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Tramming heads & new book

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  • Tramming heads & new book

    For you guys needing a cool new tool, check out the back of HSM for the ad for EZ-Tram

    It sits over the milling vise so you can accurately tram the head back in. Was going to mention it before, but kept forgetting. I still like a big Timken cup on the table, but this is more elegant.

    Just got a new book - Modern Machine Shops "Handbook for the Metalworking Industries" isbn 1-56990-345-X ($55.00US + 10.50US for USPS priority air mail)

    Much like Machinery's handbook, this book however is more in line with modern machine shop practice. Extensive sections on threads, materials, hardening, tooling, CNC, Carbide tooling, extensive tables. Trouble shooting guides for machining problems.

    I like it, and would buy it over MH if forced between the two. 2347 pages of joy.

    I ordered my copy last friday, and got it today - and it even went through Canadian customs ($10.58 charge CDN). Damn fast!

  • #2
    That Tram-o-Rama thingy is a good idea but it eats up a lot of height. Mill drill users will have to unlock and raise the heads to tram then hope the head clamps back up square when they lower it to using range.

    But tell me: having seen one in a picture can you imagine anyone paying $225 for a faced ring and three posts? I can't see paying over $30 for a gadget like this; they're so easy to make from shop scrap. I've used a 1,2,3 block or a tall Jo block for tramming when I have a setup in the way.

    When I need to tram and don't want to move the vise I simply open the jaw part way, rough center the spindle over the movable jaw, and tram to the exposed bottom of the vise.


    • #3
      Forest's method is best, as the bottom of the vise is where the part is going to lie.
      I too often marvel at the prices of some things. We are suckers for shiny stuff.
      Jim H.


      • #4

        Yes, I can see them selling lots of them, and not just for tramming in heads - it might prove useful on the surface plate as another accessory. I use a timken cup myself on the table.

        Seriously, I think it a good idea, but it would be a good project to make if you have the time and feel you need it.


        • #5
          The problem with this product is that it feeds the (IMO) misguided notion that you tram the TABLE when your work is IN THE VISE.
          Most people ASSUME their vise bottom is parallel to the top, or that they didn't get any crap under there when they mounted it.

          Personally, I tram the head to what I'm working on; if I'm working on the table, I tram the table...vise, tooling plate, same thing.


          • #6
            Sorry if I don't see it, but the only way to go is to tram to the table or some object that is set perfectly parallel to it, tramming off a vise that has material crammed under it has the same outcome as tramming to a sine vise set at 10 deg. your cutter will not be in tram to the table travel. you might get away with it as long as you travel in the direction of the error, but a rather sloppy attempt at precision. if the vise is out of wack then clean it, or mount soft jaws in it and re machine them every time the vise is removed and re installed. As for getting over the vise I use a long 3/4 inch bar that has is bent to reach toward the table, I get approx 36" sweep in the x direction, for the y axis you have to settle for slightly less accuracy, what is 1/2 thou over 6 or 8 inches translates into 2 or 3 over 30, easy to see, and adjust for.


            • #7
              I just purchased a HF mill/drill and all this talk about tramming a table/head, setting projects and what is about to happen up is perfectly timed for me.

              I have a few questions/observations that will show my total newness to metal working.

              My first observation is with the emphasis on exactness would it not be advisable to have the table top re-surfaced before attempting to tram anything anywhere? The same could be said for the vise base, top and jaws? And wouldn't anyone dealing with exactitude make sure everything was clean, no dings, etc., before attempting to setup an operation, i.e., table top, vise bottom, jaw surfaces, milling tools, indicatiors and stands.

              Of course I'm a newbee and look at this whole endevor through slightly blind eyes but some of the answers I've read to many questions are slightly way out of focus to my way of thinking. I may be a real hard case if you get into my face but I'm not being a smartass here, I want and need good information from people who have forgotten more than I will ever know.

              Tramming the table and/or the bottom of the vise both seem good ways to make sure everything is square and true depending on the size of the job and would be a good way to check both major components.

              One other item about losing position when running the mill head up and down the post. One person screwed and pinned the rack to the post which was good advice I though and was one of the first things I was going to do. My question is; does eliminating the swing cause any problems other than with very large projects? My first thought was, in addition to locking at the center position, to set up for locking at 15آ°, 30آ°, 45آ° and 90آ° on both sides and to use a small socket or button head screw, ground to match the rack, to lock the center, or just to keep using and punching out the roll pins when I wanted to reposition the head. Would this really be feasable or just a good exercize in handling round objects?

              Thanks all for the information GWP


              • #8

                Long time, no see! Glad to see you back...

                At some point you have to have a flat bed. In mentioning the tramming aide I am presuming your table is in good shape to begin with. You are correct, to tram the head in you must have some point of reference to go from - a flat bed surface is that reference plane.

                If your bed has warts and pimples a good scraping job could correct it. Problems can occur from over tightening the clamping hardware and desplacing the t-slots upwards slightly. Not all beds are thick enough and hardened properly for heavy use. Common sense is a most valuable tool in the workshop. I use a torque wrench or grooved bolts that will stretch and snap if overtightened to prevent damage to the bed. Proper packing under fulcrums and high pressure points is also very important considerations.


                • #9
                  Hey Hoss; Nice to be back. A lot of things got put on the back burner or disappeared down the road with narry a fart or look back in the near past. Things just happened last week so I grabbed on the tail and went along for the ride. My mill/drill should be in tomorrow so I will be heading over to Medford for a few days. This M/D looks just like one in the Grizzly cataloge and also like a Ru Fong?? and weighs in at 660 lbs or there abouts so it should do for making small aluminum pieces and parts and maybe a 45 slide or so. If I can find my precision straight edge or a piece of ground flatstock I'll soon find out just how flat that deck is. It may not be one of those big knee-knockers but it will do me proud. I got to figure a way to keep the bat-shytte off it though, cuz those little buggers are too good at their jobs to get ride of.

                  GreenWillyPeter still at your service. We never know how sweet it can be until the sour runs away.