View Full Version : Machine leveling

Ron Horton
12-27-2006, 03:47 PM
Greetings, and happy holidays to all--
Finally got my mill on the stand and bolted down (after 3 tries) Am in the process of "dialing it in"-- My question is: How critical is it for the base to be level? It is out about 1/4 inch to the rear, but the drain hole for the coolant is on the back side, and this would help the fluid to run off the table-- I know the spindle needs to be square with the table-- Any comments/suggestions would be greatly appreciated-- Thanks very much--
Best regards, Ron

"I just had it a minute ago"

Spin Doctor
12-27-2006, 04:10 PM
There seems to be a great deal of confusion about the terms "level, flat and square. With the mill as long as it shows out of flat all in the same direction and amount don't worry about it. It could be 30D out of "level" and still function. OK, maybe that is a little extreme but I think you know what I mean. Some machines are actually set-up so they are low on the back side. One example are cylindracal grinders. It isn't much but if they are properly scraped in then the head stock will always be running uphill when when grinding and always have a load on the feed screw. As far as square goes as long as the column as 90D to the X and Y axis ways you should be alright. That the table needs to be flat to the X and Y axis ways goes with out saying. The head also needs to be square to the column. As a matter of curiousity what type and model mill?

12-27-2006, 04:16 PM
I think as long as it's sitting solidly and evenly on all four feet, you ought to be fine. What you don't want is a twist.

12-27-2006, 04:30 PM
There was a thread on PM a while back about this (I think it was in the Bridgeport forum), and one guy said he liked to use a level during setup, and to do so the mill needed to be level itself. Otherwise, level doesn't really matter for a mill, but it does for a lathe.

Ron Horton
12-28-2006, 03:10 AM
Thanks for the information guys-- I've received differing opinions locally, but I rely more on your input--
Spin Doctor, the mill is a Grizzly, Mod. G1007 with a power feed table-- I'm wondering now if I maybe got in a little over my head for a beginner-- Too late now, so I'm in a learning mode--
My wife couldn't understand woodworking-- She kept commenting on all the bags of sawdust and chips coming out of the shop after taking all the expensive oak into it-- She hasn't yet realized the same is true for metal working--:D :D Best regards, Ron

"I just had it a minute ago"

12-28-2006, 03:25 AM
I'm a rank newbie, but I have had my Bpt for over 6 months and it is quite a bit off level. I've noticed no problem. My lathe, however, was leveled with an 18" Starret #98.

12-28-2006, 11:07 AM
As Spin Doctor said, it don't matter if the machine is not level as long as the spindle can be set to perpendicular to the table. I am one of those that like a leveled mill table. The reason I do is because some of the work I do don't have to be indicated in perfectly, for example facing the flanges on an exhaust manifold, and the work can be set up with a level. The manifold is hard to clamp to the table because of it's shape and I use jack screws to level it. Since the surface is not flat to start with because that is why it needs machining, to use a dial indictor to set it up is time consuming. Because all that is needed is a flat surface from one end to the other it is best to level it on a level table and fly cut it. There are many other times when having a level table, and I mean VERY level with a machinist level, will come in handy and save set up time. However, if your not getting paid for your work you can take all day to do a set up for a 15 minute cut if you want to.