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Machine Adjustment Order

JPigg55

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
#1
Had a bit of a GOOF today.
I remounted my vice on my mill and proceded to tram it in and managed to get it dead on this time.
However, as I was tramming, I noticed a bit of "Wiggle" in the table.
I spent the next couple hours adjusting all the gib screws getting out all the wiggle and making sure it moved smooth in all directions.
Problem is that the tram is now off so I'll have to re-tram it before I can start my next project.
Next time I have a wiggle, hopefully I'll remember to adjust gibs before tramming.
Do any of you more experienced out there have any General Check for your machines and recommendations for order of adjustment ???
 

JimDawson

Global Moderator
Staff member
Director
#3
I just kind of check things over everytime I use the mill and adjust as needed. Things like wiggle in the table normally shows up as chatter or some other ugly thing.

From the tone of your post, it sounds like you need more experience tramming your vice. :) With some jobs I might have my vice(s) on and off 2 or 3 times in a day. Normally only takes a couple minutes to mount and tram it.

I normally snug one bolt a bit, and then just bump the vice with my hand to rotate it as I'm moving the table. Once in tram, then I tighten both bolts and recheck. <0.001 in 6 inches is plenty good, I don't try that hard to get it to zero. I use a 0.0005 reading indicator.
 

Bob Korves

H-M Supporter - Premium Content
H-M Supporter-Premium
#4
If you put keys into the bottom of your vise that are accurate and fit vise and table snugly, simply dropping the vise onto the table gets it to within .001" over 6". After a couple times mounting it, you will know which way to bump the wrench end of the vise to get it dead nuts and repeatable, with no indicator and no time wasted chasing the vise around the table with a hammer. At least that is how it works for me. I take my vise off and move it around on the table all the time, no big deal...
 

tertiaryjim

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
#6
When the machine is clean and lubed, even one that is cheap or worn-out, it will change little over time.
If you have to check or adjust it often, then theres a problem that needs to be corrected.
Jim Ds explanation for vice tramming is how I do it.
 

rick9345

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
#7
Most newbies/home shop worry/fuss way too much over tramming. Don't avoid just do it more often to to make it easier. More freedom to attempt different setups for challenging projects.
Skill acquired with practice.
 

chips&more

Active User
Active Member
#8
If you are making parts for NASA, then tram away. But, I’ll bet that if you just use the graduation marks, it will be good enough for most of your HM needs. I trammed the first time and noted the accuracy of the pitch and roll graduation marks. The pitch was not right on “0”. So I took some metal HVAC tape, marked a line on it and taped over the mark on the mill to reposition the graduation reference mark. Now, if I just use the grad marks on the mill I can get within a few thou. That’s plenty good enough. I’m not making NASA parts…Dave
 

Sandia

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
#9
If you put keys into the bottom of your vise that are accurate and fit vise and table snugly, simply dropping the vise onto the table gets it to within .001" over 6". After a couple times mounting it, you will know which way to bump the wrench end of the vise to get it dead nuts and repeatable, with no indicator and no time wasted chasing the vise around the table with a hammer. At least that is how it works for me. I take my vise off and move it around on the table all the time, no big deal...
Bob, thats exactly how I install my vice. When I get it lightly snugged down, I give it a lit smack with dead blow hammer on right rear and it will be less than .0005 90% of the time. Keys work really well.