• We want to encourage those of you who ENJOY our site and find it USEFUL to DONATE and UPGRADE your membership from active member to donating or premium membership. If you want to know the differences in membership benefits, please visit THIS PAGE:

    https://www.hobby-machinist.com/premium/

    Donating memberships start at just $10 per year. These memberships are in fact donations that help pay our costs, and keep our site running!
    Thank you for your donation, God Bless You

  • As some of you know, I have wanted to stop managing H-M for some time. It's a tremendous strain on my personal life. I want to set up my own shop. In September, September 15, to be exact, it will be 8 years that Hobby-Machinist has been in existence.

    I have been training VTCNC to run things here. Dabbler is going to learn too. I feel that they are ready to start taking over the operation. I will be here to help in case they need, but I don't think they will. Tony Wells is and will be here also to consult with. I will be doing backups, upgrades, and installing addons. Other than that, I will not be around. I am leaving this place in good operating condition, and financial condition.
    --Nelson
[4]

Beginner Intro and Question

[3]
[10] Like what you see?
Click here to donate to this forum and upgrade your account!

metalmonster

Swarf
Registered
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Messages
5
Likes
3
#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

Active User
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Nov 18, 2012
Messages
1,255
Likes
994
#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

Active User
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
1,629
Likes
1,068
#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

Registered
Registered
Joined
Nov 20, 2014
Messages
480
Likes
194
#4
Lathes are used on ships not always level but twist is something to avoid. I am only a hobbiest
 

jakes_66

Registered
Registered
Joined
Sep 21, 2017
Messages
60
Likes
61
#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

H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
Staff member
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Nov 16, 2012
Messages
5,215
Likes
1,403
#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
 

cg285

Registered
Registered
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
248
Likes
93
#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

Administrator Trainee
Staff member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Oct 11, 2016
Messages
440
Likes
332
#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

H-M Supporter - Silver Member
H-M Supporter - Silver Member ($10)
Joined
Jan 20, 2018
Messages
285
Likes
185
#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.
 
Last edited:

T Bredehoft

Active User
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Dec 27, 2014
Messages
2,587
Likes
1,992
#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

Active User
H-M Supporter - Silver Member ($10)
Joined
Aug 29, 2013
Messages
1,046
Likes
1,111
#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.
 
[6]
[5] [7]
Top