Anchoring Machne tools to floor

I need to anchor a 9"swing 40" long bed (with cabinet base) Rockwell lathe to a concrete floor. I need to make it as level as possible and
then level the bed. There are level adjusting nuts and screws between the cast iron bed and the cabinet. The cabinet has 1/2" diameter holes in 4 tabs at its base. The floor is well cured smooth flat concrete (poured about 30 years ago). I have a Starrett No. 199 Master Precision Level for the final leveling.
My plan was to use 3/8" X 3 3/4" "redhead" or "ramset" anchors and those automotive shims that are about 1" square with U slots in them as the levelling shims.
Does that sound like a reasonable plan? Are there better tricks for getting the cabinet level than jamming in shims? Would 3/8" be strong enough? Would(approx) 3" of the bolt below grade be deep enough?
I was thinking since the bolts will actually be studs and if I have enough thread above grade I could first put a big washer and nut to secure the stud in the concrete and then add another nut and washer as a "jack" then comes the tab on the cabinet base and then a final washer and nut. Of course this arrangement would raise the cabinet tabs at least the thickness of two nuts and two washers above the floor surface. I would also make leveling MUCH easier. Does that sound like a reasonable idea? Should I go with the full 1/2" anchors instead of 3/8"?
Also... currently the lathe is about 6" from a cinderbock wall. Makes it damn difficult to clean behind it. Since I have a lot of room to play with how much clearance from the wall would be a good idea? Just enough to walk around it easily?
Since this is my first time setting up such a (relatively) large machine and since concrete anchor bolts are rather permanent I would like to do it right the first time.
-DU-...etc...
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David Utidjian wrote:

I would not anchor the machine to a really flat floor; just move it to where you want it, and level it.
I have given thought to how to orient a lathe in a small shop, and I now suggest that you have it coming out 90° from a wall, with the tailstock end towards the wall, spaced out far enough from the wall so that you can get around behind the tailstock to squint at the marking for when you are adjusting tailstock setover. It's bad news to put the headstock end towards the wall, because that interferes with passing long stock through the headstock. Nor do I like having the back of the machine face the wall as I have to get back there to clean chips and also to look carefully at the scribed degree markings on the compound, or to monkey around with the motor.
GWE
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On Sat, 11 Mar 2006 15:02:21 -0800, Grant Erwin

Most of my customers shops have the tailstocks at the wall..with the lathe at a 45' angle for this reason. Gives a bit more floor space than a true 90
Gunner
"A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences." - Proverbs 22:3
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Gunner wrote:

Thanks for the pointers.
A few comments:
As I understand it OSHA requires that machine tools be anchored to the floor. This shop is in a small state college in New Jersey. I am required to comply. With that said... none of the machine tools have been anchored since installed about 30 years ago. I am having problems with this lathe. It seems that the centerline of the tailstock is 0.005" lower than the centerline of the headstock. Seems to me that I should anchor it and level it _before_ I start to try and sort out the aligment problems.
The worst things about these machines that I have been assigned is that they have been abused and neglected over the years. Yet I find I can still do useful work with them.
The manual says to anchor and level the machine to the floor.
Everything I have ever read on lathe setup says that machine tools should be anchored and leveled to a solid floor. ( A machinist from the USN says they used to weld their tools to the deck plates... but that was a rather special situation I think ;-))
My high school machine shop (Berkeley High, Berkeley CA) had over a dozen lathes. Most were mounted in two rows well away from the walls. There were work benches and cabinets along the walls. All of the smaller lathes (12" or less swing) were angled at about 60 degrees to the wall (closest wall to back of lathe was the included angle). The big lathes (Hardinge and Reed-Prentice) were at right angles to the walls and at least as far as the lathe was long. It was a big shop. Very roomy and well lit. Oh how I miss it.
I like the angle-from-wall idea with the tailstock closest to the wall. I may move it out far enough to put benches and cabinets along the wall space it used to occupy.
Thanks again for the suggestions.
-DU-...etc...
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On Sat, 11 Mar 2006 23:11:15 -0500, David Utidjian

blink blink...most lathes, such as virtually ALL Hardinges..have absolutely NO provision for bolting to the floor. In fact..the only machines Ive ever seen bolted to the floor were bar feeders attached to lathes (and special provisions had to be made for most of those lathes to be bolted down..IE welding tabs on the bases and I dont think Ive ever seen a mill of any type bolted down.
Shears, power brakes and stuff that have a hell of a lot of gross physical movement..yes indeed. But..damed little else
And Im a professional machine tool mechanic. Its how I make my biscuts and gravy.
Gunner
"A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences." - Proverbs 22:3
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Gunner wrote:

I am not making this up. See: http://tinyurl.com/mghf2
You may have the luxury of ignoring 1910.212(b) but I do not.

To that I would add machines that are top heavy- drill presses, pedestal grinders, some hydraulic presses, and anything where the machine is rather heavy relative to the mass of the stand it is mounted on. Also machines that may have large horizontal forces applied (whether designed to or not) such as table saws, tubing and bar benders, polishers and grinders, planers and sanders... I know many of them are designed to be portable and can have quite spindly bases.
All of the machine tools and power tools we have in this shop that are designed for a fixed location have provisions in the base for bolting them to the floor... lathe, drill presses, band saw, horizontal mill, vertical mill, pedestal grinder, belt sander... all have holes in the base and all the manuals say to bolt them to the floor. All of these machine tools and their manuals are circa the early 1970s.

I'm certainly not going to question your status or professionalism... however... if we contracted you to install the machines in this shop it would be specified that it would have to be in compliance with current OSHA regulations. If the tools are designed for a fixed location and were not all anchored as required in OSHA 1910.212(b) you would not get paid because you had failed to fulfill your part of the contract.
That said... some of the aftermarket "guards" that they asked me to install on the drill-presses were worse than nothing. (They meaning the people whos job it is to oversee "safety" at my work). Crappy little plastic shrapnel generators would be the kindest description. They completely ignored the biggest hazard that I know of in general drill press work... proper work holding fixtures for sheet metal, plastic and wood.
Thanks again for your advice and experience.
-DU-...etc...
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David Utidjian wrote:

I doubt anyone would suggest you'd made anything up however here's my take:
During 13 years of machinery moving I never heard of a company being cited for not having machines fastened to the floor although easily 75% of the machines we installed and removed had no such fastening.
During 8 years of machine rebuilding and sales the results were comparable. In fact fastening a precision machine downward is almost sure to affect it's accuracy in a negative way, hence the main reason (in my book) for not fastening.
During almost 23 years with a machinery manufacturer in production (3 years) and service departments (20 years), working with customer's problems (thousands of installed machines out there), the ONLY time fastening to the floor was required by inspectors, was in the San Diego, CA area and was due to earthquake ordinances.
If this was considered either an standard OSHA issue or an insurance company issue I would have heard about it immediately from any new machine buyer.
That being said there had been a few calls by people who had OSHA comment about machine movement and asked that it be corrected. This tells me the interpretation by OSHA is "If it ain't broken (not moving) don't fix it".
If you want to fasten a machine down, at the feet, just try not to put ANY stress on it. In fact isn't there provision for leveling between the bed and stand? The stand is built with relatively little precision and is probably subject to a lot of expansion and contraction. I'd suggest putting nothing under the feet (and no tools of hardware can get under) and just do a good job on the bed.
dennis in nca (also known as "know-it-all")
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David Utidjian wrote:

The some of the smaller machines don't have provision for bolting them to the floor but all the bigger ones ive worked on do have leveling bolts and provision to anchor the machine to the floor. The ones that arent anchored are the ones that don't cut straight.
John
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Different courses for different horses... Not only are all our lathes and mills at work bolted to the floor, but all except the little ones have integral foundations cast into the floor.
If it's got bolt holes, bolt it down and grout it in. If it's got feet (like a Hardinge cabinet) then give it somewhere flat and clean to stand on them.
(this advice is worth exactly what you paid for it ;-) Mark Rand RTFM
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One of the possibles - have the bolts in the floor - and through the equipment with nuts on - but not tightened onto the metal. e.g. trapped from walking or bucking - e.g. safe from problems - but not torking the frame out of shape as it flexes in temperature during a season or day.
Martin
Martin Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net NRA LOH & Endowment Member NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder
David Utidjian wrote:

-
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Martin H. Eastburn wrote:

That is a good idea Martin.
The room these machines are in is temperature controlled. Over a year it does not vary much more than 10 degrees F. By my estimation the length of the cabinet will vary by about 0.00584" for a temperature change of 20 degrees F. The cast iron lathe bed by about 0.00472" and the concrete floor by about 0.0064" over the distance between mount points. The difference in length change is greatest between the cabinet and the bed... about twice that of cabinet and concrete. Naturally the actual geometry of the interactions can make a much larger change in alignments.
The way the bed is mounted to the cabinet appears to be designed so there can be some variation in the distances between mount points over time and temperature. Each mount point has an externally threaded bushing. The external thread on the bushing mates with internal threads on the actual bed of the lathe. The threads on the bed of the lathe pass right through to the underside of the bed. Then there are bolts that pass through the top of the bushing, down through the bed, through the cabinet top with nuts and lockwashers underneath. There is some clearance around these bolts and the ID of the bushings they pass through. The leveling of the bed is done by screwing the bushings up or down as required.
The manual from the manufacturer for this lathe claims that alignment was done at the factory before shipping by mounting and leveling the cabinet properly and then leveling the bed.
The bolts I was intending to use for mounting the cabinet to the floor will be smaller than the holes of the mounting tabs on the cabinet. 1/2" holes and 3/8" bolts. I could use 1/2" bolts as the holes are slightly larger than 1/2" some are even elongated but I don't think I can drill the holes in the concrete that accurately.
Seems to me that experience, opinion, and practice is mixed on whether to mount the lathe to the floor at all. Personally, I want to do the method that gives me the most precision. Practically, I have to do the method that I am required to do which is bolt the machines down. This isn't a home or privately owned shop.
Thanks again for your suggestion.
-DU-...etc...
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<snip>
Don't anchor it...like Grant said. I want to hear an accounting of your use of the Starrett No. 199 Master Precision Level, don't try this on a windy day or if there are sun spots.
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Tom Gardner wrote:

regarding anchoring, see my other reply.
I recently got the Starrett No. 199 Master Precision Level on eBay. I figured it was worth the extra $$$ to get a really good level because we also need to level optical benches in labs elsewhere in my department (Theoretical and Applied Sciences). Thankfully I bought it from the original owner and he packaged it and shipped it very very carefully. I will be checking it next week on my granite surface plate... also leveling the surface plate.
The room where I use it has no windows and the doors to the outside will all be shut (winter). I will turn off the space heater just before working with it. It can put out a very warm blast... though nowhere near where I will be using the level.
Nice thing about a good spirit level is that it can be used to calibrate itself (along with a flat adjustable surface).
I will let you know how the level works out.
Hmmm...
While thinking about level surfaces.... I may do as you suggest for now and not anchor the lathe to the floor. I will, however, use some 1/2" hardware as adjustable legs on the tabs. This will at least get the cabinet approx level and stable. I am concerned about high-centering of the cabinet which will make it unstable.
It is clear that this shop was not well planned when installed. I will post some links to graphics at a later date of current and proposed layouts.
Thanks for your suggestions.
-DU-...etc...
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I did exactly as you have described with redheads. One nut to anchor to the floor and another to level the lathe. My lathe was a 12 X 36 chinese import (good lathe BTW). The only reason I anchored it to the floor was because the two pedestals that made up the base were rather narrow and I was worried about tipping the lathe over while using it. If not for that, I would not have anchored it to the floor. In the end it worked out ok, however, I would not use redheads again as they did not all (I used eight of them) bite into the concrete enough to anchor well.
BTW, I used a 6" Starret precision level to level it. It was a bitch to do.

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Rich Goldner wrote:

Interesting. Thanks for sharing that experience with me. I am also concerned about the integrity of the redheads. Seems that they require an accurate hole be drilled (not too large) and also good quality and condition concrete floor. I am not sure about the quality of my floor... only its age.

I can imagine it was... what with eight things to adjust! A lot of deep knee bends. ;-)
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On Sat, 11 Mar 2006 23:32:47 -0500, David Utidjian

Dave, Ive propably put in a thousand redheads to hold barfeeders, shears, etc etc..and have yet to have one come loose. Ive seen em sheared off and saw one strip the nut off when they parked a fork lift under the traveling back gauge of a 1/2" shear and hit the go button.
Always use one bigger than you think you will need. Always drill the proper sized hole. Go all the way through or at least 4" in a footing. Always install a big flat washer, a lock washer then the nut and tighten it down snug.
Yes..they do require a decent concrete floor. But if you are putting a lathe on a crumbling floor..dont bother using that fancy Starrett level..cause that floor is gonna be heaving all the time.
Gunner
"A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences." - Proverbs 22:3
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Speaking of Starret levels I have an 18 inch one for sale.make offer. Once your lathe is level and settled epoxy it with some marine grade stuff. Easy to undo if you ever need to move with a heat gun
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On Sat, 11 Mar 2006 20:57:40 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (daniel peterman) wrote:

Dan....email me off list. Id be interested..but Im afraid to offer you what I an afford and have you laugh at me. I could sure use it for my work.
Gunner, cringing
"A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences." - Proverbs 22:3
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David Utidjian wrote:

The precision level is a nice tool and all, but a bit overkill considering the likleyhood that after you go to all that trouble to get it leveled up, you are most likely to have to adjust the various legs in quite unlevel directions to get the lathe to cut straight. Level is a good start though. Just don't get too heartbroken if the lathe cuts a taper when level.
Cheers Trevor Jones
Search "Rollies Dad's Method of lathe alignment" to find much discussion on the pros and cons of leveling as the be all end all.
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Trevor Jones wrote:

The lathe does not need to be "level". The bed must have no twist in it that will make the tool post go toward and away from the work. The fact is that you can twist a bed of a lathe to compensate for wear in the bed so it will cut straight.
"Leveling" a lathe can be a tedious chore if you have a long bed since shimming the feet at the far end of the headstock will cause movement at the other end.
If you don't tie down the lathe to the floor you lose a lot of rigidify that you get from the additional strength of the bolting to the floor.
IF your lathe doesn't have leveling adjustments you can buy or make some by drilling a crosswise hole in a square plate and hacksawing it on the diagonal. Then put a threaded rod though the hole to use the whole thing as an adjustable wedge as you draw the two halves together. These are available commercially.
Remember that for every half a thousandth out of straight that the bed is, you get a .001 error in the diameter. With some patience you can get it within a half thousandth or better.
John
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