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Thread: levelling a lathe

  1. #1

    Post levelling a lathe

    I just received my 15x40" lathe the other day. They spent about an hour levelling it with a high tech Starrett level.

    They put 1 degree of down slope to it to make sure the cutting fluid drains towards the sump opening located to the right of the machine towards the tailstock but obviously down low.

    I always wondered, what keeps cooling oil from pouring out of the tube that goes through the headstock?

    It was interesting reading the manufacturer's lubrication/oiling instructions, as in the 10 or so years I was a machinist as a teen, I can't recall anyone ever lubing the lathes.

    Oh well, I will keep the new one lubed...



    [This message has been edited by BigDave (edited 08-12-2001).]

  2. #2
    Ron LaDow Guest

    Post

    BD,
    This is embarrassing, but a couple of years ago (maybe more), my lathe sounded as if it were 'laboring'. Hell, I'd only owned it 15 years or so...
    I lubed it in all the obvious places and it has worked just fine since then.
    I haven't found any permanent damage, but I keep an eye on the lube now.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    484

    Post

    I don't agree with the slope, machine should be level by my notion. The pan should be built with it's own slope. My Hendy has drain holes drilled in bed to direct the coolant out of the grooves between the ways, a little detail the don't seem to do anymore.

    The tub through the hesdstock, you type as bad as I do, maybe, you mean the hole through the headstock.

    One can stuff a rag in it, if running bar stock I have a bunch of plugs made up out of plastic to serve as a bushing on end opposite chuck. these are an effective dam.

    Used to lube the South Bend I ran daily, most of the cups, maybe not all. New machines with automatic oiling for most, well it is easy to forget.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    11

    Post

    I agree with halfnut. the mach.should be precicely leveled and clamped in place with its adjusting bolts on a solid footing. the sump,both the coolant and the lubricating, has its own drawn back sys.

    The headstock oil should be changed yearly,depending on useage, and the ways should be washed and oiled frequently. I find a lint free rag covered in mach oil works great. Treesso 68 is a good mach oil.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    11

    Post

    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by BigDave:
    I just received my 15x40" lathe the other day. They spent about an hour levelling it with a high tech Starrett level.

    They put 1 degree of down slope to it to make sure the cutting fluid drains towards the sump opening located to the right of the machine towards the tailstock but obviously down low.

    I always wondered, what keeps cooling oil from pouring out of the tube that goes through the headstock?

    It was interesting reading the manufacturer's lubrication/oiling instructions, as in the 10 or so years I was a machinist as a teen, I can't recall anyone ever lubing the lathes.

    Oh well, I will keep the new one lubed...

    [This message has been edited by BigDave (edited 08-12-2001).]
    </font>
    Contrary to most advivce, a lathe does not need to be level, but it sure needs to be straight. By setting it up with a GOOD level, you can see and corect any twist or curves in the bed, and hopefully correct them. A lathe would work just fine ( awkward mebbe)if it were standing on end, or wold that make it a vertical boring mill? Yhe point is keep it straight. Regards John.
    John

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    11

    Post

    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by BigDave:
    I just received my 15x40" lathe the other day. They spent about an hour levelling it with a high tech Starrett level.

    They put 1 degree of down slope to it to make sure the cutting fluid drains towards the sump opening located to the right of the machine towards the tailstock but obviously down low.

    I always wondered, what keeps cooling oil from pouring out of the tube that goes through the headstock?

    It was interesting reading the manufacturer's lubrication/oiling instructions, as in the 10 or so years I was a machinist as a teen, I can't recall anyone ever lubing the lathes.

    Oh well, I will keep the new one lubed...

    [This message has been edited by BigDave (edited 08-12-2001).]
    </font>
    Contrary to most advivce, a lathe does not need to be level, but it sure needs to be straight. By setting it up with a GOOD level, you can see and corect any twist or curves in the bed, and hopefully correct them. A lathe would work just fine ( awkward mebbe)if it were standing on end, or wold that make it a vertical boring mill? Yhe point is keep it straight. Regards John.
    John

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    11

    Post

    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by BigDave:
    I just received my 15x40" lathe the other day. They spent about an hour levelling it with a high tech Starrett level.

    They put 1 degree of down slope to it to make sure the cutting fluid drains towards the sump opening located to the right of the machine towards the tailstock but obviously down low.

    I always wondered, what keeps cooling oil from pouring out of the tube that goes through the headstock?

    It was interesting reading the manufacturer's lubrication/oiling instructions, as in the 10 or so years I was a machinist as a teen, I can't recall anyone ever lubing the lathes.

    Oh well, I will keep the new one lubed...

    [This message has been edited by BigDave (edited 08-12-2001).]
    </font>
    Contrary to most advivce, a lathe does not need to be level, but it sure needs to be straight. By setting it up with a GOOD level, you can see and corect any twist or curves in the bed, and hopefully correct them. A lathe would work just fine ( awkward mebbe)if it were standing on end, or wold that make it a vertical boring mill? Yhe point is keep it straight. Regards John.
    John

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    11

    Post

    Your lathe would be awkwad to use but it would work fine standing on end aslong as it was set up straight. Using an accurate level is about the easiest way to achieve this. It is also convenient at times to use a level to set up a job in the lathe. Straight is important but level is optional. Regards John.
    John

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    11

    Post

    Your lathe would be awkwad to use but it would work fine standing on end aslong as it was set up straight. Using an accurate level is about the easiest way to achieve this. It is also convenient at times to use a level to set up a job in the lathe. Straight is important but level is optional. Regards John.

    ------------------
    John
    John

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    11

    Post

    Your lathe would be awkwad to use but it would work fine standing on end aslong as it was set up straight. Using an accurate level is about the easiest way to achieve this. It is also convenient at times to use a level to set up a job in the lathe. Straight is important but level is optional. Regards John.

    ------------------
    John
    John

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