FAQ: Levelling my Lathe
Q. The floor in my shop is somewhat
uneven and is causing my lathe to vibrate. Is there anyway to dampen or
stop this vibration?
A. Every lathe we sell comes with levelling capabilities. We realise that
not all shop floors are perfectly flat and smooth, so this is a necessary
procedure for most installations.
Note: Getting even pressure on all the feet is the biggest
trick to getting the machine to run as well as it can. Please keep in mind
that at high speeds small pieces have a lot more energy that needs to be
absorbed that big pieces running slowly. This is opposite to what most people
The following procedure is specific to the 2436 (and our other large lathes),
but the principles are the same when levelling the lathe you have:
- First you have to use the levelling pads. If you just put the
levelling screws into the concrete they will just drill themselves
in and only work for a few minutes.
- After you get the levelling pads under the feet, screw down three of
the screws until they are definitely down hard. This leaves one screw
not touching. We usually use the front tailstock screw as the one
that is set not touching just because it is easiest to get the wrench
- Now the the lathe will be sitting on three points and will be quite
- Start turning on the machine and you will find that it vibrates
without much load.
- Now crank down the last screw (the one that's
still up). As you lower it the screw will make contact with the levelling
pad and the lathe will start to smooth out. Keep tightening down
- noting that as you go, it will get smoother and then get worse
again (when you go too far).
- Play with it bit to find the smoothest point.
- If at some point in the future you find that the lathe has started
to run poorly again (they can get vibrated across the floor and find
an unlevel section to settle onto), simply perform this process again.