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Flat ways not in same plane

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  • victorgooch
    I am the original owner of a Sears Craftsman 12 x 36. When checking for level I noticed ( for the first time in 35 years ) that one of the ways is not in the
    Message 1 of 9 , Sep 2, 2008
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      I am the original owner of a Sears Craftsman 12 x 36. When
      checking for level I noticed ( for the first time in 35 years )
      that one of the ways is not in the same plane as the other.
      That is, when you lay a straight edge flat on one of the ways
      there is a gap between the outside corner and the straight edge
      of the opposite way. This lathe has never been abused or
      dropped. Could this be normal ??

      Regards,
      Victor
    • Jon Elson
      ... It definitely is not normal. I suppose that there could have been some sort of setup error when the bed was machined, but it is pretty hard to believe, as
      Message 2 of 9 , Sep 2, 2008
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        victorgooch wrote:
        > I am the original owner of a Sears Craftsman 12 x 36. When
        > checking for level I noticed ( for the first time in 35 years )
        > that one of the ways is not in the same plane as the other.
        > That is, when you lay a straight edge flat on one of the ways
        > there is a gap between the outside corner and the straight edge
        > of the opposite way. This lathe has never been abused or
        > dropped. Could this be normal ??
        It definitely is not normal. I suppose that there could have
        been some sort of setup error when the bed was machined, but it
        is pretty hard to believe, as the beds I've measured have always
        been incredibly accurate, like much better than +/- .001"

        Has your bed ever been reground? You can measure the thickness
        of the ways. If it is not .375 or .500 (depending on date made)
        +/- .001", then it has been reground. The thickness tolerance
        on the beds was really tight, as they'd have to fool around a
        lot with the gibs if it wasn't made accurately.

        Atlas milled the entire bed in one pass, I believe. Possibly
        the underside of the ways was done in another pass, but they
        show the machine in the guide book machining the tops and sides
        of the bed, at least. I'd suspect the cutters were sharpened
        together so they'd cut exactly even.

        Jon
      • Jim Ash
        Somewhere, I thought I read that the (factory) recommended procedure for this was to stuff shims under the lathe feet to induce some untwist or unsag ,
        Message 3 of 9 , Sep 3, 2008
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          Somewhere, I thought I read that the (factory) recommended procedure for this was to stuff shims under the lathe feet to induce some 'untwist' or 'unsag', although I don't think you can use that to make up for problems between the front and back ways.

          Jim Ash

          -----Original Message-----
          >From: Jon Elson <elson@...>
          >Sent: Sep 2, 2008 11:01 PM
          >To: atlas_craftsman@yahoogroups.com
          >Subject: Re: [atlas_craftsman] Flat ways not in same plane
          >
          >victorgooch wrote:
          >> I am the original owner of a Sears Craftsman 12 x 36. When
          >> checking for level I noticed ( for the first time in 35 years )
          >> that one of the ways is not in the same plane as the other.
          >> That is, when you lay a straight edge flat on one of the ways
          >> there is a gap between the outside corner and the straight edge
          >> of the opposite way. This lathe has never been abused or
          >> dropped. Could this be normal ??
          >It definitely is not normal. I suppose that there could have
          >been some sort of setup error when the bed was machined, but it
          >is pretty hard to believe, as the beds I've measured have always
          >been incredibly accurate, like much better than +/- .001"
          >
          >Has your bed ever been reground? You can measure the thickness
          >of the ways. If it is not .375 or .500 (depending on date made)
          >+/- .001", then it has been reground. The thickness tolerance
          >on the beds was really tight, as they'd have to fool around a
          >lot with the gibs if it wasn't made accurately.
          >
          >Atlas milled the entire bed in one pass, I believe. Possibly
          >the underside of the ways was done in another pass, but they
          >show the machine in the guide book machining the tops and sides
          >of the bed, at least. I'd suspect the cutters were sharpened
          >together so they'd cut exactly even.
          >
          >Jon
        • Joe R
          Victor One of the first things you are supposed to do when setting up a lathe is to make sure it s level. Yours is not and your bed has a twist in it. Believe
          Message 4 of 9 , Sep 3, 2008
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            Victor

            One of the first things you are supposed to do when setting up a lathe is to
            make sure it's level. Yours is not and your bed has a twist in it. Believe
            it or not cast iron will flex. My 12x36 had shims put in between the bed and
            foot (for lack of a better name). They were to level the bed in all planes.

            Take hart, your lathe just needs leveled. Both off my South Bend Lathes have
            Allen screws in the right foot to do just that. On the right foot of your
            lathe loosen the mounting bolt and add a shim on the low side, tighten the
            bolt and check. Continue till the twist is gone. You could also put the
            shims between the foot and bed.

            Joe R

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "victorgooch" <victor@...>
            To: <atlas_craftsman@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 4:08 PM
            Subject: [atlas_craftsman] Flat ways not in same plane


            >I am the original owner of a Sears Craftsman 12 x 36. When
            > checking for level I noticed ( for the first time in 35 years )
            > that one of the ways is not in the same plane as the other.
            > That is, when you lay a straight edge flat on one of the ways
            > there is a gap between the outside corner and the straight edge
            > of the opposite way. This lathe has never been abused or
            > dropped. Could this be normal ??
            >
            > Regards,
            > Victor
            >
            >
            > ------------------------------------
            >
            > TO UNSUBSCRIBE FROM THE LIST:
            > You do this yourself by sending a message to:
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            >
            > Atlas-Craftsman Projects list is at
            > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/atlas_craftsman_projects/
            >
            > To see or edit your personal settings, view the photos, files or links
            > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/atlas_craftsman/Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
          • ajxnagy
            Are you sure you gentlemen are talking about the same thing? If for 35 years there has been the ability to use the lathe and I assume maintain tolerance
            Message 5 of 9 , Sep 3, 2008
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              Are you sure you gentlemen are talking about the same thing?

              If for 35 years there has been the ability to use the lathe
              and I assume maintain tolerance something doesn't make sense.

              Is the issue that the ways are not of equal length or one of the ends
              is not square?


              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Joe R
              To: atlas_craftsman@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Wednesday, September 03, 2008 5:12 PM
              Subject: Re: [atlas_craftsman] Flat ways not in same plane


              Victor

              One of the first things you are supposed to do when setting up a lathe is to
              make sure it's level. Yours is not and your bed has a twist in it. Believe
              it or not cast iron will flex. My 12x36 had shims put in between the bed and
              foot (for lack of a better name). They were to level the bed in all planes.

              Take hart, your lathe just needs leveled. Both off my South Bend Lathes have
              Allen screws in the right foot to do just that. On the right foot of your
              lathe loosen the mounting bolt and add a shim on the low side, tighten the
              bolt and check. Continue till the twist is gone. You could also put the
              shims between the foot and bed.

              Joe R

              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "victorgooch" <victor@...>
              To: <atlas_craftsman@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 4:08 PM
              Subject: [atlas_craftsman] Flat ways not in same plane

              >I am the original owner of a Sears Craftsman 12 x 36. When
              > checking for level I noticed ( for the first time in 35 years )
              > that one of the ways is not in the same plane as the other.
              > That is, when you lay a straight edge flat on one of the ways
              > there is a gap between the outside corner and the straight edge
              > of the opposite way. This lathe has never been abused or
              > dropped. Could this be normal ??
              >
              > Regards,
              > Victor
              >
              >
              > ------------------------------------
              >
              > TO UNSUBSCRIBE FROM THE LIST:
              > You do this yourself by sending a message to:
              > atlas_craftsman-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
              >
              > Atlas-Craftsman Projects list is at
              > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/atlas_craftsman_projects/
              >
              > To see or edit your personal settings, view the photos, files or links
              > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/atlas_craftsman/Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • dragonfl1ght
              Joe R/Victor Being a COMPLETE noob (I haven t even powered mine up yet), but having thought oodles about it, I cannot see how a twisted bed could cause the
              Message 6 of 9 , Sep 3, 2008
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                Joe R/Victor

                Being a COMPLETE noob (I haven't even powered mine up yet), but having
                thought oodles about it, I cannot see how a twisted bed could cause
                the problem you are seeing - the insidious thing about a twist is that
                you can lay a straight edge anywhere and it is straight, but any two
                straight line are not in the same plane.
                Joe please correct me if I am wrong.

                You do not say how much out they are and whether the front or the back
                is out (ie if you lay a straight edge across the ways are both outer
                edges lower or just one)
                Is it possible that it is wear? When I took mine apart there was
                differential wear on the carriage (but very slight). I gather that the
                top front and the rear bottom wear most.

                I wish I could be of help, but I would sure be interested in the
                answer once you figure it out.

                mike

                --- In atlas_craftsman@yahoogroups.com, "Joe R" <jromas@...> wrote:
                >
                > Victor
                >
                > One of the first things you are supposed to do when setting up a
                lathe is to
                > make sure it's level. Yours is not and your bed has a twist in it.
                Believe
                > it or not cast iron will flex. My 12x36 had shims put in between the
                bed and
                > foot (for lack of a better name). They were to level the bed in all
                planes.
                >
                > Take hart, your lathe just needs leveled. Both off my South Bend
                Lathes have
                > Allen screws in the right foot to do just that. On the right foot of
                your
                > lathe loosen the mounting bolt and add a shim on the low side,
                tighten the
                > bolt and check. Continue till the twist is gone. You could also put the
                > shims between the foot and bed.
                >
                > Joe R
                >
                > ----- Original Message -----
                > From: "victorgooch" <victor@...>
                > To: <atlas_craftsman@yahoogroups.com>
                > Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 4:08 PM
                > Subject: [atlas_craftsman] Flat ways not in same plane
                >
                >
                > >I am the original owner of a Sears Craftsman 12 x 36. When
                > > checking for level I noticed ( for the first time in 35 years )
                > > that one of the ways is not in the same plane as the other.
                > > That is, when you lay a straight edge flat on one of the ways
                > > there is a gap between the outside corner and the straight edge
                > > of the opposite way. This lathe has never been abused or
                > > dropped. Could this be normal ??
                > >
                > > Regards,
                > > Victor
                > >
                > >
                > > ------------------------------------
                > >
                > > TO UNSUBSCRIBE FROM THE LIST:
                > > You do this yourself by sending a message to:
                > > atlas_craftsman-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                > >
                > > Atlas-Craftsman Projects list is at
                > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/atlas_craftsman_projects/
                > >
                > > To see or edit your personal settings, view the photos, files or
                links
                > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/atlas_craftsman/Yahoo! Groups Links
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
              • Jim Ash
                Seems to me there s a section on doing these checks in Machine Tool Reconditioning , 1955 by Edward Connelly. Still in print, but not a cheap date (close to
                Message 7 of 9 , Sep 3, 2008
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                  Seems to me there's a section on doing these checks in 'Machine Tool Reconditioning', 1955 by Edward Connelly. Still in print, but not a cheap date (close to $100 by the time you add in shipping). See if you can get it at the library.

                  Armed with this knowledge, you'll still need one or more decent straight-edges as references. Your basic milled-edge aluminum level from Home Depot won't do it (unless your lathe is really, really bad).

                  Jim Ash


                  -----Original Message-----
                  >From: dragonfl1ght <dragonflight@...>
                  >Sent: Sep 3, 2008 8:29 PM
                  >To: atlas_craftsman@yahoogroups.com
                  >Subject: [atlas_craftsman] Re: Flat ways not in same plane
                  >
                  >Joe R/Victor
                  >
                  >Being a COMPLETE noob (I haven't even powered mine up yet), but having
                  >thought oodles about it, I cannot see how a twisted bed could cause
                  >the problem you are seeing - the insidious thing about a twist is that
                  >you can lay a straight edge anywhere and it is straight, but any two
                  >straight line are not in the same plane.
                  >Joe please correct me if I am wrong.
                  >
                  >You do not say how much out they are and whether the front or the back
                  >is out (ie if you lay a straight edge across the ways are both outer
                  >edges lower or just one)
                  >Is it possible that it is wear? When I took mine apart there was
                  >differential wear on the carriage (but very slight). I gather that the
                  >top front and the rear bottom wear most.
                  >
                  >I wish I could be of help, but I would sure be interested in the
                  >answer once you figure it out.
                  >
                  >mike
                  >
                  >--- In atlas_craftsman@yahoogroups.com, "Joe R" <jromas@...> wrote:
                  >>
                  >> Victor
                  >>
                  >> One of the first things you are supposed to do when setting up a
                  >lathe is to
                  >> make sure it's level. Yours is not and your bed has a twist in it.
                  >Believe
                  >> it or not cast iron will flex. My 12x36 had shims put in between the
                  >bed and
                  >> foot (for lack of a better name). They were to level the bed in all
                  >planes.
                  >>
                  >> Take hart, your lathe just needs leveled. Both off my South Bend
                  >Lathes have
                  >> Allen screws in the right foot to do just that. On the right foot of
                  >your
                  >> lathe loosen the mounting bolt and add a shim on the low side,
                  >tighten the
                  >> bolt and check. Continue till the twist is gone. You could also put the
                  >> shims between the foot and bed.
                  >>
                  >> Joe R
                  >>
                  >> ----- Original Message -----
                  >> From: "victorgooch" <victor@...>
                  >> To: <atlas_craftsman@yahoogroups.com>
                  >> Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 4:08 PM
                  >> Subject: [atlas_craftsman] Flat ways not in same plane
                  >>
                  >>
                  >> >I am the original owner of a Sears Craftsman 12 x 36. When
                  >> > checking for level I noticed ( for the first time in 35 years )
                  >> > that one of the ways is not in the same plane as the other.
                  >> > That is, when you lay a straight edge flat on one of the ways
                  >> > there is a gap between the outside corner and the straight edge
                  >> > of the opposite way. This lathe has never been abused or
                  >> > dropped. Could this be normal ??
                  >> >
                  >> > Regards,
                  >> > Victor
                  >> >
                  >> >
                  >> > ------------------------------------
                  >> >
                  >> > TO UNSUBSCRIBE FROM THE LIST:
                  >> > You do this yourself by sending a message to:
                  >> > atlas_craftsman-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  >> >
                  >> > Atlas-Craftsman Projects list is at
                  >> > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/atlas_craftsman_projects/
                  >> >
                  >> > To see or edit your personal settings, view the photos, files or
                  >links
                  >> > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/atlas_craftsman/Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >> >
                  >> >
                  >> >
                  >>
                  >
                  >
                • catboat15@aol.com
                  That is strange, if I read you correctly. Ways can be twisted out of position if the lathe is not leveled correctly (I put Level in quotes as Leveling is
                  Message 8 of 9 , Sep 3, 2008
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                    That is strange, if I read you correctly. Ways can be twisted out of
                    position if the lathe is not "leveled" correctly (I put Level in quotes as
                    "Leveling" is the common term for getting both ends in the same plane, level or on a
                    tilt, but the same tilt) Leveling is the common term because that plane is
                    easy to determine with a quality machinist's level.

                    Now, there are ways that are "humped" higher in the middle and lower at the
                    ends as well as sagged or what a boat builder would call "hogged" and there
                    are directions in the manuals to correct that fault, by shimming various places
                    under the feet. So I would assume your fault would be that one of the
                    "legs" at the head stock end has a shim or uneven bearing on your table to place
                    a twist on one way, but not the other.

                    Shims placed inside the mounting bolts will tend to make the ways bow
                    upwards and shims placed outside the mounting bolts will bow the ways to make a
                    hollow in the center. That is why the book shows shims made to bear on the
                    whole foot with only a slot for the mounting bolt.

                    Some users bolt the head down tightly and allow the tails stock end to float
                    slightly. My own Atlas has only one mounting hole at the tail stock end and
                    that is how I have mounted it, two tight bolts at the head stock and only a
                    finger tight bolt at the single tail stock mounting hole. (That hole is in
                    the center, of course)

                    Assuming you have the more usual four bolt mounting system what I would do
                    is to loosen all the mounting bolts or screws, do the measurements again and
                    work from that point. Adding and/or removing shims as required. Getting all
                    readings the same of course. If your precision level (Not from the local home
                    center) reads the same every place on the bed you are there.
                    Also there is a method of assuring lathe leveling that does not use a level,
                    called "Rollies Dad's way to level a lathe" which involves chucking up a
                    known straight bar and taking measurements along the known bar. Some machine
                    shops keep a "test bar" in the tool room for doing this and periodically check
                    lathe alignment. (This will not only check for level, but also check for tail
                    stock alignment.)


                    John Meacham
                    Littlerock, California
                    12 inch Atlas lathe, Mini-mill, band saw and a rusty file.



                    **************It's only a deal if it's where you want to go. Find your travel
                    deal here.
                    (http://information.travel.aol.com/deals?ncid=aoltrv00050000000047)


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • jake09305
                    If I might add on to John s comments...the surface on which the lathe is mounted makes a significant difference especially if it is a wooden bench. Wood
                    Message 9 of 9 , Sep 4, 2008
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                      If I might add on to John's comments...the surface on which the
                      lathe is mounted makes a significant difference especially if it is a
                      wooden bench. Wood moves...over night and from season to season.
                      The "test-bar" has the advantage that it will verify the
                      alignment of the vertical and horizontal axises of the lathe
                      regardless of how or where it is mounted.
                      The pursuit of "level" is because that is the way the lathe was
                      initially manufactured and assembled....on a "flat" "level" surface.
                      You want to replicate that.
                      Henry

                      --- In atlas_craftsman@yahoogroups.com, catboat15@... wrote:
                      >
                      > That is strange, if I read you correctly. Ways can be twisted out of
                      > position if the lathe is not "leveled" correctly (I put Level in
                      quotes as
                      > "Leveling" is the common term for getting both ends in the same
                      plane, level or on a
                      > tilt, but the same tilt) Leveling is the common term because that
                      plane is
                      > easy to determine with a quality machinist's level.
                      >
                      > Now, there are ways that are "humped" higher in the middle and lower
                      at the
                      > ends as well as sagged or what a boat builder would call "hogged"
                      and there
                      > are directions in the manuals to correct that fault, by shimming
                      various places
                      > under the feet. So I would assume your fault would be that one of
                      the
                      > "legs" at the head stock end has a shim or uneven bearing on your
                      table to place
                      > a twist on one way, but not the other.
                      >
                      > Shims placed inside the mounting bolts will tend to make the ways bow
                      > upwards and shims placed outside the mounting bolts will bow the
                      ways to make a
                      > hollow in the center. That is why the book shows shims made to
                      bear on the
                      > whole foot with only a slot for the mounting bolt.
                      >
                      > Some users bolt the head down tightly and allow the tails stock end
                      to float
                      > slightly. My own Atlas has only one mounting hole at the tail stock
                      end and
                      > that is how I have mounted it, two tight bolts at the head stock and
                      only a
                      > finger tight bolt at the single tail stock mounting hole. (That
                      hole is in
                      > the center, of course)
                      >
                      > Assuming you have the more usual four bolt mounting system what I
                      would do
                      > is to loosen all the mounting bolts or screws, do the measurements
                      again and
                      > work from that point. Adding and/or removing shims as required.
                      Getting all
                      > readings the same of course. If your precision level (Not from the
                      local home
                      > center) reads the same every place on the bed you are there.
                      > Also there is a method of assuring lathe leveling that does not use
                      a level,
                      > called "Rollies Dad's way to level a lathe" which involves chucking
                      up a
                      > known straight bar and taking measurements along the known bar. Some
                      machine
                      > shops keep a "test bar" in the tool room for doing this and
                      periodically check
                      > lathe alignment. (This will not only check for level, but also check
                      for tail
                      > stock alignment.)
                      >
                      >
                      > John Meacham
                      > Littlerock, California
                      > 12 inch Atlas lathe, Mini-mill, band saw and a rusty file.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > **************It's only a deal if it's where you want to go. Find
                      your travel
                      > deal here.
                      > (http://information.travel.aol.com/deals?ncid=aoltrv00050000000047)
                      >
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
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