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round column mill setup *used search already

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  • round column mill setup *used search already

    I have a round column Enco benchtop mill. I used a dial indicator in the spindle to check the longitude and latitude travel (needed to shim the column to get it right) but I don't know how to center the head to the table. I have a few indicators and the parts that go with them but nothing that will enable me to run a dial indicator across the back side or front side of the table which is the only way I can figure out how to make sure the head does not need to be rotated left or right. Any ideas?

  • #2
    I have the same mill as yours. Anywhere you locate the head close to center will work. The X-axis movement & Y-axis movement will be unaffected by head position.

    The head can be rotated to allow you to do jobs "off the table" or over to one side. If you need to move the head vertically in the middle of an operation (like changing tooling from a twist drill to a tapping head) just position the new tool so that it centers in the last feature you machined.

    Barry Milton
    Barry Milton


    • #3
      Thanks for the response, I thought that if the head was not centered to the table I'd be milling at an angle rather than a straight line.


      • #4
        Nope, it doesn't matter where the head is. It will cut straight as long as its trammed in properly.

        [This message has been edited by Joel (edited 05-28-2005).]


        • #5
          To get mine plumb or square with the table I just used a straight shaft in the mill and then used my starret square to reference against the table. It's been close enough for anything I'll likely want to do with a mill of this caliber.

          I'm believing there sould be a fix the home machinist can affect that would allow you to raise and lower the head with-out going out of alignment. If someone has an answer for that question that dosen't begine with Bridg.... I'd sure like ot hear about it. ! I've toyed with the idea of welding the rack to the column in several places. I don't need my head to spin. Now that I think on it, I don't need any of my heads to spin.

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          • #6
            Old Dog, I read on a few other forums about using a lazer pointer mounted to the mill to quickly realign after raising or lowering. Doesnt keep it from moving but from what they say its easy to quickly realign. I believe the put a mirror on the wall at the other end of the shop. Turn the laser on and reflect the dot back onto the mill head and mark where the dot is. I guess after raising or lowering they realign the dot.


            • #7
              The "laser across the room, reflected from a mirror" thing is a great idea but not as good in practice as you might think.

              In order to maintain 0.001" accuracy with a column/spindle center to center distance of 11" (my mill) and assuming you can detect a difference of 0.05" in the light beam; you will need about a 50 foot path for the light to travel. With one mirror, that means it will need to be 25 feet from the mill.

              And, the mirror needs to be really excellent quality. A 0.35 second angular error (a.k.a. a twist) in the mirror between the hi and lo points where the beam hits it will produce a 0.001" error. With a mirror that is 10 inches wide, that means that it must be flat within 0.000017". That's 17 millionths. And it has to be that accurate while hanging on the wall. How many here have surface plates that are that good?

              Lasers aren't the answer to everything. I have yet to buy one.

              Paul A.
              Paul A.

              Make it fit.
              You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!


              • #8
                And I will tell you another reason why lasers are not the be all and end all. When you loosen the bolts on the mill head to move it you will notice that when you tighten the bolts you will most move the head even if the laser is aligned with the string or what have you on the wall. It is quite difficult to tighten the bolts no matter how carefully and keep it aligned. For that reason you are just as well off using a dial indicator. If I need to relocate the mill head up I indicate against the bottom of the quill, then raise the head and lower the quill so that it is in the same position as it was in before I raise the head. I can get within a ~.001" this way. It is still a challenge to tighten the bolts and keep it aligned, but it is actually easier to do it with the dial indicator than using a laser. I know because I have tried it both ways. I read of using the dial indicator method in "Machinist Workshop" magazine.