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From: Robert Bastow <"teenut"@>
Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: Re-Conditioning Lathe Beds - SB "Turcite FAQ"
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2000 05:27:43 GMT wrote:

> it is, what technique can I use to determine the degree of wear it has
> sustained over the years?  And I hope that doesn't entail a 12' long
> straight edge, but I suspect it does!  Can a taut enough music wire
> serve as a suitable reference?

Yes it can..A very accurate one in fact!  Don't set it to touch the table, but
about an inch above it..then make up a metal wedge with a very shallow taper.
Arrange a low voltage circuit that will light a lamp when the wedge contacts the

Mark the contact point at each end of the table, and adjust one end of the wire
untill it is equi-distant from the table at both ends.

You can now plot a "Topograghical map" of your table top.  Remember, there WILL
be some catenery sag in the wire..but this will be negligible over 6 feet if you
use a very fine wire and a lot of tension..almost to the yield point.

Another method is to mount a high magnification riflescope, on a "sled" and zero
the cross wires on a far enough distant target.  Sliding the sled arouund and
taking sightings will give you the big picture very quickly.

However, I doubt that there is much appreciable wear in the slides..just check
that you can't actually "Rock" the table on the slides and it should be fine.

It is quite acceptable practice, Indeed, Standard Operating Procedure, to take a
fine finishing cut over the table after setting the machine in place...And
periodically over its lifetime.

Thus, while the ways may not be dead straight and level (What IS!) the table top
will follow the path of its movement and produce dead parallel surfaces on
anything clamped to it.

> And another BTW:  I may have missed them, but are there any references
> yet to your new machine shop?  I've been waiting to see news of the new
> enterprise.  Thanks again, and best wishes...

Thanks for the encouragement..This last three weeks have been a haze of LOOOONG
working hours, licking the shop into shape..A kind of "Shakedown
Cruise"...Getting all the kit up to snuff, clearing the undergrowth and cobwebs,
integrating the tooling and getting shop and manpower to start to work together
as a unit.  A strangely alien concept in jobbing shops in this area.

For a while it just seemed like an endless descent into wonder the
owner sold, it couldn't have functioned for much longer, the way it was.  First
thing I did was place all the people on payroll and give them a raise!  As they
had all, previousl, been on contract, with no hours guaranteed, this surprised
the hell out of them.  I am putting in an air conditioned lunch room and a new
bathroom with shower and HOT water. Can you imagine..Twenty years as a machine
shop and no hot water!!  I treat my dogs better than that!  I wouldn't even
expect my dog to use the bathroom there!!  (The shower is as much for MY
personal benefit..and for the event of a spillage.  But the Lads are
tickled pink!!)

Anyway, Thousands of dollars and hours later, of "Non-productive" labor and
machine repairs, upgrades, maintainance, overhaul, re-arranging and clean
up..the shop is starting to take on the semblance of something "Ship Shape and
Bristol Fashion"  I hired a personal Assistant yesterday to "run the system"
And today I hired a Sales Person.

Female!!..Helluva Go getter and a Great Engineer to boot! (Great TT&A too..which
doesn't hurt in getting through the door.)  She took her last Machine Shop
Employer from 500K to 4.5 million in three years, so I invested a VERY expensive
lunch, a trip in the Jag, a peep into my dreams and a generous commission
structure, to hire her away from him!

New Computer System up and running, new phone system ditto, new Dodge Ram
Pick-me-up truck out front. New Fadal 4 axis Machining center arriving next
week.  Getting ready for the high speed sea tests..already going to flank speed
with every man in the shop working through the weekend to fix three crashed dies
picked up today from three different shops..Plus two new diesets to deliver by
Tuesday next!!

Payroll stands at nine, not including me and SMWBO..and I am starting to
advertise for machinists and Tool/Die/Mould/Makers next week.  I plan to start a
second shift within two months!!  Let Battle Commence!


tired but happy


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