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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking Machines > Tormach Personal CNC Mill > Leveling, squaring, tramming help
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  1. #1

    Leveling, squaring, tramming help

    Hello,

    I recently purchased a used 1100 S3 in seemingly very good condition. I've become sufficiently confused about what is needed to ensure everything is square. I've googled around quite a bit and seen the Tormach videos, documentation, and plenty of other stuff out there. I've bugged the owner enough about other things I've probably overstay my welcome when it comes to questions.

    The mill has some caster foot pegs on it. (https://www.zambus.com/products/ac-0...saAt1nEALw_wcB). It was assembled there on site in a garage that was not very level, so he had to adjust them to get the right height of the stand, and then had to shim the mill to the stand. Standard procedure.

    I bought it as one piece, and moved to my garage. Since I don't fancy removing the mill from the stand, I did my best to level the whole thing together as one piece. My garage is very much not flat, apparently. The rear needed some substantial blocks, about .610" to get the machine flat.

    1st Concern:
    Because the machine is assembled to the stand, I'm a little afraid the shimming he had done is unique to his situation and not necessarily the stand itself. (?) I would think in theory I should level the stand first, and then the mill separately, but I've never heard of anyone doing that to a used mill. I'm afraid I'm stacking errors here and arriving at a level top.


    2nd Concern:
    As it stands, the machine table is very flat, but as I sweep the dial test indicator across the full 18" of X in the T slot, I'm seeing about .006" of movement in Y. So, about .001 per 3 inches. That seems pretty bad, and it's very consistent. So I'm afraid perhaps that while the bed is flat, and seems to stay flat with travel, something is incorrect from above causing this behavior.

    Any help would be much appreciated.
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    565

    Re: Leveling, squaring, tramming help

    Quote Originally Posted by Miserlou57 View Post
    2nd Concern:
    As it stands, the machine table is very flat, but as I sweep the dial test indicator across the full 18" of X in the T slot, I'm seeing about .006" of movement in Y. So, about .001 per 3 inches. That seems pretty bad, and it's very consistent. So I'm afraid perhaps that while the bed is flat, and seems to stay flat with travel, something is incorrect from above causing this behavior.

    Any help would be much appreciated.
    Thanks
    How are you testing this? Indicator on the head riding in the T-slot?

    If you are checking the sides of the T-slot, be aware on early machines (well before the S3) none were precision machined and after that only the center slot was for some time. You might verify the error is consistent in other places if you haven't yet.

    Otherwise it could be somehow the table isn't square to the X axis.

    FWIW, I had a very early 1100 that had all manner of abuse before I got it (the stand was dented as if it had been dropped on one corner) but once I got it level and squared up the vise, it made good parts for many years.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Posts
    171

    Re: Leveling, squaring, tramming help

    Level the machine to your location, then run through the test procedure to check for twist in the bed. If you see indications of twist, reshim to correct. The base is not perfectly rigid so the shimming will likely be situational although I suspect it will be pretty close as long as the previous owner had the machine properly level and you get it the same since the twisting forces are going to mostly related to weight distribution on each ground contact point. Be aware that levelling and removing twist are two different things. You can have a level machine that is twisted or an untwisted machine that isn't level. Arguably, removing the twist is more important than ensuring perfect level but it's simple enough to do both.

    As for your Y, I have no idea how precise the tables are or were machined but my gut tells me not to use the T-slots as an axis reference. .006 isn't anything I'd complain about since I'd be tramming my workholding in every time I bolt it to the table anyway. More important IMO would be making sure you are able to set a vise on the table, indicate it to run true along the axis and then make sure it repeats.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    15

    Re: Leveling, squaring, tramming help

    I'd level reasonably well and do a quick check for twist but only adjust base feet to correct some. Then give it time settle into it's new home and run it for a couple weeks or longer before spending too much time trying to wring out everything. No reason to chase a couple thou until the base and castings fully settled from the move.

    Additionally, once you get to using it, you might also decide to move it a couple times before choosing a final location.

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