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Table Leveling

Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by Rendermandan, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. Rendermandan

    Rendermandan Journeyman
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    Hey Guys, I'm having a problem getting my table level. I've tried my best with some digital calipers to measure the distance from the bottom of the Z Axis C-beam endplate to the corner of the table. then moving the Y axis over to the other side to measure there. Then taking that measurement, subtracting the difference and using a feeler gauge, adjust the side of the X axis to raise the side that needs to go up. Then recheck with calipers. I also do the same for the front to back. That's the best method I've found, but I still see issues where I'm cutting into my spoiler board more on one side than the other. Is it possible the wood spoiler board (MDF) is warping? Or does this sound like an alignment issue?
     
  2. GrayUK

    GrayUK Master
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    Lots of possibilities there, with the small amount of info given. :)
    Is a spirit level coming into this equation? Just to establish a level playing field, so to speak. I guess you need to establish whether it is the baseboard, or your "X" gantry, or "Y" axis, at fault first. :rolleyes:
    If we are talking of just a few millimeters, and it is consistent, then the common thing to do is use your machine to level it's own baseboard. However, even with an 18mm MDF Baseboard, a damp atmosphere is going to effect it. :rolleyes:
     
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  3. Teflon4

    Teflon4 Veteran
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    I had similar problems to start with and still do to a lesser extent.

    Adding to Grays words the other sage advice I read on this board is to make sure everything is as square as it can be as you build, otherwise you get a 0.2 error here and a 0.3 there and once you've put everything together things are 2 or 3mm out (which was the problem I had). I think the biggest culprit is the ends of the extrusion; even very tiny errors there seem to cause all sorts of problems.

    For checking, I found a cheap dial test indicator really useful, something like this. By screwing the dovetail mount into the top you can mount it in your spindles collet and it lets you visualise what's going on very well as you jog your spindle around.

    I must admit since starting in this I've a new appreciation of what "flat" is :)
     
  4. Rendermandan

    Rendermandan Journeyman
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    the more I look into this, I see some issues with some movement. The table seems firm, but if I apply pressure to one side or the other, it effects the measurements. also notices some slight movement on the Z axis. If I hold the router, it seems to move very slightly. Again, its firm but there is still play in it. not sure how I can tighten this up. I've gone over this thing several times. All wheels and eccentrics are tensioned, all bolts are tight. Could my expectations just be too high?
     
  5. Teflon4

    Teflon4 Veteran
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    The table moving under pressure I'd say is expected; it's certainly my experience and makes sense given the design. You'll see some have doubled up the Y-Axis C-Beams or added rails to combat this. The Z will also deflect under pressure, though not as much as the ends of the table.
    Adjustments that could cause movement you didn't mention checking would be backlash or movement in the the lead screw.

    I'd say it's a reasonable rule of thumb that movement that doesn't make sound is expected, if something is ticking or rattling when you move it by hand then something isn't tight.
     

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