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Mastering Milling Machines: Tramming the Spindle

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  • Jul 13, 2016
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As promised in our June issue, we are giving you a closer look at the milling head assembly and how to get the results you're looking for as you begin machining with your CLIMAX milling machine. We'll review the key steps and issues associated with tramming the milling assembly.


"When it comes to fine adjust-ability, we have given the CLIMAX portable mills the same adjustments you would see on a precision stationary mill. Tramming the spindle is key to milling a precision "flat" or "square" surface."

- Jim Miller, Global Training Leader


The tramming plate is precision-machined to be parallel to the ram and perpendicular to the bed. In many cases the standard alignment of the milling assembly will be sufficient. If more precision is needed, the milling head mounting plate is supplied with tramming screws for fine adjustments. Repair technicians can use the screws to adjust the quill housing away from the mounting plate to adjust x-axis orientation. Also moving the vertical adjusting screws up and down (which rotates about the center pin) for tramming the y-axis orientation of the milling assembly.


Here's how:

Image 1

Image 1

Image 2

Image 2

  1. Make sure power is disconnected.
  2. Attach a dial indicator with a magnetic base to the end of the spindle.
  3. If the drive motor is installed, remove it from the spindle gearbox to enable easy hand-rotation of the spindle (Image 1).
  4. Position the milling assembly in a position where you can reach the bottom of the ram or the linear bed rails (image 2).
  5. Now, sweep the datum surface of the bed or ram with the indicator by rotating the spindle.
  6. Finally, tram the direction along the Y-axis by adjusting the top tramming screws.Then tram the direction along the X-axis by adjusting the tramming screws on the milling head mounting plate. The mounting screws will have to be loosened slightly to make these adjustments. When both directions are adjusted, tighten the mounting screws (below).
  7. Remove the magnetic base and dial indicator, and reinstall the drive motor.


Do you have a question about milling machine set-ups that we didn't cover here? Or is there a product you would like to learn more about? Drop us a note and our team will get back to you promptly! 



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CLIMAX Portable Machining & Welding Systems, 2712 E. Second Street, Newberg, OR 97132



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