Bolting Lathe to Concrete Floor

I have a 13x40 Sheldon Lathe and am getting ready to get it set up
properly. It weighs about 1500lbs and has 4 leveling bolts at both the
tailstock end and also the headstock end. I cut 8 - 5/8" steel plates
that were 6"x6" to go under the leveling bolts to spread the load. I
also drilled a counterbore into the plates so the bolts set down into
the holes. I applied some grease to the holes before setting the
adjusting screws into the holes.
My question is: Is this sufficient footing for starting to level the
lathe? Does it need to be bolted to the concrete and then leveled?
Thanks, Steve
Reply to
Sierevello
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Steve, Machines are not bolted to floors much these days. In the old days it was fairly common to bolt them, as well as grout them, but I think you'll find that you will be served very well by simply using the leveling bolts against your steel plates with the counter bore. My Graziano is set up that way and it's more than satisfactory. Besides, it's one hell of a lot easier, especially if you decide to move the machine a couple inches.
Harold
Reply to
Harold and Susan Vordos
Unless you live on a boat..or in Parkfield, California (earthquake capital of the US), I dont see any reason to bolt it down to the floor.
Gunner
"Considering the events of recent years, the world has a long way to go to regain its credibility and reputation with the US." unknown
Reply to
Gunner
Great advice from Harold! As one who has "been there, done that, got the damned T shirt" I can strongly recommend against bolting to the floor.
Bob Swinney
Reply to
Robert Swinney
------------------------------------------------ I have back pain, so I bolted my 12" Clausing to 2 4x4's so that the center height is 4" higher less back pain. Donald Warner
Don't let the facts interfere with your prejudices -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reply to
Donald
Is that just for new machines, or also for the machines which when new were intended to be floor bolted? I've got a 60's Rockwell 14" lathe that I haven't gotten around to bolting to the floor; maybe it's not necessary?
Reply to
Dave Hinz
The advice applies to all machines with enough weight to keep them from "walking" or moving about when in use. It certainly applies to a 1600 - 1700 pound 14" machine. It is much easier to only level the machine than it is to simultaneously level and bolt into the floor. Naturally, leveling and bolting work in opposition to each other; interactions are such that when you tighten the mounting bolts it tends to throw off the level and viz.
Bob Swinney
Reply to
Robert Swinney
Right, that's why I haven't bolted it to the floor - that and the hydronic heat tubes in the floor that I need to miss... So, level (which it is) is fine then. Good; I can stop having that minor stress bug me from time to time.
Reply to
Dave Hinz
About the only machine I would seriously consider bolting to the floor, is a Logan 8" shaper. In my case, I bolted it to 4x6s arrainged so it was unable to walk at high stroke speeds.
Gunner
"Considering the events of recent years, the world has a long way to go to regain its credibility and reputation with the US." unknown
Reply to
Gunner
Absolutely! I, too, heat hydronically, although my tubes are at least 3-1/2" deep, so I can still bolt to the floor, but there's no real benefit in doing so. If anything, you introduce different problems, pretty much as Bob alluded. You've done all you should do. Enjoy, and lose the stress! :-)
Harold
Reply to
Harold and Susan Vordos
There's nothing wrong with elevating a machine, but I'd suggest you eventually do it on feet of steel, not lumber. It's pretty easy to use a piece of pipe, maybe 3", with plates welded top and bottom. Wood tends to be a little too active to provide the proper support, particularly if you live where you experience wild fluctuations in humidity. Yeah, I realize the wood doesn't move much, but it does move, and generally not uniformly. That means your lathe is likely to move in and out of level, albeit a miniscule amount.
I made feet for my Graziano, which was too low to be run comfortably. Top plate has a small counterbore for the leveling screw, which keeps the feet centered under the machine, and bottom plate is somewhat larger than the top, to discourage any idea of tipping. I turned everything after they were welded, then painted them the same color as the machine. Look and work great, and make leveling the machine real easy.
Harold
Reply to
Harold and Susan Vordos
Well, mine are too, or they should be, but I'd hate to hit that one spot where I'm wrong. I could borrow the thermal imaging camera from the fire department & see just where the lines really are, but...it's been 5 years and that keeps not happening.
That was another reason; I couldn't work out a good way to have it not touching the floor, but secured to the floor, but still level-able. Best I could think was redhead bolts, and a nut above and below the flanges on the lathe, but I was worried about the flexing of those flanges.
I feel so much better now.
Reply to
Dave Hinz
I built forms and put them where the lathe was gonna fit. Then, I put a plastic sheet in the bottom of the forms and filled them with concrete. When it had cured enough I set the lathe on the concrete. Works pretty good. ERS
Reply to
Eric R Snow
In the 50 years of my Sheldon 11x44 - it has never been bolted to the floor. I use large washers and metal plates - all steel. Level the four lifting points and level the machine. Currently my machine is 'stretching out' - relaxing after the long trip in the 53' air drive ride and the tough lift up and down from the air ride van. Currently all 4 bed bolts leak oil. Only 1 did in the prior house.
Once it settles into a normal relaxed state, then I'll see if the bolts need tightening (likely now from giggle) then do a leveling over several days. I have found that doing it slowly e.g. do it right two or three times over a week or two - fine tunes and adjusts everything that might be stressed and then moves over time.
Martin
Reply to
lionslair at consolidated dot
Any shaper is prone to this problem. I too have a Logan 8", and I put heavy duty rubber (plastic?) headed adustable 'feet' on it . These resist any walking except at the very highest speeds and longest strokes (not a good combination anyway). I'm rarely in that much of a hurry, so I just slow it down enough to prevent any unwanted wandering about.
Dan Mitchell ============
Reply to
Daniel A. Mitchell
I certainly don't advocate bolting down machines but I believe either OSHA or Cal-OSHA requires it. All the big aircraft plants have everything bolted to the floor from small pedestal griders to gantry mills. I was in a plant that had some very big machines wildly tilted right after the Northridge earthquake. Again, I don't bolt any of my machines down but it is a practice that certainly has not gone away. Leigh at MarMachine
Reply to
CATRUCKMAN
LOL. We had "OSHA bolts" at one place I used to work.
One day I dropped a workpiece down between the slots in the floor-mounted drillpress. I couldn't fish it out, so I went to go undo the base from the floor.
My boss asked what I was doing with the wrench - and I said I needed to unbolt the drillpress from the floor.
"Oh, those are OSHA bolts. The inspector idiots come and look that there are bolts there, but they never see what the bolts are doing."
And he walks over and plucks the two short bolts from the drillpress base.
Jim
Reply to
jim rozen
of 2 months ago, no departments of OSHA or other inspection departments I'm aware of require bolting machines down other than, I believe, San Diego County (CA) where machines MUST be fastened down as part of a earthquake safety program (once had to draft a letter to inspectors there to satisfy them on a safety/holdown matter). On the other hand in the 40+ years I've been involved with moving, rebuilding, selling and building machinery I've observed better than 1/2 of all large companies bolt down all of their machines (not just high speed presses & etc.). Also protects against sloppy fork truck drivers.
dennis in nca
Reply to
rigger

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