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View Full Version : Had not trammed the mill in a year or so...



SirLesPatterson
04-22-2017, 08:26 AM
XLO 602 Mill

I had not trammed it in over a year. I don't do anything important and had not noticed any issues in my projects but had to tear down my vise for repair so decided to give the mill some TLC, deep cleaning, tramming, etc. Also added a touch DRO and started programming the VFD for external push button controls.

In about a 10" circle it was .003" off.

TABLE REAR
+.001 +.002
.000 +.001
-.001 .000
-.001

I barely loosened the 6 allen head bolts to adjust the head's Y-axis rotation, gave a few taps with a rubber mallet and it's all zeros. Locked it down, still good. I though I would have to adjust the X-axis too but I'm not going to argue with it.

I just felt like posting something that wasn't a question for once. :)

lakeside53
04-22-2017, 10:16 AM
I only bother to re-tram when it's important, and I'm always surprised how far off it is!

Forrest Addy
04-22-2017, 11:22 AM
We're talking turret mills right? Bridgeports etc? Nice versatile machine; lots of range and adjustment? Rubber spindle?
There's times to tram and time to fiddle.

I have a pretty good BP clone. I usually keep it on tram but for stock removal - face milling - I crank in a little "lead" - deliberately tilt the head a few thou in a 6" circle - so the trailing edge of the cutter wouldn't drag. I left the 3/4 wrench on the top right tilt cap nuts as a reminder the head was not in tram. I could face mill in only one direction but I got more pleasing finishes. When I'm looking for flat finishes I re-trammed and took a light face cut then went on to the detail work, slots, pockets, bosses, drilling and boring etc with the spindle square to the X-Y motion.

Generally speaking, tram on my mill doesn't shift unless I break a cutter. Naturally, I check tram when ever I have a fussy job. Takes only a minute or two. If you don't have an "Indicol" TDI atachment for your vertical mill, you're running a dash with one foot trapped in a bucket.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l1313.TR12.TRC2.A0.H0.Xindic ol.TRS0&_nkw=indicol&_sacat=0

There are good quality clones on the market for half the price.

People whose machinery is severely worn have to check constantly alignments and compensate to ensure they get good work in accurate geometry despite the loosey goosey axes. I used to run machine tools that were magnificent when new in the lathe 1930's but were exhausted in 1985. A cigar box of shims and knowing where and when to place them was the only way to function.

LKeithR
04-22-2017, 02:28 PM
Tramming a mill is one of those projects that most of us do under duress or "only when it's absolutely necessary". Not a good
philosophy but I still think it applies to most of us. Doesn't mean we don't tram; it's just not a task we look forward to. I've
trammed in my mills many times using an indicol and a back-plunger style DTI with a big button for a tip. Works fine and gets the
job done.

Still a pain in the ass, though, so last fall when KBC had a sale on the Edge Pro-Tram tools I decided I was going to get one--and
I am so glad I did! They actually make tramming kinda fun. I tram my mill much more frequently now and I do kinda look forward
to doing it. It's very quick and accurate and I would highly recommend it as a time-saving tool...

http://www.edgetechnologyproducts.com/pro-tram-system/

Illinoyance
04-22-2017, 05:25 PM
Re:Pro Tram
If you don't calibrate every time you use it how can you be sure it is accurate? Runout in the collet will also affect accuracy. I think I will stay with the single indicator method.

754
04-22-2017, 05:50 PM
If i have a 9 inch round open area on the table it takes under 2 minutes to check it.
I use and Indicol with a Mitutoyo DtI laid almost flat with needle at about 30 degrees , then turn it so tip is trailing. It takes as long to find flat areas between the frosting on the table, as it does the rest of the procedure.
Adjusting head if its out takes more time. If i am less than 1/2 thou over 8 inches i call it good for 99 percent of work. I dont mind being out a thou sided to side for flycutting.

bob308
04-22-2017, 06:36 PM
in one shop where I worked you better check the tram every time you went to use the mill. also indicate the vise. another where I was the only one to use the mill I checked once a week unless there was a problem.

MichaelP
04-25-2017, 12:12 AM
Re:Pro Tram
If you don't calibrate every time you use it how can you be sure it is accurate? Runout in the collet will also affect accuracy.I am not sure if you ever actually tried this device. It takes five seconds to "calibrate" (zero) this thing, and the collet runout doesn't affect its use (the "calibration" takes care of it). It's vastly superior to the traditional single indicator method in terms of speed and convenience. And the device is very easy to make if you want to save some money.

LKeithR
04-25-2017, 03:08 AM
I am not sure if you ever actually tried this device. It takes five seconds to "calibrate" (zero) this thing, and the collet runout doesn't affect its use (the "calibration" takes care of it). It's vastly superior to the traditional single indicator method in terms of speed and convenience. And the device is very easy to make if you want to save some money.

Exactly! It's a simple tool that works very well and saves a lot of time. If you don't ever want to use one that's fine but don't
put the tool down if you've never actually used it. I've been in the game for a long time and an Indicol with a DTI attached has
served me well through all these years. To be honest I was a bit skeptical of the "Pro-Tram" idea myself but I had a job coming
up that was going to require resetting the mill head several times and I figured "what the heck, let's give one a try." I'm very glad
that I did.

What I like about the Pro-Tram is that you don't have to sweep the table as you make adjustments. Set up, calibrate and
position it with the dials facing you and then start tweaking the adjusting screws. You can instantly see whether you're moving
the head in the right direction and, once you are, you can watch as both dials swing toward zero.

And I don't know about the rest of you but one of the bugaboos of tramming is that you can zero things up perfectly but as soon
as you start tightening down the locking bolts things will move. With a DTI this means that you have to sweep the table again,
figure out which way you need to move and then tighten the bolts a bit more. With the Pro-Tram you just watch the needles and,
if they start to move, tweak the head a tiny bit to get the needles back to zero. It really is that easy.

Doc Nickel
04-25-2017, 06:01 AM
It's vastly superior to the traditional single indicator method in terms of speed and convenience.

-I tried one, but the faces were too hard to read at 2,000 rpm. Got a pretty good finish though, once I sharpened the tips- they were dull as heck out of the box. :D

Doc.