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Ruth your are correct. The lathe does not have to be level to the
earth. It has to be level to itself. In other words the bed should
not be twisted. "leveling " a lathe is the wrong term. Getting the
bed straight is what you want to do. If it is not "level" to
itself or twisted; the cuts on a project will not be straight
i.e. the piece will be tapered.
The problem is almost 100 years ago SB wrote up manuals and said
you have to "level" the lathe and they sold precision levels to
help. But the last paragraph of the manual shows how to check for
"level" by making cuts on a bar between centers. Remove the word
level from the project and insert "take the twist out of the bed"
On 6/11/2019 5:05 PM, Ruth Busch wrote:
What are the consequences of a lathe not being level? Most
ships have a lathe or two. They are almost never level.
Generally a precision level is the only way you can dial
in a lathe in a reasonable length of time. Carpenters
levels generally don’t have the level of precision needed
for machining - 1/1000” Versus 1/32”.
Maybe you can borrow one from someone in the hobby
machine world, near where you live...
On Jun 11, 2019, at 1:44 PM, George Meinschein <bustedguns@...
What's the consensus on whether or not a precision
level is really needed to setup a lathe? Can I use a
regular old carpenter's level (or a digital level) and
then check the lathe installation by cutting and
measuring a cylinder? I'm thinking even if I had a
precision level, I'd still want to turn & measure
a cylinder to check the installation and correct for
any bed twist anyway. Thoughts & comments please!
George H. Meinschein, P.E.
Meinschein Engineering Consultants, LLC
150 Brittany Drive
Freehold, NJ 07728-1500
Direct Dial: 732-409-0778