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Lathe is home... now what?

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koehlerrk

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#1
Yesterday I finally took delivery of my lightly used A-Trump 13x36 metal lathe. Belonged to a family friend and I had to wait for him to clear a path in his shop to get it out... been waiting since last Christmas. Anyways... it's in my garage now.

So, this thing is heavy. Add in the cast iron base and we're probably 1500-1600 pounds of metal heavy. Since this is my first machine tool, expect a lot of dumb questions. First one, do I need or want to anchor it to the concrete floor in my garage? Do I need to be concerned about it tipping over if I don't anchor it? If I do anchor it, what's the best method? Like I said, lots of stupid newbie questions...

Thank you,

Rick
 

pdentrem

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#2
I would not. How are you going to level the lathe? At work none of the lathes, mills etc are bolted to the floor.
Pierre
 

mzayd3

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#3
Don't anchor it, just level it. It will not tip over during use.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Bob Korves

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#4
It will not tip over unless you hit it with a fork lift, automobile, tractor, or similar. Kicking it hard will only hurt your foot...
 

Splat

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#5
There's two schools of thought re: anchoring. You can guess what they are. :wink: I've seen the difference between a non-anchored and an anchored lathe. From my experiences an anchored lathe runs smoother and gives a better finish. There's multiple reasons for anchoring but I'm not gonna get into them. Anchoring is relatively easy so why not do it? Granted, this is provided you have at least 2"-3" of concrete depth, which isn't so unusual for most basements or garages unless you're in an environment that precludes that.
 

mikey

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#6
As Splat says, an anchored lathe can run smoother. My 11" lathe was anchored when I first saw it and it ran quiet and smooth. Then it fell into my hands and my situation required me to put it on leveling casters and to be very honest, I cannot tell any difference. It is still smooth, quiet and accurate.

My shop is small at the moment and there are times the lathe just has to move, so I move it. Can't do that if the lathe is anchored to the floor. There are many reasons a lathe has to be moved - cleaning, maintenance, add-on's (think DRO) or simply discovering that another site would work better for you. Or you may acquire another machine that needs some room and the lathe is in the way and it may have to move a few feet ... who knows?

My best advice is to put it on some machine pads (the kind with studs that you can level the lathe with) for now and let it sit for a year or two. If you find that it is sited perfectly and you cannot imagine why you would move it then you can permanently site the lathe with studs into the concrete floor if you prefer. For me, the convenience of mobility is far more valuable.
 

Wreck™Wreck

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#7
I work in a shop with 5 lathes and 7 mills none of which are anchored. This turned out to be a good thing last year, a guy had an 80" long steel bar held in 3 Kurt vices in a 4020 Fadal, he had the side panels off so the part was sticking out the side, it hit a roof column in rapid and rotated the machine without damage, it weighs 10,000 Lbs. or more.
This is the same machine.
http://manage.machinesused.com/Picts/6/6552.jpg
 

Bob Korves

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#8
If you live in earthquake country (New York probably isn't it) it is smarter to NOT bolt it to the floor. If it is bolted down, it will likely fall over in a strong earthquake. The floor is going to move, and the inertia of the lathe will tend to keep it still, the bolts will only give it a place to hinge on. Left loose, the lathe will move in relation to the floor (actually the opposite is happening), but unless it trips on something (like the hold down bolts or a curb) it will probably stay upright.

The same is true if the lathe gets hit with a car, fork lift, tractor, etc. If it is bolted down it will likely tip over. If not, it will likely slide.
 

Mikebr5

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#9
My Harrison lathe manual recommends leveling only. The manual also states that in certain environments (like aboard a ship) bolting is acceptable.
 

Silverbullet

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#10
I've ran machines from three inch hobby lathe as a kid to VBM that had a twelve foot diameter table in a pit leveling the table at floor level while the columns were forty feet high through the roof. That machine was anchored , in the same shop we had a dozen 15" LATHES 6' beds not anchored. While in the back a 54" x 60' lathe anchored. I would say the machine sized for most hobby machinist don't need anchoring. If your doing work that's heavier then your lathe or mill anchoring would be necessary . In fact I'm in the process of putting all my machines on wheels even my planer is going to have them . I may need to put some stops or leveling bolts but only so it won't walk when operating.
 

Glenn Brooks

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#11
Yup, all of the above. No need to bolt it down. Just plug it in and make something.

Actually, it would be a very good idea to level the bed- then check level in again in two or three weeks. Most garage floors (cement) are poured and finished with a slope towards the middle to facilitate drainage. Keeps standing water from accumulating,if you get a leak in the roof. So you need to insure your ways aren't twisted from a sloped floor - hence leveling and releveling the bed. Big lathes relax over time, once moved. The ways change shape due to gravity. Sometimes a lot. So recheck your leveling process after a few weeks, even a month, and nudge it into levell the second time around.

But first, start making stuff ! You will learn a lot just by turning round down round stock - and measuring depth of cut, etc.

Have fun!

Glenn
 

koehlerrk

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#12
Well, after reading all the posts here, I think I've decided on a course of action.

I bought leveling pads that will enable me to level the lathe... that needed to happen because while my garage floor is "level" it is, as my mentor would say, "Carpentry level, not machine tool level." Now my lathe has 6 mounting points for leveling pads, four under the head, two under the tail. I bought 6x 500# rated vibration/leveling feet, and these have an extended base with a hole for lagging it to the floor if needed.

So, I'm going to set the lathe up on the feet and while I won't lag it down right now, I will have the option to do so easily should I change my mind in the future.

Thanks everyone, I'll keep you all posted on my progress.

Rick
 

Buffalo20

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#13
If you live in earthquake country (New York probably isn't it) it is smarter to NOT bolt it to the floor.

About 350 felt earthquakes in the last 300 yrs, the last big one was a 5.4 RS, in 1983, centered in Blue Mt Lake, NY, southwest of Lake Placid, NY, before that 1976, again in Blue Mt Lake. Nothing Like California.
 

george wilson

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#14
I have my 16" lathe sitting on Mason brand leveling pads. They helped to raise the lathe 3" or so. Taiwan made floor model lathes are always TOO LOW. Must be made to fit the Chinese frame!!:)

We had a small earth quake a few years ago. Nothing moved or fell over. My lathes run perfectly smooth. My smaller lathe is a Hardinge HLVH,which sits on 3 points,and CANNOT be bolted down. It has a nice wide cabinet,though.
 
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