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Thread: How can I machine toilet leveling wedges?

  1. #11
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    I wouldn't think about using metal shims under a toilet, the corrosion after a few years will be messy.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mixdenny View Post
    How about using the plastic construction shims from Home Depot? Very easy to trim to the right size. Dennis
    Bingo

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
    Why would you even want to machine them? They are dead cheap at any hardware or plumbing supply store.
    Kind of like 1 1/4" screws.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by martik View Post
    About an inch long 1/2" wide and about 1/8" on the thickest end. Material could be AL or PVC. I have a mill w/o tilting head but not sure how to hold such a small piece or how to control the flexing.
    Do not consider holding such a small sized piece and machining it without a fixture. However if you start with a stick , say 1/8" thick x 1/2" x 5" ,then you can hold it.
    One method is to clamp it in a vise with some support material behind it and cock the vise . This is done with the stick laying down (horizontal) and the 1/8" side up (Vertical) and sticking out the side of the vise about 1 1/2". come down and use the side of your end-mill in steps until you are at the full 1/2" depth. Always start near the vise and move away for cutting. With a backer support, it should be no problem as you taper to a zero thickness at the end/outside of the stick.
    Then flip the stick and cut the next one at the other end BEFORE you cut off the piece(s)
    Rich

  5. #15
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    Metcalfe, Ontario, Canada
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    Milling plastic shims is a mug's game. You have to rethink this project.

    Get a good piece of lignum vitae or forest grown Burma teak (don't use the crappy plantation grown stuff, it won't last).

    Mill it to a thickness equal to the width of the shims required, cut to length of shims. Cut the shims with a simple jig on the table saw. I don't have to tell you how, everything ever published about woodworking shows you how to cut wedges.

    When the toilet craps out, pardon the expression, save the shims for the next installation. Unlike plastic, they won't lose plasticizers, harden up, and crack.

  6. #16
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    This is a job you do, not to save money, but to learn a procedure.

    I know a few guys that don't know a lot of the procedures, and their mills are not getting used much... not even earning their keep... one might say.

    Kudos for coming on here and wanting to learn.. ..

  7. #17
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    regardless of what approach you take - if your going to be "shimming your $hitter" then I recommend you go with the extra thickness wax toilet gasket...

  8. #18
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    Jul 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by fixerdave View Post
    Well... this is going to be one of those projects, so best gear up for it right.

    Start with a new mill. Not a cheap one either, and get a nice new stainless workbench to put next to it. Then, you're going to need a jig, and that will take a new high-precision vice... and probably a new rotary table too. That jig should take a week or so to machine up, unless you have to stop and machine up some tooling instead of buying new. Making could take years... decades even. After you get that jig, well, probably you'll need a DRO. And if you're going to get a DRO, you might as well go all the way and get a new CNC work-center. That could make one of those shims in a jiffy, if you've got the model for it. For that, you'll need a Solidworks license and a decent machine to run it on... video card for it should probably set you back what you paid for that mill. So, no problem. You can give your wife this list every time she uses the toilet and it rocks. Enjoy the new shop.

    edit: and if you already have all the above tooling from the last project, but don't want to bother with CNC, you just need to carve the steps in a metric-pound of whatever and then cut off the good bit to whatever teeny size you want.

    edit: or, you could get yourself a big chunk of aircraft grade billet aluminium, military aircraft grade preferably, and mill an appropriately-sized slot down the side of it. Then, turn it between centers on your lathe, cutting in steps to match your desired profile. Put your material in the slot and cut the same profile. The top would have a bit of curve to it, but that would be more a feature than a problem in use. Seeing as how all the cutting forces are going to be against the jig, it shouldn't take much to clamp your material... You could perhaps go to a hardware store and buy a little wedge for that... Paul says they're cheap.

    Sorry, it's getting late and I'm still waiting for Colmap (some image to mesh thingy) I'm trying out to finish it's job. I'll probably give up soon as it appears I'm getting rather silly.

    David...
    I like your approach but he could rip up the entire bathroom floor and and redo it so the toilet sits flat with no wedges. Or he could cut the wedges with a water jet and then put the water jet on Craigs list to recover almost none of the expense.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

  9. #19
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    Aug 2018
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    Loveland,CO
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    I'd cut them on the bandsaw, out of delrin or hdpe, using the mitre gage set at 1/2 of the angle. Make the first cut, scrap that piece, flip the stock over make the next cut, repeat as needed.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by A.K. Boomer View Post
    regardless of what approach you take - if your going to be "shimming your $hitter" then I recommend you go with the extra thickness wax toilet gasket...
    Good advice. When I read "Shimming your $hitter" I started laughing and my wife asked what was so funny. I read the post to her and got a frown. Baptist wife, Catholic husband.
    “I know lots of people who are educated far beyond their intelligence”

    Lewis Grizzard

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