Levelling a machine on four feet
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  1. #1
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    Default Levelling a machine on four feet

    Both my lathe and milling machine sit on stands with four adjustable feet. I am having to move them again and the last time I levelled them it was a painful experience, with the end result being more luck than judgement.

    Without just building new stands with three levelling points; is there actually a correct method of levelling off four points?

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    Leveling machines is just an art perfected over time with experience. Four pads is just a matter of getting them on the ground and starting off with a 6" level then fine tuning with a 12" master level. Only having four pads it sounds pretty small so jacking the screws shouldn't be too hard.

    Should have come help me level my Johnford SDMC (Junkford) with 164 pads!

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    To level 4 pads put your level on a diagonal between 2 pads, then do the other two to remove rock.

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    Hardinge, recommends adjusting with 3 feet, then adjusting the right rear foot, to keep the machine from rocking. But, the machine is balanced that way, may not work with others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by donie View Post
    Hardinge, recommends adjusting with 3 feet, then adjusting the right rear foot, to keep the machine from rocking. But, the machine is balanced that way, may not work with others.
    Most hardinge beds are three point kinematic mounts to the cabinet. Cabinet only had one extra tab foot in the right rear, just to keep the
    cabinet from getting rocky.

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    Quote Originally Posted by donie View Post
    Hardinge, recommends adjusting with 3 feet, then adjusting the right rear foot, to keep the machine from rocking. But, the machine is balanced that way, may not work with others.
    The concept certainly does.

    Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk

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    less than four points its kind of not even a conversation, as in there's nothing to do as there isn't any worry of twist.

    All four feet should take a similar load, I disagree with it level with 3 then use the fourth to stop rocking for a lathe. The might might work on a solid squat shape like a mill base, but not on a lathe of any size where it will twist under its own weight. Get them all in contact and level across the ways (with the level on parallels on the ways, not on the tops of the v's) at the headstock and tailstock. Its nice to have it level in the Z as well. Do a few iterations and and you're done. Its a bunch of bending over and wrenching, but its a pretty simple process.

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    If you are having trouble with 4 adjusters, just wait until you get a big boy machine with 6 or more! 😀

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    OK, How about the the technique for ones with six feet? Four on the headstock and two on the tailstock.
    Ken

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    Quote Originally Posted by KMoffett View Post
    OK, How about the the technique for ones with six feet? Four on the headstock and two on the tailstock.
    Ken
    Lathe, PDF Page 80:
    http://victoriacaruk.com/Mazak%20Gen...GENGA0015E.pdf
    Mill:
    Leveling - VMC


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