level" for initial levelling "chasing my tail". As I've written in earlier posts on this thread, a Starrett 98 series level is plenty good for levelling this type of lathe.


    I am always wondering how machine tools wound up in far-off places. Raritan Arsenal is in New Jersey. To ship that lathe from the mainland to Hawaii meant it had to travel across the USA and be put aboard a ship at a West Coast port, or else went via the Panama Canal. My guess is the lathe was transferred from Raritan Arsenal to Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard or some other military installation in Hawaii. Since the lathe has the single tumbler lever on the quick change gearbox, it may be old enough to have been sent out to Hawaii around the time of WWII. The serial number on the bedway of the lathe will date it.

    I do not know how tall Kevin T, the original poster, stands. My reason for bringing this up is the fact that a lot of machine tools seem a bit too low for some of us to work them comfortably. Setting a lathe on blocking can make a surprising difference in how a person feels after running that lathe for a few hours. Putting the 16" South Bend lathe up on jacking screws and steel plate floor pads- aside from making levelling and subsequent tweaking a lot easier- can make using the lathe a lot nicer if a person is more than about 5'-6" tall. I've seen some lathes left on wood or steel blocking to get them up to a more comfortable working height for the people using them. I find that jacking screws and steel plate floor pads are an easy thing to make up and make levelling a snap. By adding a few inches of height to the lathe, I also find it is a lot more comfortable (I stand 5'-10" tall).

  2. Likes Kevin T liked this post
  3. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Hawaii
    Posts
    196
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    89
    Likes (Received)
    32

    Default

    I am 6'2" so I think the jack screws are the way to go. Thanks

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    California, Central Coast
    Posts
    3,158
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2121
    Likes (Received)
    1231

    Default

    Being 6'2 you might get some steel tubing 4"x4" 1/4 wall+ or similar and make risers for the jack screws to go on. Many threads here about raising lathes to a better working height.
    I would cut 45º ends on tubes and lay under the mounting pads front to back, drill the 45º part to be able to bolt them down to floor. The pads for jack screws can be tack welded to top of risers, or screwed if no welder. 100 yrs ago people were shorter.
    Link to another thread with other links to follow in it:
    I'm too tall/my lathe is too short. Ideas for raising it?

  5. Likes Kevin T liked this post
  6. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    savannah, jaw-ja
    Posts
    1,715
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1142
    Likes (Received)
    403

    Default

    No one has commented on your question abut using jacks under the bed to straighten the drip pan. I'd be firmly in the "don't do it" camp. You might get away with it, you might do damage that can't be undone.
    Hell, pull the thing off and take to an auto body place. Or turn it upside down on some dunnage and use a BFH*. Or some heat and a BFH.

    *BFH - Big F ing Hammer

    My 13 is now up on leveling feet. Pain to get up there, but sure is nice to turn a wrench and watch the bubble move.

  7. Likes Kevin T liked this post
  8. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Madera county california usa
    Posts
    2,384
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    21
    Likes (Received)
    589

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rudd View Post
    No one has commented on your question abut using jacks under the bed to straighten the drip pan. I'd be firmly in the "don't do it" camp. You might get away with it, you might do damage that can't be undone.
    Hell, pull the thing off and take to an auto body place. Or turn it upside down on some dunnage and use a BFH*. Or some heat and a BFH.

    *BFH - Big F ing Hammer

    My 13 is now up on leveling feet. Pain to get up there, but sure is nice to turn a wrench and watch the bubble move.
    Hammer and large flat iron for anvil.

    Easy to do

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  9. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Hawaii
    Posts
    196
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    89
    Likes (Received)
    32

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Quiring View Post
    Hammer and large flat iron for anvil.

    Easy to do

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
    Can it be done in situ or does it need to be removed?

  10. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Shandaken, NY, USA
    Posts
    4,231
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1107
    Likes (Received)
    6651

    Default

    I'd take the pan off the lathe to straighten and remove the creases and dents. You will need to get at the pan from both sides of the damaged areas to use a hammer and anvil or a hand held anvil known as a "dolly". You can use two hammers for this: use a light hammer to do the actual hammering and use a heavier hammer as the "dolly". Trying to work the dents and creases out with the pan on the lathe is going to be difficult at best.

    In removing creases and dents, the metal may have stretched, so do not be surprised if things do not quite flatten or straighten back to the original shape. Uswing a dolly and fender hammers, dents and creases can be worked out. A goods auto body mechanic can use a toothed hammer called a "shrinking hammer" to work down the "belly" produced when dents are hammered out. Dents and creases, in stretching the metal, create a "belly" and the metal will often act springy, sometimes referred to as "oil canning" (like the bottom of an old style oil can that you flexed with your thumb pressure to get the oil to flow).

    As was noted in previous posts, the best bet, if you have no experience at working dents and creases out of sheet metal, is to take the pan to an auto body shop.
    Using an oxyacetylene torch and cold water to do some shrinking and heat straightening is another tool in metalsmith's bags of tricks. Sheet metal, in my own experience and opinion, is more difficult to get to behave than heavier steel plate. I can flame straighten heavier steel, form it hot or cold, and do all sorts of things with it, but sheet metal is a whole different animal and one I leave alone as much as possible. I know from experience with having sheet metal stretch following hammering out dents that the end result is often something that is springy and never does quite square up or lay as it should. In desperation, realizing that the metal stretched, I have made a few cuts to relieve and get rid of the strain caused by the stretching and then brazed things back together. A flapper wheel on the angle grinder and some "Scotchbrite" discs on the air die grinder followed by a coat of paint hides that sort of repair.

    Sharp creases in sheet metal often do not want to come back out, and this is when cutting and welding (MIG or TIG) or brazing (what an old dinosaur like me does instead of the MIG or TIG welding) is needed. In short, the pan ought to come off the lathe for a proper sheet metal repair job.

  11. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Hawaii
    Posts
    196
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    89
    Likes (Received)
    32

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Michaels View Post
    I'd take the pan off the lathe to straighten and remove the creases and dents. You will need to get at the pan from both sides of the damaged areas to use a hammer and anvil or a hand held anvil known as a "dolly". You can use two hammers for this: use a light hammer to do the actual hammering and use a heavier hammer as the "dolly". Trying to work the dents and creases out with the pan on the lathe is going to be difficult at best.

    In removing creases and dents, the metal may have stretched, so do not be surprised if things do not quite flatten or straighten back to the original shape. Uswing a dolly and fender hammers, dents and creases can be worked out. A goods auto body mechanic can use a toothed hammer called a "shrinking hammer" to work down the "belly" produced when dents are hammered out. Dents and creases, in stretching the metal, create a "belly" and the metal will often act springy, sometimes referred to as "oil canning" (like the bottom of an old style oil can that you flexed with your thumb pressure to get the oil to flow).

    As was noted in previous posts, the best bet, if you have no experience at working dents and creases out of sheet metal, is to take the pan to an auto body shop.
    Using an oxyacetylene torch and cold water to do some shrinking and heat straightening is another tool in metalsmith's bags of tricks. Sheet metal, in my own experience and opinion, is more difficult to get to behave than heavier steel plate. I can flame straighten heavier steel, form it hot or cold, and do all sorts of things with it, but sheet metal is a whole different animal and one I leave alone as much as possible. I know from experience with having sheet metal stretch following hammering out dents that the end result is often something that is springy and never does quite square up or lay as it should. In desperation, realizing that the metal stretched, I have made a few cuts to relieve and get rid of the strain caused by the stretching and then brazed things back together. A flapper wheel on the angle grinder and some "Scotchbrite" discs on the air die grinder followed by a coat of paint hides that sort of repair.

    Sharp creases in sheet metal often do not want to come back out, and this is when cutting and welding (MIG or TIG) or brazing (what an old dinosaur like me does instead of the MIG or TIG welding) is needed. In short, the pan ought to come off the lathe for a proper sheet metal repair job.
    Thanks for the reply I just removed the pan today and I am hopeful that it will go back together good after I figure out how to straighten it. There are some adjustment "opportunities" at the pedestal end since those attach points mate with bolted brackets. Since its off and on the ground I want to give it a good cleaning or polish...after getting the big kink out of it! I have pics but wont get to then until tomorrow at the earliest.

  12. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    St Louis
    Posts
    17,807
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1767
    Likes (Received)
    2954

    Default

    As for the leveling feet, you can do the jack screws into recesses, or you can put the allthread into the block and use nuts to raise or lower the feet, which is what I do.

    One thing, though.... You might nit get far with the leveling given that the tailstock end is light, and that you prying on the chip pan tilted the machine.... If there is not enough weight on the jackscrews, they will just lift instead of changing the bed twist.

    Probably only bolting down is really going to do much, UNLESS the machine is basically straight, and all you need to do is line the feet up with the straight position so here is no force twisting away from straight... I doubt that you will be able to actually "force it to straight" if it is not straight to begin with, unless you bolt it down..

    Also..you need to use the least worm surfaces to set the level on. Otherwise you "level" things that were never in line to begin with, due to wear in the bed. Usually the tailstock ways are not worn at the tailstock far end, and right under the nose of the spindle. It is not often at the complete far end except to sit for a while, and could not be used under the spindle nose, so those places get the least wear, and are likely to be usable references.

  13. #30
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Michigan
    Posts
    41
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    10
    Likes (Received)
    7

    Default

    I attempted to straighten that bent pan with a mini rail road jack and a 4x4. It moved a little when pushing from the underside of the bed but then the machine tilted off the ground so I need a different approach to get it done.
    is it ok to use a small bottle jack between the main casting bottom and the top of the pan to force it back into shape?
    I would say she probably earned that bend honestly. If it doesn't hurt function why not just leave it be?

    Cheers,

    John

  14. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Hawaii
    Posts
    196
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    89
    Likes (Received)
    32

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by john matthews View Post
    I would say she probably earned that bend honestly. If it doesn't hurt function why not just leave it be?

    Cheers,

    John
    That is a good way to look at it. It looks like abuse to me so I am using it as an opportunity to access parts of the lathe for cleaning. I think I can put a little shine on that pan too while I am at it. !

    pan.jpg

  15. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Mifflintown, PA 17059
    Posts
    1,722
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    20
    Likes (Received)
    183

    Default

    I have "leveled many twisted bed. To often a lathe sat in some dealers building on an floor that was very bad. The older the machine got the less interest in generated by those in high production business. Soon guys like us come along and buy the old gal and want to return it to it former glory. I jack to level and like the Starrett machinist levels and have all the lengths including the High Precision level. (I agree with not using that type to level a lathe! Dam thing is so sensitive I think I can move the bubble by looking at it!) However when leveling and a leg rises off the floor I leave it. Over time it will come down, then I continue with leveling. I never rush the leveling and check it often! I also like to put a wood cushion under the steel leveling pad. Normally I use 1/2" plywood marine grade.

  16. Likes Joe Michaels liked this post
  17. #33
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville, KY, USA
    Posts
    919
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    213
    Likes (Received)
    203

    Default

    Kevin, I can't see the damage to the tray in your picture, but I do have some sheet metal experience and there is usually a lot less stretching than people think, especially in a form like your drip pan with straight sides. I would not try to push the bottom of the pan back into position but instead focus on straightening the sides. Its very likely that once the side is straightened the bottom will have been fixed as well. (If I can see the damage better I can give better advice.)

    I found ff this thread looking for advice pin leveling my troublesome lathe. I'm curious about JST's admonition not lo level on the worn parts of the bed. My lathe has a 4-1/2' bed with some wear and most of my work is in the worn area near the head. My plan was to level between the head and about 18" out, with the understanding that I'd need to make adjustments when any long work came along. Leveling between the un-worn ends of the bed is closer to theoretical perfection, but it seems more practical to level the part I use. Am I missing something?

  18. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    peekskill, NY
    Posts
    24,178
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    4391

    Default

    To set this machine up of course you will need the super precision test bar, a super precision starrette level, probably a laser, and certainly a
    dial indicator that reads down to a micron.

    Ha ha. Just kidding.

    SB lathes like this are designed with basically three point suspension for the whole shebang. The motor pedestal has a mounting point at the front
    and one at the rear. The pedestal is the one point of suspesion. The other two are the front, and rear leg at the tailstock end. Setup is simple.
    Once the machine is running you have to be sure that all three points have load on them. You don't want it tipping between two diagonal points.
    Mostly this means being sure the front and rear motor housing points are both solidly supported.

    Then be sure you have both legs with about equal downforce on them. If one seems light then add some shim in the form of sheet steel
    or sheet aluminum square shims under the leg,

    Use the southbend two collar test, which can be done with a piece of stock in the spindle and nothing more than a micrometer to get
    the two collars the same size. This will require adjusting the shim thickness under one of the tailstock legs, so you want to have a small
    selection of thicknesses available to you. For a machine of this age you can expect to get it to turn and bore accurate to within a
    thousanth over probably a foot, or a foot and a half, from the chuck.

    The chip pan is another issue. The rolled edge on the raised pan lip is incredibly strong. That machine took a hell of a shot at one
    time, no doubt about it. You will need access to a large hydraulic press if and a selection of oak blocks of various shapes and
    sizes to take the wow out of it. The comment above about the problem not being a dent in the floor, but rather a bend in the
    rim, is exactly on point.

    One possible route forward might be cutting the rim to relieve the force on the pan, straightening the pan, and then re-welding
    the rim and rolled edge. This is a complicated problem and the chance to make it worse rather than better is very real.
    I had the chance to shorten a chip pan like this a few years ago for a 10" lathe and was impressed at what a strong piece
    of hardware it is. But for certain the dent in the pan is being maintained by the deformation in the rim and rolled edge.
    To undo that requires bringing the bent metal of the rim beyond its yeild point so it springs back the correct amount.
    That would require a very large press that you could place the entire width of the pan it, and the experience to block
    it up correctly and then press it beyond yield by the right margin so it springs back elastically to the right place.

    Taking the pan to a good auto body shop is actually a great plan. Guys that do body work are experts in figuring out
    'what happened to this' and how to undo it, from a deformation standpoint.

  19. #35
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville, KY, USA
    Posts
    919
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    213
    Likes (Received)
    203

    Default

    There may be adjusting screws in the tailstock end bed foot. My Heavy 10 has them. Much simpler than messing with shims or even adjusting feet.
    Last edited by fciron; 02-24-2019 at 05:52 PM.

  20. #36
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Oregon
    Posts
    118
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7
    Likes (Received)
    43

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Michaels View Post
    I'd take the pan off the lathe to straighten and remove the creases and dents. You will need to get at the pan from both sides of the damaged areas to use a hammer and anvil or a hand held anvil known as a "dolly". You can use two hammers for this: use a light hammer to do the actual hammering and use a heavier hammer as the "dolly". Trying to work the dents and creases out with the pan on the lathe is going to be difficult at best.

    As was noted in previous posts, the best bet, if you have no experience at working dents and creases out of sheet metal, is to take the pan to an auto body shop.

    Sharp creases in sheet metal often do not want to come back out, and this is when cutting and welding (MIG or TIG) or brazing (what an old dinosaur like me does instead of the MIG or TIG welding) is needed. In short, the pan ought to come off the lathe for a proper sheet metal repair job.
    I agree with Joe on this. My Nardini 1440 chip pan was assaulted by some cretin at the wheel of a fork lift and was really banged up. I spend a couple hours doing the initial straightening, and came back in a few days for a couple more hours of finessing it into shape. This thing may be thinner than yours at 11 gage, but like Joe says, thinner might be more problematic than the thicker stuff.

    Patience, patience, patience. Ear protection and gloves. Large hammer and dollie(s).

    Dan
    Last edited by DanLinsch; 02-24-2019 at 06:35 PM. Reason: spilchecker

  21. #37
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Baltimore, MD, USA
    Posts
    3,982
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    276
    Likes (Received)
    548

    Default

    My ATW's bed is stiff enough I can't measure deflection, just level- so I didn't bother with a really fine setup, besides my garage floor is pretty bad cement so its likely in constant motion. OTOH I think the lathe was designed for really short folks, so I put 1" or so steel blocks under all 6 leveling studs, each with a pad so the block would not creep as I adjusted the stud. Then I worked all 6 so a carpenters level read center with a slight pitch towards the tailstock for coolant drainage. The method was to crank on one that needed more height from the floor then gently bring in a similar torque on all the other studs that had their weight eased.

    Each stud is a square head, I found a 12 point 7/8" socket was the easiest way to get hold of them. I ran the studs in and out a few times with the air ratchet, adding oil to get them moving so the weight they were taking was more easily observed. For the leveling adjustments I used a regular socket wrench.


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •