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Shars 12" Precision Level

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ttabbal

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#2
Yup. I got my lathe dialed in with a construction level, only to find the machinist level pegged to one side. Make sure to wipe the surfaces down, it really takes nothing to throw them off. Don't want to be pulling your hair out over a bit of hair on the ways. :)
 

Janderso

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#3
I think the biggest challenge is to find a spot with confidence.
 

Technical Ted

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#5
There was a good thread on this site not long ago about using a precision level to level a lathe. Lots of good info. If you plan on turning your level end for end while leveling your lathe you will have to make sure it is properly calibrated. If you don't turn it end for end it's not too critical because you are more interested in removing the twist from the bed than actually leveling it... When I remove the twist from my lathe I do not turn the level end for end and make sure it is in the exact same spots when moving it from one end of the ways to the other.

Search for that thread it should be easy to find and reading it will be time well spent.

Ted
 

ddickey

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#6
Get another one and put one at the HS and the other on the TS. I guess if you had the dough that might be a good idea.
 

Janderso

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#7
I did see a video on adjusting the level.
A fan in the room, temperature, a bit of dust or a hair can throw off the readings.
I had to make a quarter turn adjustment to balance the bubble from side to side.
I had my ways pretty even last night, I’ll check it again this morning.
I am expecting movement as the night cooled down and the cast iron and the level stabilized.
I’m now embarrassed I used a construction level. Yep it was level, only to have this one peg to one side.
 

Janderso

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#8
I was able to dial in the footings at both ends of the bed. Sat the level on the ways after running a 12" flat file lightly across to assume flatness, no burs etc.
Let it set last night. This morning the level or cast iron settled just a few )3) points. If the level is accurate to .0005" over a 10" spread, would that be a .0015 distance? approx?
 

Technical Ted

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#9
Don't drive yourself nuts while doing this. Tweak it. Check it again after a day if you want to or more importantly, after you use it some. Vibration will have its' effect. It will most likely move a little unless you have it anchored extremely well with an ideal setup on an ideal surface, in an ideal environment.

The proof in the pudding is how well it turns on a test piece without using the tail stock since the tail stock will influence any taper that may or may not exist.

These levels are more sensitive than they need to be for leveling (removing the twist) from a lathe. I suggest you level it, put the level away, and keep your sanity! :) You will end up tweaking things anyways if your lathe ends up turning a taper after you get done leveling it.

Ted
 

Janderso

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#10
Thanks Ted,
I intend to turn a piece between two centers as soon as I get a chance.
My goal was to level, align tailstock (already shimmed) and turn a piece.
 

Technical Ted

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#11
Don't use your tail stock. Just chuck up a piece in your chuck. The tail stock would control the taper not the potential twist in your ways and therefore should not be used. Regardless of the way you try to align your tail stock prior to this test I would never trust it. See attached below from South Bend.

Ted

Cutting test piece.jpg
 

Janderso

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#12
OK, that's why they say to use a large od piece, to reduce deflection. I don't have an mt4 bar. I could use a dial indicator and run it down the side at 9:00 to check for the same thing right?
I see what you are saying about between centers. I understand that's the best way to get accurate (no chuck runout) cuts.
I'll try it.
Thanks Ted
 

Bob Korves

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#13
OK, that's why they say to use a large od piece, to reduce deflection. I don't have an mt4 bar. I could use a dial indicator and run it down the side at 9:00 to check for the same thing right?
I see what you are saying about between centers. I understand that's the best way to get accurate (no chuck runout) cuts.
I'll try it.
Thanks Ted
Machine the bar in place so it is concentric and in line with the spindle center line axis. That way any taper will show bed twist and/or headstock misalignment and/or worn bed ways. Look up "Rollie's dad method."
 

Janderso

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#14
I just printed out the PDF.
Very simple and it makes sense.
I have a piece of drill rod. 12" long X 3/4.
Thanks
 

benmychree

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#15
Put the drill rod away; just chuck up a piece of steel long enough for the test and perhaps an inch in diameter, relieve the bar projecting from the chuck so that you have a 1/4" long portion near the chuck jaws and at the end of the bar toward the tailstock; take very light cuts on both raised portions at the ends and adjust leveling until both are the same size, or as close as possible; all we are worried about is that the lathe cuts reasonably straight. Wear on the ways near the headstock may render complete absence of taper impossible, the thing is to reduce taper as much as possible; "perfect enough".
 
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