Tramming the Router

Thanks for the co-planar tip. I ran a monofilament line diagonally on 4 points and at the center where they crossed I got a ~1/16" gap. I cannot imagine on a plywood table, across a >36" span getting any closer to co-planar than that. It was good to check, though.

Depending on the table construction it may be something to check from time to time due to the weight of the machine the plywood can begin to sag at one foot vs the others and begin to resemble a Pringles potato chip. If you’ve supported the plywood at each foot location reasonably well it shouldn’t happen but if the plywood extends beyond the table supports it does occur over time.

Hmmm. Maybe the QCW frame gives you more clearance (by raising the Y rails higher?). For me (original Woodworker with stiffy bar) using middle hole, with 1.25" MDF it’s not even close.

I don’t have a picture but if you move the gantry to the Y middle and X left side to get it out of the way there are unused holes in the top of each Y rail end cap you can use to attach a string corner to corner. Then check where the 2 strings cross to see if there is a gap. You should also reverse one of the strings so you check both crossing over and under each string.

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Nope. Used it fine before I got the QCW as well.

I am running a JM and not a WW though.

I have succeeded in the tramming arena - I’m within a few thousands on each X and Y. I learned a few things and appreciate the helpful comments along the way. For a flat, level surface, I purchased the Taytools 279144 One Piece 5/16 x 5 x 12 Dead Flat Float Glass. It’s just thin enough to allow the Edge Technology tramming gauge to pass under the Z-Slider in both directions. I used a bent 1/4x20 threaded rod to attach a single dial indicator to the router for measuring and leveling the glass in four corners. I adjusted X axis by loosening/tightening the Makita mount at various torques. I fixed the Y-axis “nod” by loosening the Z-slider and shimming at the top with a piece of .020 feeler gauge. All is good.


FWIW, I’m in the “make it good enough” camp on this. A reasonable amount of tramming is important as it makes deep contour cuts work much better (much less rubbing). As long as it gives me the 0.008" gap for the lids on my boxes, which are cut in the same job, then everything is great. I trammed it once and haven’t needed to do it again. The box lid gap dimension was defined by a 7 step binary search for this particular application.

The last I checked with a dial indicator across the surfaced spoil board, I was within 0.005" end to end with a bit of variation in between. Even that could have been dust…:slight_smile:

I tend to agree with the Onefinity guys. Tramming needs to be only as precise as you need. You can’t really feel a step of 0.002". You can see it. If you’re using wood I’ll bet you still sand or scrape the surface. As an engineer I’ve designed parts that require +/- 5 micron (0.005 mm) accuracy but most of my parts are a much more reasonable +/- 0.005" (~0.1 mm). Commercial machines are built very stiff and have a price (and weight) to match. If you need your OF to be trammed to within +/- 0.001" you’re using the wrong machine. If you cut a flat surface, say 6" x 6", with a 1/2" cutter and can feel the step between passes you might want to tram your machine a little better. It all comes down to what you need or what you can live with. Less sanding is always better.
On another note, granite (or stone) countertops are pretty flat. I’ve used them many times as a flat reference. Also, if there’s a stone countertop fabricator in your area they always have a pile of sink cutouts and scrap stone that they are happy to let you pick from. The edges may not be square but you can’t beat the price (free). It’s probably not with in 0.0002" but it’s good enough.


Interested. I paid $134 for the Edge Pro Tram System - Upon review it was too TALL for the 1F. No matter what I did it could not clear the Z brackets to get a back/forward measurement.

Will this setup clear the Z brackets?

Morning Rick,

Thanks for the interest in the Tramming Tool, Yes it is big enough to clear all parts of the OF as long as you have your Z-Axis mounted in the middle or bottom hole. If you have it raised all the way to the top hole it will not work.

If you are using the top hole, I would suggest moving your machine to the middle hole unless you have a very specific need that the top hole is required to accommodate.

Please PayPal me $100 to hold and when I get the tool back I’ll refund $65 back to you. Also shoot me your address info as to where to mail it. My PayPal Me is: I will get it out in the next days USPS Priority Mail with an enclosed prepaid return label. I ask that you try and return it within a week of receiving it.

The last member who rented it bent the shaft, forfeiting his deposit. I ordered a brand new main body from the manufacturer, so we are back to true and ready for business.

Happy to answer any questions you may have during the process as well.


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Ok. Thank you. I’m going to pass. For the Possibility (I don’t believe it would happen but there’s always a chance) of your tool being damaged like the guy before… I just went ahead and purchased one myself from Edge Technologies for $100. I don’t have to be nervous about it since it’s all on me. Thank you for the offer. Take care.

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I’m re-tramming right now. Originally I used foil backed duct tape instead of metal repair tape which for some reason turned into an unholy gummy mess. I’m at almost 9 layers of tape near the bottom since the back of the tram arm was too high and this metal tape is very thin.
My homemade tram arm is about 13.5" from center bit to outer arm pin, so I’m measuring the difference front to back over 27" total.
I like the idea of using sacraficial feeler gauges! Next time at Harbor Freight I’m going to pick up a couple feeler gauge sets for about $10 total, and next time use those. Great idea!
Slightly bummed, originally my 1F didn’t need tramming at all, it was totally square. Bought the QCW and now it needs tramming. Oh well.

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my machine came and i expected to have to tram. i was surprised to find when I surfaced my spoilboard it showed no signs of needing trammed. I have the qcw frame. now I have moved the machine and not had to resurface but getting closer to needing. after moving i expected issues. but so far nothing visual in projects. But I done notice I have around .007 variation in my entire work area on the wood worker model. good for wood but planning to mil aluminum soon. ill machine a piece to a square and check parralel to determine if i want to go into tramming the z to the spoilboard from there. If i can be within a .002 i wont tram. I can probably just resurface my board at this stage and get bettr results. >007 over 32 inch of area is really pretty decent. so for a project of say 4x7 inches flatness should still be reasonable i assume since 32 inches is flat within .007 i think ill see less than .002 in the end resultin my mind id have to machine something 15x15 to be over .002
idk but only 1 way to find out and thats make some chips lol