I spent the entire day Saturday trying to tram my Woodworker. I eventually got it close but it isn’t pretty.
First, it is mounted on a torsion box that I have confirmed flat. Also, I made sure the Y-rails had no twist when they were installed. Plus, I have verified square as far as the mounting of the Y rails. I surfaced the spoilboard as well.
I made a tramming jig with a 1/4" rod, a 12" piece of angle aluminum and a dial indicator.
Side to side was easy enough… although it is a bit disconcerting that natural fall of the Z slider is quite a bit clockwise from plumb. I had to turn counterclockwise almost to the extent to get it right.
Then I tried the Y axis. I didn’t know about the tramming bolts at first so I started adding aluminum foiil to the bottom of the Z slider mount. (Mine is tilted foreward.) It took 30 pieces!!! I estimate that is about .03"!!!
So I came inside and checked the forum and found this: Tramming Front to Back
My first thought was, “Fantastic!!” So I went outside and removed all the foil and started over. I first tried just loosening and tightening the tramming bolts (As per the instructions) 1/4 turn… but it didn’t seem to do anything. Plus it seemed as if the top bolts were almost all the way in already.
Then I tried just continuing to tigten an loosen as per the instructions. I can’t remember if it did much but certainly not enough to make up for the .03" of foil. I do know that I had the dial indicator Zeroed and the only movement I saw was from the natural rocking of messing with the machine. It almost always came back to where it was to begin with. (There is some flex in the tramming tool so I didn’t expect perfect.) I ended up tightening to the point I was afraid the aluminum would strip.
So I loosened all 8 and tried to start from a neutral position. It seemed like they were just going in to a certain point and stopping… like tightening a bolt. Discretion being the better part of valor… and ignorance hanging over my head like a storm cloud, I gave up with the tramming bolts. I just snugged them all back up and put the foil back in place.
My biggest problem is ignorance. I can’t see how these bolts are supposed to work. What are they pressing against? It looks like they are coming in at the top of the rail… but I can’t be sure. I don’t see any room for movement where the rails are mounted to the feet. The rails appears to be bolted in directly. And even if the rails are eccentric, I don’t see how twisting the rails would make a difference since there are three (Including the stiffy.)
But I do know that 30 pieces of aluminum foil seems excessive and that evidently the tramming bolts do work because I read about their usage from other users.
I called myself following the instructions to a T… Can anyone explain how these tramming bolts work or what I am doing wrong?
Once again, thank you.