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Thread: Alignment

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  1. #1
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    Alignment

    Hey All,
    I cut my 1st piece of metal with my X3 today. Do I have to align my drill head and the tables? Also, when I use mach3 I need to reverse the axis, is that what you are all doing too?

    Joe

  2. #2
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    Hi Joe,
    Which axis do you need to reverse? The axis can be reversed in Mach 3 under the Config tab, Homing/Limits tab and the affected axis can be selected to Home negative also if needed. Be sure to watch and check any changes carefully first time around.
    Regards,
    Regards,
    Wes

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megaplow View Post
    Do I have to align my drill head and the tables?
    Joe

    Do you mean 'tram the head". You don't have to but you should. You will get improved accuracy a real nice finish if you do. Only takes a few minutes to check it.

  4. #4
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    One of the axis on mine was incorrect and I had to reverse it. The arrow keys on your keyboard should control the direction of the cut, not the direction of the table. So pressing the right arrow should move the table left and the up arrow should move the table toward the operator.


    My head (SX3) is way out of tram. I put a dial test indicator in the collet chuck and set it rotate in about a 4 inch diameter circle. The column is out of square with the table by .007 on the y axis and .003 on the x axis. I have .003 runout in the spindle as well and I'm going to try and correct that before I start dealing with the tram. Surfacing 6061 AL with a 1/2 inch endmill produces ridges on the workpiece. It seems to me that tramming the head is going to be a bit more complicated on this mill because of the tilting head feature.

    I not sure what the best procedure for squaring the column is. Most people with fixed head machines (X2) tram off of the table or a 1-2-3 block but I think the tilting head makes that procedure inaccurate. I'm planning on running a dial test indicator against and angle plate while raising and lowering the head. Once the column is shimmed and square to the table then the head could be trammed to the table. The x-axis can be squared by rotating the head but I'm not sure where to put a shim if the Y direction is off. I'm still working on my enclosure and plan on tackling this problem once the mill is in it's final home. If anyone has an easier way to align the column and head let me know.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for all the info. I didnt know that the directions were tied to the cut and not the table. I had to remove the head column to get the mill into my shop. I doubt that I put it back on with .001 accuracy. How do I go about traming the head? That means squaring it to the table right?

    Joe

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by thackman View Post
    My head (SX3) is way out of tram. I put a dial test indicator in the collet chuck and set it rotate in about a 4 inch diameter circle. The column is out of square with the table by .007 on the y axis and .003 on the x axis. I have .003 runout in the spindle as well and I'm going to try and correct that before I start dealing with the tram. Surfacing 6061 AL with a 1/2 inch endmill produces ridges on the workpiece.
    I am having the same issues over here with my new X3. Any ideas on how to tram this thing? I know I can do X axis with a dial indicator and rotating it 180 degrees to square it with the table, but how would I do it in the Y direction as well? The table seems too narrow to be able to accurately set the tram in the y direction.

    There are a bunch of allen head screws on the side of the head. Do any of these have anything to do with adjusting the head, or are they just holding the rails?

    I think I'll put a call in to Syil tomorrow to see what they have to say... but if anyone has any experience with this and can post about it, it would be a huge help.

    Thanks!

  7. #7
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    Just as everyone here has already asked, SX3 owners if you have any ideas how to tram those things let us know, I own a full size Bridgeport style mill and it is a snap to tram the head, maybe 10 minutes. But my looking at the pictures of a Syil it makes no sense to me how you can tram the Y axis. I am considering buying one this year. Thanks.
    BlueFin CNC LLC
    Southern Oregon

  8. #8
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    Industrial Hobbies has great instructions on making a alignment/tramming tool. Once that is accomplished you then need to measure you x,y, z column. I start out by measuring my z column. I mount a dial indicator or a last word indicator in the spindle, a drill chuck works fine, and then use a precise angle plate or a 246 block to measure from. Put the measuring tool against the plate/block and move the z axis up and down. This will give you z column alignment. To fix this you need to tighten down the four bolts where the column mounts to the table. You will actually use these bolts to do the tramming for everything on the x3 since the x3 spindle head does not move and is held in place by alignment pins. If you cannot get the column to tram properly by just tightening the bolts in small increments, you will need to purchase shims. Mcmaster-Carr has a great selection of these in a ton of sizes. Generally purchase a few .001, 002, 003, and two with a half thou in the shim. The size you will need will be the 13/32 hole size. It's a bit big but works fine and is a little easier to get under the column. To measure x and y you need use the IH tool again and setup 2 123 blocks on each side of the spindle on the table. Measure the largest distance possible on each axis, and tram according to those measurements by placing shims between the column mounts and the base. For the x axis shims will go on the side of the column under both bolts, and for the y the shims will be placed with the shim holes going around the front bolts or back bolts. This will fix the tram for the x3.

    The sx3 is a bit different for the x since the head rotates. There are two bolts on each side of the head, loosen these two slightly and put your IH tool to use again. Setup the 123 blocks on each side of the column to do you measuring, and tap the bottom sides of the head with a soft blow hammer until the measurement is equal on each side. Tighten the bolts again, but not all the way, and do the measurement again. Tap the head into tram if it moved, if not tighten again, this time fully. Make your measurements again and if everything is aligned, your good to go.


    Here are the links for IH how to:
    http://www.industrialhobbies.com/
    It is under Tips And Techniques: Squaring the head.

    McMaster Carr shims:
    http://www.mcmaster.com/
    Search for shims and I purchase slotted shims with tabs. The ones I like are the 13/32 x 61/64 hole size.

  9. #9
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    Awesome reply - thanks a ton for the information, makes a ton of sense now that I think about this method.

    If I am reading it correctly, we first tram the column to the table by performing the first two procedures on that page, basically what they are referring to as the X and Y tram on the column. Either tighten the bolts on the base of the column or use shim stock to accomplish this. Sounds pretty simple.

    For the second part, where they again do the X axis, but in relation to the head, we should really only have to loosen the bolts on the sides of the head, and tighten them back up when we have the correct alignment. I believe what you are saying is that we do not have to tram the Y direction on the head itself, because there's really no movement there, and it should stay in line with the column, correct?

    Thanks again for a great resource!

  10. #10
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    Yes. The head will always be trammed in relation to the table in regards to the y axis. It is actually the column you are adjusting to get your y alignment.

    Make sure you start with the column tramming. On the x3 it will also tram the head, but the sx3 has a rotate-able head so the head needs to be adjusted separately. You do this by tightening the two bolts on the side of the head. Make sure when you tram the column you adjust both bolts on either side.

    Ill give you an example to make it more clear if its not already. You are facing the mill.
    Say the column is leaning to the right a thou and forward a thou. To fix this, I would put a shim under the front right bolt.

    Another example is if the column is leaning to the left but is not leaning forward or backward. I would use two shims and put one under each bolt on the left side. You use two because if you only put it under one bolt, it would cause the column to lean a bit back too. But if its under both, it will only adjust the column left and right.

  11. #11
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    Got it - this procedure is basically identical to aligning shafts on a pump and motor. Just wasn't sure of the tools that I had to use -that site you sent me to was perfect.

    My goal today is to get the thing trammed out - I'll let you guys know how it goes.

    Thanks again!

  12. #12
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    Great information, it makes sense now, and I never thought of the column leaning left or right, that would be very important because a trammed head on a leaning column would cut square at a static elevation, but would cause X Axis movement as the Z Axis raised and lowered (or Y axis movement if it was leaning forward or back)!
    BlueFin CNC LLC
    Southern Oregon

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