[modeleng] Re: A level lathe

  • From: "Alan Stepney" <alan@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <modeleng@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 8 Jul 2011 12:39:11 +0100

The reason I raised this issue is as follows.

When I moved to this address I built a new shed/workshop.
I laid the floor as level as possible, by the simple method of good strong 
shuttering, and making the concrete mix fairly wet, then vibrating it, so 
that, in theory, it should all be level. (It worked for the pyramids, so its 
good enough for me!)

The bench is an old one that is built like a battleship,  with 6 x 4" square 
legs (of identical length) supporting a 3" thick top.
I know that has always been square and true, and had no reason to assume it 
had changed.
That, on a level (I hope) concrete floor should also be level, so at the 
start  I was fairly sure that the top surface would be reasonably level.

Bolted down the headstock end, leaving the tailstock end fixing bolts loose.
Then turned a test piece, intending to shim the tailstock end as required.
As it happened, it wasnt required so tightened down all the bolts, did 
another test piece, and all was OK.
Since then I have used the lathe with no problems.

As some here may know, I also play with vintage radio/electronics. A couple 
of weeks ago a pal wanted some items I had, and asked if I would be willing 
to swap them for "this".
"This" was, indeed is, a beautiful wooden case, containing a precison 
It is graduated to 1/4 of one minute of arc, and one can "guestimate" about 
1/4 of that.
Now, geometry was always my week subject, but I reckon 1/4 of 1 minute = 1 
thou per foot.
(But I could easily be wrong there! I am sure someone will check and tell me 
if I am,)
Any fraction of that is...fairly accurate.

Checked the lathe and found that the tailstock end is lower than the 
headstock by about 15 thou.

I have no intention of doing anything about it, but just thought it showed 
that it makes no difference to accuracy.



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