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Beginner Intro and Question

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metalmonster

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#1
Hello All,
I'm a beginner with about 30 yrs experience as several types of mechanic including aircraft auto, truck, and now industrial. I have a Steinel SV4B vertical mill, Delta horizontal bandsaw, Craftsman 12" commercial lathe, and a 300 amp TIG welder. Happy to find a forum with a good attitude. I'm doing setup on my lathe and mill which live in my garage. The floor is pitched about 5 degrees so I have to level the machines. Do I need a $200 level to do this? I have construction type levels but I'm not sure they are sensitive enough. Also, should I grout bed the mill?
 

David S

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#2
First let me welcome you to our great forum. I am not expert on levelling, but I really doubt that you have to invest in a precision level to set up your machines.
And I wouldn't think you have to grout the mill.
However we have an awesome group here that know more than I, so stay tuned, and I look forward to seeing your projects.

David
 

Tozguy

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#3
Hi, welcome among us. My lathe was installed very well without using a machinist level. I would not grout the mill but I really don't have enough knowledge to answer your questions as well as some others here.
 

Ed ke6bnl

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#4
Lathes are used on ships not always level but twist is something to avoid. I am only a hobbiest
 

jakes_66

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#5
Lathes are used on ships not always level but twist is something to avoid. I am only a hobbiest
Ed is right on. The machine does not need to be level, it just needs to have the 'twist' removed from the bed ways. Using a precision level is just a handy way to remove the twist.
 

Ray C

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#6
For something like a Craftsman/Atlas lathe (I've owned a couple over the years) no, the floor does not need to be perfectly level. You should shim the legs so the bed is as level as you can get it in both directions then, there is a procedure to follow to "zero" it in. That procedure entails carefully shimming the legs and take some measurements and test cuts until the lathe cuts straight. When all is said and done the lathe may end-up being unlevel but, will cut straight. Search this site for "Rollie" leveling or "Rollies Dads" method.

Ray
 
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cg285

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#7
there was a small manufacturing (machine shop) co. next door to mine years back (it's large now). the former owner (call him dad) always leveled his mills and grouted them. i drilled/tapped mine to level. some people say you don't have to level a mill. this guy said otherwise.
there are times in setup i needed to put a level on the work so if the table wasn't level........
 

Dabbler

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#8
For an inexpensive way have a look at


he shows how to get the twist out of a lathe bed without spending a lot of money by using a plumb bob...
 

MrWhoopee

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#9
As a recovering machine shop owner, we never anchored our mills as it was frequently necessary to rearrange the shop to make room, but we did level them. Leveling a mill is not critical, just helpful when trying to orient a part. Get your lathe as level as you can with a decent level, then check to see if you are cutting a taper. As mentioned above, look for "Rollies Dad" for getting the twist out if it is cutting a taper. I got lucky with my SB Heavy 10, just shimmed to take out the rock on the floor, cutting .0003 taper in 14 in.
 
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T Bredehoft

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#10
I took my apprenticeship in a major supplier to the automotive industry building disc brakes. the disks were our only product, 9 production lines making them. I was in the tool room. The Bridgeport and Index mills were leveled by driving wooden shingles under the low corners. This was in the 20th century, not the 19th.
 

Charles Spencer

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#11
I took my apprenticeship in a major supplier to the automotive industry building disc brakes. the disks were our only product, 9 production lines making them. I was in the tool room. The Bridgeport and Index mills were leveled by driving wooden shingles under the low corners. This was in the 20th century, not the 19th.
I've done that.
 

metalmonster

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#12
Thank you all for the good advice, I'll proceed and post updates
 
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