Surfacing the mill bed and test run
With the bed attached to the cross slide and the motor wired hooked up, I could finally start running it. The first task was to true the bed, which was a simple (but time-consuming) matter.
Using a fly cutter, I was able to remove about 0.006″ with each pass – certainly not hogging material off, but the end results were hard to fault. There was no perceptible ridge between any of the passes, an indication that the head is indeed perpendicular to the lathe ways.
With the milling bed surfaced, it was almost time to try slotting a spine. First I needed to make a fixture to hold the spine. The fixture is made with three pieces of metal that are bolted to the milling bed; the spine is held in a groove with several set screws.
The results were better than I had dared hoped for. While slotting the spines is a time-consuming process, they turned out beautifully. The slots are perfectly centered and run true for the entire length of the spine. Best of all, this attachment finally gives me the capability of moving the entire production of the saw into my own shop.