Topics

Cross Slide: Start with the slide all the way towards you – move the cross slide away from you an inch, check the graduated collar, and turn the handle backwards. record the amount of lash (free play) before the slide starts to move towards you. Repeat this operation every 2 inches or so across the travel of the slide. If the lash is less than 0.010” consistently give it a pass. If it is more the nut is worn and may require adjustment or replacement. If the lash is not consistent the screw may be unevenly worn and require replacement. To check the ways move the cross slide all the way toward you and then grab the compound and try moving the cross slide side to side. If there is any slack see if the gib can be adjusted to take up that slack. if the gib adjustment is already fully extended it indicates excessive wear and would require a gib replacement and possible custom machined oversize gib.

Bed: If the bed of a lathe is significantly worn it will usually be in one area, usually closer to the headstock. This will be more likely if the lathe was used in production where repeated operations in one area lead to uneven wear. Finding how much a bed measures out of true requires expensive tools but a relative idea can be achieved by a simple process. Remove the tailstock, put a light even coating of machine oil on the bed, place a trouble light on the bed at the headstock and look along the bed from the end at a very low angle. As you move your line of sight up and down you will be able to detect slight hollows in the bed indicating heavy wear areas. Regrinding a bed is very expensive, and honing takes a lot of time and considerable expertise so you need to decide if you can live with this inaccuracy.

Gear Boxes: The headstock and feed gear boxes are not directly related to accuracy but a full check of a lathe should include running the lathe through all spindle speeds and at least a range of feed speeds. listen for unusual sounds or any rattling / chatter at specific speeds. if you can remove the top of the headstock check for chipped or broken teeth on gears or scratches on gears that indicate the lathe was run without adequate lubrication or with dirty oil.

Plate, Angle & Bar Shear: 

Electric Back Stop:  The automatic electric back stop (standard on GEKA Ironworkers) is the most important feature for increasing productivity at the shearing stations.  Positioning the automatic stop for multiple cuts dramatically reduces cycle time and increases accuracy over cutting to marked lines.

Use Rollers:  Having one or more rollers set to the height of the shearing station also allows for faster and easier handling of longer heavier lengths.

Adjusting Travel:  Typically the shear blades are preset to cut the full length of the plate shearing station.  If you are cutting narrow pieces, or round or square bar stock the cycle time can be improved by reducing the blade travel distance using the adjustable stop.  If you are cutting small round or square bar stock consider the optional multi-hole blades to get a very clean cut, and again decreasing cycle time using the very short blade travel allowed with the smaller hole sizes.

Notching Station:  The efficiency and accuracy of the notching station, like the punching station is improved if the back gauge can be used to position the stock.  A punched square hole can be used to punch out the back edge of the notch and then cleared out with the notcher.  This punched hole gives a precise line to cut to for the notching increasing accuracy.  This also works well where the depth of the required notch exceeds the depth of the notching blade on your Ironworker.   A set of ball rollers for the notching station also makes handling of larger parts faster and easier.