Author Topic: Edge Pro Tram  (Read 3175 times)

Online Kim

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Edge Pro Tram
« on: August 11, 2021, 11:45:04 PM »
Over the last weekend (plus a few days) I was out camping with my extended family.  We have done this every year for the past 30+ years with the exception of last year, due to Covid.

This year while we were camping, my family surprised me with a little retirement party!  I guess this is the first time weíve all been together since I retired a few months back.  It was very thoughtful of them.  They gave me a cute little paper train with a bunch of dollar bills rolled up in the tender (I guess this train burns money for fuel?  ;D)

Anyway, the long and the short of it (besides that I have a sweet family :)) is that I used that money to purchase a tramming tool Ė the Edge Pro Tram.

Iíve seen these around and always thought ďWho needs that Ė I can do it with the DI Iíve got!"

But it takes me a long time to tram, so I seldom do it.  Iíve been meaning to re-tram the mill because Iím getting such a bad surface finish when I thin down stock.  And itís such a pain to do I never want to spend the time doing it.

I was reading up on how best to do tramming and came across several good videos.  And in one of them, the person said something to the effect that while you donít need a tramming fixture, it sure helps take the pain out of tramming.  So, when I got my retirement train money, I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to get.  :)

And here it is:

It comes with a very good case to keep it nice.  It has a great little set of instructions on how to calibrate the device and then how to use it.  Very simple.  Even I could follow it.

So after calibrating, I went about tramming the forward/backward Ďnodí on my machine.  THAT has never been trammed before because thereís really no way to do it other than using a shim.  I ended up putting a 0.0015Ē shim along the back of the place where the head bolts onto the column.  Before tramming, it was about 2-3 thou out (across 5Ē).  Now itís only out about a half a thou over the same.


Turning it 90 degrees, I was able to tram the left/right rotation of the head VERY quickly.  Iíve done this before, but NEVER quickly!  And whatís super cool, I could see it changing as I tightened the bolts.


From the videos I also picked up that I should be locking my Z-axis when I tram Ė that made a pretty big difference too!  Iíll be locking that down from now on when Iím making any precise cuts.  It changes the tram (left/right Ė is that called Yaw?) by almost 0.002Ē!  I never realized that before!

It was super easy to do with this setup.  I think it took maybe 5 minutes to tram both directions.  I canít believe how easy it was.

No more fussing with trying to read the indicator backward Ė trying to make it read Ďthe sameí when you turn it from one side to the other.  It was amazingly simple.  It really did take the pain out of tramming.

I know I sound like a commercial for them, but wow, it made such a difference.  I canít believe Iíve put off buying one for so many years.

Yes, you can tram without one.  But I canít tell you how much simpler the whole process was with this gizmo.  If youíve been thinking about getting one, I can heartily recommend it. Or if you want to make one, go for it.  I just decided that Iíd buy one.  (I would have had to purchase two dial indicators anyway, so thatís about half the cost right there).

Anyway, just wanted to share my new retirement tool with you all, and let you know it has made my retirement easier already!

Kim

Offline crueby

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Re: Edge Pro Tram
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2021, 11:53:49 PM »
Nice!
Is there any calibration of the tramming tool itself needed, or is that all set from the factory?

Offline propforward

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Re: Edge Pro Tram
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2021, 12:20:22 AM »
Very nice acquisition! I have one - really makes tramming so much easier!

What a thoughtful gift.
Stuart

Forging ahead regardless.

Online Kim

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Re: Edge Pro Tram
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2021, 12:44:05 AM »
Nice!
Is there any calibration of the tramming tool itself needed, or is that all set from the factory?
Hi Chris,
Yes, you need to calibrate the tool before using it.  It's quite easy to do (even I could do it).  You set one dial to a specific height, then without changing anything, you rotate the Pro-Tram 180 degrees and set the other dial to the same height.   It might sound complicated based on my poor explanation, but it's really not.  They tell you how to do it and it really is quite easy and makes perfect sense.

Kim

Online Kim

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Re: Edge Pro Tram
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2021, 12:45:50 AM »
Very nice acquisition! I have one - really makes tramming so much easier!

What a thoughtful gift.

Thanks Stuart!
Yes, very thoughtful.  You're probably one of the people on this forum that I've seen use it and always thought "why spend good money on something when I can already tram with what I've got".  Now I know!

Thanks :)
Kim

Offline crueby

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Re: Edge Pro Tram
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2021, 12:53:22 AM »
Thanks Kim!  I just found their website, and looks like they make a smaller version perfect for the smaller machines like Sherline, smaller width and shank.  Hmmm, birthday coming up, maybe the shop elves will chip into their beer bottle deposit refund stash and get me one.... Nope, have to buy it myself!   :Lol:

Offline propforward

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Re: Edge Pro Tram
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2021, 01:39:33 AM »
Very nice acquisition! I have one - really makes tramming so much easier!

What a thoughtful gift.

Thanks Stuart!
Yes, very thoughtful.  You're probably one of the people on this forum that I've seen use it and always thought "why spend good money on something when I can already tram with what I've got".  Now I know!

Thanks :)
Kim

It's always a tough call on when to spend and buy a tool rather than make do. Also as a model engineer I always have this feeling that I should be attempting to make do, or make the tool - but with limited time if the tool is available at the right price, and I am unlikely to be able to make one as good, factoring in the time it takes, I sometimes justify a purchase that way, so that I can keep on with the actual engine or project. The Edge Pro stuff is a remarkably good combo of price and quality. Like you, once I got my edge pro a huge advantage was making it that much easier to tram the nod of the mill. Which I need to check again actually.

I plan to make two adjustment blocks for the X axis tram - basically bolt on blocks with adjuster bolts to tweak the head from side to side, rather than tapping the head into place. I think that with those in combination with this tool, making use of the pivoting head feature becomes a reality. Before I didn't want to have anything to do with that because tramming the head was such a chore.

There I go waffling again!
Stuart

Forging ahead regardless.

Offline RReid

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Re: Edge Pro Tram
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2021, 02:17:23 AM »
Curses - You've made me want to commit a blatant act of consumerism!!! (just kidding)
Actually that looks so nice, and so convenient, I do now want the mini version.

Stuart - I made something like what you're talking about for my Taig mill. They do help a lot.


Regards,
Ron

Online Kim

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Re: Edge Pro Tram
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2021, 05:17:04 AM »
That's a cool upgrade for the Taig, Ron.  I always just did the 'loosen it a little and bop it from one side or the other' method.  It mostly worked, but this looks much more controlled for sure!

Kim

Offline Jo

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Re: Edge Pro Tram
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2021, 07:25:29 AM »
I love all the Edge Technology tools. The tramming one is particularly useful.  ;)

This year while we were camping, my family surprised me with a little retirement party!  I guess this is the first time weíve all been together since I retired a few months back.  It was very thoughtful of them. ..... Anyway, just wanted to share my new retirement tool with you all, and let you know it has made my retirement easier already!

I missed this  :embarassed:  :old: Congratulations Kim on your retirement 

Jo
Enjoyment is more important than achievement.

Online Jasonb

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Re: Edge Pro Tram
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2021, 07:42:31 AM »
John Bogs did a good write up on making your own for those that don't like cerise ;)

https://www.modelenginemaker.com/index.php?topic=416.0

Offline paul gough

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Re: Edge Pro Tram
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2021, 10:57:44 AM »
Jason, Thanks for bringing this to our attention. It is really great to have someone who has a 'deep' memory of things presented in the past and who can bring them to the attention of those of us that don't have such a long connection to MEM. Regards, Paul Gough.

Offline propforward

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Re: Edge Pro Tram
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2021, 01:27:04 PM »
Curses - You've made me want to commit a blatant act of consumerism!!! (just kidding)
Actually that looks so nice, and so convenient, I do now want the mini version.

Stuart - I made something like what you're talking about for my Taig mill. They do help a lot.




Yes - exactly the kind of thing I was thinking of.  :ThumbsUp: :ThumbsUp: :ThumbsUp:
Stuart

Forging ahead regardless.

Offline rick41

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Re: Edge Pro Tram
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2021, 02:58:02 PM »
Nice!
Is there any calibration of the tramming tool itself needed, or is that all set from the factory?
Hi Chris,
Yes, you need to calibrate the tool before using it.  It's quite easy to do (even I could do it).  You set one dial to a specific height, then without changing anything, you rotate the Pro-Tram 180 degrees and set the other dial to the same height.   It might sound complicated based on my poor explanation, but it's really not.  They tell you how to do it and it really is quite easy and makes perfect sense.

Kim

I don't understand the need to calibrate the tool.  I made a copy of this tool several years back and I use it as follows.  I put he tool into a collet lock it and snug it up.  I then lower the head until the indicators are both firmly touching the mill table.  I then set the dial on each indicator to zero.  I carefully rotate the indicator 180 deg and note the readings.  If both are reading zero, the mill tram is OK.  To adjust the tram if it is out, I note the readings and adjust by 1/2 the difference in readings.  May takes me couple iterations to get it spot on.  Basically the same procedure as adjusting a surveying level.  Rick

Online Kim

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Re: Edge Pro Tram
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2021, 06:34:04 PM »
Rick, that's interesting!  The procedure you describe is calibrating at the same time as you're using it.  Adjusting the zeros and rotating by 180 IS basically calibrating the unit.  The only slight disadvantage with this is that for one of your readings the dials are facing backwards.

The instructions that come with it have you calibrate the dials at a single fixed point.  You put one side on the fixed point and zero the indicator, then you rotate 180 and do the other side.  If you set your single point in the right place, you can adjust your indicators from the left and right sides and don't have to look at the dials backwards.

Once both dial indicators are zeroed to exactly the same height you can set the unit in the direction you want to tram and adjust the head till both dials read exactly the same number.

It's six to one, half a dozen to the other.  The method you describe removes the need for the calibration step by requiring two tramming steps and you're essentially calibrating the tool each time.

The method that I described requires a two-step calibration process, then you can tram in a single step. This requires 3 steps if you calibrate each time you tram, but allows you to avoid having to read a dial facing backwards.

Wonder if there are other methods for using the same too?

Kim