By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Forum House Ad Zone

New Lathe leveling

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
YAK22/02/2014 21:55:08
58 forum posts
2 photos

I have just taken delivery of a Toolco 1130GV lathe. Similar to the Warco 280VF except it has a 38mm clearance through the headstock. It is held down with four bolts on the head stock and two bolts at the tail stock. How would I go about leveling?

Gary Wooding22/02/2014 22:23:30
967 forum posts
253 photos

The objective in levelling is to ensure that the lathe bed is not twisted; if the bed is twisted then everything you cut on the lathe will be tapered to some extent.

Perhaps the easiest way is by the use of a precision level. You place the level, at right angles to the bed, somewhere convenient on the saddle which you then carefully move from one end of the bed to the other while observing the bubble. There is no requirement to centralise the level, but you must ensure that it doesn't vary along the bed. Any movement in the bubble indicates a twisted bed. You adjust the bolts and or shims until you are satisfied.

Unfortunately, precision levels are not exactly cheap, and are not needed very often, so its probably best to borrow one if you can.

There are methods that don't need a precision level, but they are not so straightforward.

NJH22/02/2014 22:54:39
avatar
2314 forum posts
139 photos

Lots of information out there and a subject that has been discussed here a few times. One snag with this forum however is that I find it very difficult to look back through old threads for information. So ..I did an internet search and quickly found some info.

For a starter then click HERE and/ or HERE

Good luck!

Norman

MattK22/02/2014 22:56:26
avatar
39 forum posts
7 photos

This has been covered a number of times. When I have done it I have turned a test bar and measured the diameters at each end. Google "Rollies Dads method" for a way to do this with a minimum of kit or look at Harold Hall's site who explains how he does this. I used both these methods and got good results.

DMB23/02/2014 09:03:34
1293 forum posts
1 photos
I recollect seeing piccy + text somewhere, of a novel method which I wish I could find again to study it and decide on its accuracy. It was I think an arrangement of wood base on lathe bed with an upright of timber securely fixed to base and a string-and-weight secured to the top of the upright. Obviously, the greater the height of pendulum suspension the more sensitive this would be. Cannot understand why I have not seen any mention of this recently. I dont think it was in a book or mag. Does anyone else recall seeing this on this or another forum?
Gary Wooding23/02/2014 09:44:11
967 forum posts
253 photos

The divisions on a typical precision precision level are marked as 0.05mm/mtr. or 0.0005"/10". A plumb bob displacement of 0.5mm (which is about as accurate as you could hope to be) would need a suspension string about 10mtrs long for equivalent accuracy.

maurice bennie23/02/2014 10:10:45
164 forum posts
1 photos

Hi DMB I have a "plum bob" or is it plomb bob of my grandfather .It is a plank of wood 3ft x4"x3/4" a 2" hole at each end ,joined by a 1/2" slot. string fastened inside the hole opposite the slot ( slot is parallel to outer edge of plank) in the hole at other end ,a lump of lead hangs on string .When plank is held against wall it will show if it is upright Easy to make and easier to see than a spirit level. Sorry I cannot give you a picture camera bust.

Hope you can understand my description. Maurice

Ian S C23/02/2014 10:18:16
avatar
7468 forum posts
230 photos

Maurice, you could make a modern version from a bit of box section aluminium extrusion. Ian S C

Philrob2723/02/2014 10:26:31
16 forum posts

If you have a iphone/Ipad down load the free Clinometer app from I store did the job when I set up my lathe.

mgnbuk23/02/2014 10:36:10
1175 forum posts
71 photos

£50 delivered for a 200mm 0.02/M level on Ebay (291067274469)

Or for £55 delivered a 150mm box level (271385670211) - will be more useful when you get a milling machine.

Neither are that expensive when compared with a new machine.

If "Rollies Dad's Method" is so great, why does industry use levels ?

Regards,

Nigel B.

Gary Wooding23/02/2014 11:37:50
967 forum posts
253 photos

The Android/IOS clinometer apps I've looked at imply a resolution of 0.1 degrees, which corresponds to approx. 1.75mm/mtr. Not really precision, or am I looking at the wrong apps?

YAK23/02/2014 20:21:07
58 forum posts
2 photos

Thanks all, I have a suitable level and I set up my ML7 with it's leveling screws with no problem at all. It is just that this lathe has 4 bolting holes on the headstock itself. All in close proximency to each other with the tail stock mounting much further away. I think, what I am trying to say is does it 6 adjuster bolts?

Terry

YAK23/02/2014 20:38:46
58 forum posts
2 photos

Jason B, you have a Warco 280, how did you do yours?

Terry.

Michael Gilligan23/02/2014 20:57:04
avatar
20052 forum posts
1040 photos

Terry,

Looking at the photo , it doesn't really appear that they had levelling in mind.

The headstock, with a bolt at each corner shouln't move far, and the support at the tailstock end [despite having only two bolts] has an uncommonly large footprint.

... Sorry, that doesn't really help; it's just an observation.

MichaelG.

John Hewes23/02/2014 22:20:29
22 forum posts
2 photos

Hi, this is timely for me as I am just about to reinstall my Boxford, and want to do it properly this time.

I don't have a precision level and was wondering if anyone in or around N.E.Northants (I live near Thrapston), has one they would be prepared to lend me to help out.

I'd be happy to leave a deposit and would only need it for a couple of days.

Fingers crossed,

Kind regards

John

Thor 🇳🇴24/02/2014 05:44:32
avatar
1597 forum posts
45 photos

Hi Terry,

I have a 290 lathe and used two 15mm thick steel plates with holes for bolting to the bottom of the headstock and tailstock. At front end rear end I drilled a hole and tapped MF 14 x 1 and made four leveling screws.

The first photo shows a sketch (not my lathe, just to illustrate the idea):

ge_lathe.jpg

Here are a couple of photos from my 290F lathe:

lathelevellingscrew1.jpg

The height adjustment is done with a suitable spanner underneath the grey steel plate - the head of the leveling screw is underneath the steel plate and has a square head.

lathelevellingscrew2.jpg

I drilled 8mm dia. holes through the leveling screws and use M8 bolts to tighten them down after adjustment.

Thor

 

Edited By Thor on 24/02/2014 05:55:55

Bazyle24/02/2014 09:01:42
avatar
6295 forum posts
222 photos

If you have 4 bolts at the headstock end you just tighten them down first to something flat and do all the adjustment at the tailstock end. Unless you are bolting the headstock to a random lump of stone that is far from flat you will not be applying any twist or distortion there. If in doubt check under each headstock hole before bolting with a feeler gauge and shim with drinks can. Remember you are not adjusting for 'level' as in surface of a pond but 'no twist' in the bed. So it doesn't matter if if the headstock starts off not perfectlly level.

Douglas Johnston24/02/2014 09:37:32
avatar
767 forum posts
34 photos

With all the fancy electronic stuff available these days it would be great if someone could come up with a cheap level with high repeatable resolution. For setting up a lathe or mill one would only need a range of a few degrees and this might make the construction easier. I have one of the square electronic levels that cost about £20 and find it useful at times but the resolution is not good enopugh for this task.

Doug

Michael Gilligan24/02/2014 10:16:27
avatar
20052 forum posts
1040 photos
Posted by Bazyle on 24/02/2014 09:01:42:

If you have 4 bolts at the headstock end you just tighten them down first to something flat and do all the adjustment at the tailstock end. Unless you are bolting the headstock to a random lump of stone that is far from flat you will not be applying any twist or distortion there. If in doubt check under each headstock hole before bolting with a feeler gauge and shim with drinks can. Remember you are not adjusting for 'level' as in surface of a pond but 'no twist' in the bed. So it doesn't matter if if the headstock starts off not perfectlly level.

.

Bazyle,

I think we're on the same wavelength [see my earlier comment]

Your approach seems entirely reasonable, with one small caveat; When the headstock end is first bolted-down, there needs to be a small gap under the foot at the tailstock end [otherwise the bed might already be being stressed].

If it were mine, I would first insert a thin spacer [a piece of Gauge Plate with four clearance holes] under the headstock.

MichaelG.

Gary Wooding24/02/2014 11:41:43
967 forum posts
253 photos

Yak,

It's not necessary to level both ends of the lathe - it's sufficient to adjust one end (choose the easiest) so that it matches the other. A lathe doesn't need to be actually level - lathes on ships can't be level, but they work OK because they have no twist in the bed.

If the headstock end is the most difficult to adjust, run the carriage up the headstock and place the level on it. Move the carriage towards the tailstock and watch the level. If it moves more than you like, adjust the tailstock end to compensate. When the bubble movement is acceptable, tighten the bolts and check again. If it's still OK, you're done. You're not seeking to level the bubble, you're only trying to make it the same all along the bed.

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
cowells
Dreweatts
Rapid RC
Eccentric July 5 2018
Eccentric Engineering
Subscription Offer

Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest