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Leveling sequence for a 6 footed PM1340GT?

Discussion in 'PRECISION-MATTHEWS' started by Alan H, Jun 2, 2017.

  1. Alan H

    Alan H United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I have a PM1340Gt that I am about to level one more time. My machine has the newer stand with 6 feet (4 under head end and two on tailstock end). I have TECO style adjustable feet from McMaster.

    Here's a borrowed PM1340GT photo from Matt's new website of a 1340 with the six footed stand:
    stand.jpg

    What is the sequence of leveling with 6 feet involved. Level using the outboard four corners first and then snug the inboard pair under the headstock? Or, level with the headstock inboard pair and tailstock pair and then snug the headstock outboard pair? Or some other approach?
     
  2. mikey

    mikey Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Alan, I'm attaching the set up procedure used by Sheldon lathes. Basically, you level with the outside feet at both ends and when the lathe is level, you bring the inner feet on the headstock end into contact to add support. This should not change the level of the lathe. Hope this helps.
     

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  3. wawoodman

    wawoodman himself, himself H-M Supporter-Premium

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    If it were up to me (and it isn't, of course...) I would set those things up so that you could level it with three feet, and then bring the others into holding position. It's much easier to level three feet, than four.
     
  4. Alan H

    Alan H United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Thanks Mikey - old references are mighty helpful.
    Can you be a little more specific, not sure you'd do what you are saying. I am not sure the PM1340 is rigid enough to do that without twisting. It's the twist that you are really trying to avoid like the plague aren't you?
     
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  5. mikey

    mikey Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Yeah, old references for old guys - I can relate!
     
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  6. bss1

    bss1 United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Alan

    I made my own stand but it has 4 feet on the headstock end and 2 at the tailstock similar to what you have. I leveled mine as Mikey suggested. I leveled using the outside 4 corners first and then snugged up the inner two feet at the headstock end. I spent hours trying different combos but in the end, this is what seemed to work best for me. I still seem to have an ever so slight hump near the seam for the gap bed that I have not been able to get rid of.
     
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  7. wawoodman

    wawoodman himself, himself H-M Supporter-Premium

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    It's easier to level with three points. With four, you're always chasing the low spot. With three, you adjust the level across the two at one end. When that's there, you bring up the other end until it's level with the established line. Then, any other feet support your "triangle."

    We used this technique to place guitar bodies in a fixture for routing the binding groove.
     
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  8. Bob Korves

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    The trouble is, we are not really concerned with getting it level. We are more concerned with getting it straight, and ultimately with getting it to cut straight and parallel. Sometimes a lathe needs to be straight to cut straight, sometimes it needs to be twisted to cut straight, depends on wear, original inaccuracies, and quite a few other influences. Setting up a lathe is pragmatic -- the end justifies the means. Level is as good a place to start as any...
     
  9. Alan H

    Alan H United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Thanks all for the feedback.

    To be clear, I am concerned with getting it "level" and that's what I will do.

    The newer PM1340's with factory stand have 4 leveling feet under the headstock end, so the context of the thread was "what is the sequence to deal with the 6 leveling feet under it". In addition, this machine uses an oil distributor tray to lubricate the quick change gears so if it is not level in the longitudinal direction, the oil distribution could be affected. So I fully intend to "level" my lathe.

    In summary, Mikey's reference material provides a standard approach. The sequence I will adopt is to use the outboard 4 feet and bring it to "level" and then snug the inboard feet on the headstock to provide the extra support and rigidity as intended. It is intuitively obvious that the inboard feet snugging should be done without introducing too much lift and introducing an effect on the "level".

    I am fortunate to have the machine sitting on a flat and reinforced concrete slab. I am also fortunate that it is a new machine without wear and it appears to be reasonably well made.

    Once it's "level", I will then check the alignment and adjust as necessary.
     
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  10. mikey

    mikey Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    One thing to keep in mind, Alan, is that lathe cabinets move, too. Every time I "level" my lathe, I let it settle for a week or two and re-check. Then I check it every 3-6 months to be sure it is stable. If I have a project where I need to minimize taper and the lathe has not been moved, I check it with a 2-collar test and level it with the adjusters under the headstock and tailstock before starting work.

    I see a lot of posts about guys not wanting to spend money on a good level, saying they'll only use it once or twice in a lifetime. They must have lathes and cabinets that are perfectly immovable once set; mine isn't one of those so I think a good level is important. I use a tripod leveling platform to calibrate the level before starting work. I also level by placing the level on the cross slide bed, not on the ways. I know that this is not the norm but that's where my cutting tool sits so it makes sense to me.

    My lathe has leveling bolts at both ends of the lathe so it can be leveled precisely on the cabinet. This is an advantage but it can also complicate things. I tend to move my lathe at need because my shop is small and sometimes I just have to move the thing. When I re-site the lathe, I generally level the lathe again with the cabinet supports and let it sit for a week or two and then use the levelers under the lathe to fine tune it. This is usually done very quickly but sometimes God's sense of humor turns it into an ordeal. Or maybe its the phase of the moon or direction of the wind or ...

    Oh, remember that the bubble in a precision level can take up to a minute to stabilize so make an adjustment and wait for it to settle before adjusting again.

    Finally, the level is not the final word. A 2-collar test will tell you if the lathe agrees with the level so run a test cut to be sure things are as they should be.
     
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  11. Alan H

    Alan H United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Thanks Mike. Agree with you on a having a good level in your kit. I spent the money late last year to get one that comes in a red box! I have used it on the lathe before but I am now moving it a few inches into its more permanent position and need to get far more serious about its setup now.
     
  12. Alan H

    Alan H United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Leveling done, the following worked for me and I got some good exercise getting up and down off the floor so many times. An assistant to read the level would have been nice but she wasn't available!

    Using a Starrett machinist's level on cross slide (with the two different orientations marked for repetition):
    1. Using outboard feet on head end - leveled front to back
    2. At tailstock end, leveled end to end using one foot
    3. Tailstock end, leveled front to back
    4. Three quick reruns through above to get it dead on.
    5. With machine at level on 4 feet, inboard feet on head end pulled down finger tight, then ~ half a turn and locked. Tuned to assure level.
    6. Rechecked levels front to back both ends - minor tweak on tailstock end to get it done.
     
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  13. mikey

    mikey Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    What happened when you did a 2 collar test? Just curious.
     
  14. Alan H

    Alan H United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Did a quick and rough Rollie's Dad Method and it appears the head needs alignment. Was out on the order of 006" on 16 inches. Will get more serious with that late this week.
     
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  15. Alan H

    Alan H United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Back in town and checked it this morning, actually it is out .0035" at 12". So I am going to tweak it.
     
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