Imagine typing on an uneven desk. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it also affects productivity. You will need leveled furniture legs to even out the desk.
Likewise, carving wood or cutting a metal shape is also difficult if the machine you are using isn’t leveled. You will also need adjustable leveling feet on each corner of a machine or a work surface to achieve perfect flatness.
Like handles and knobs, adjustable leveling feet (or leveling mounts) are simple everyday tools you see at the office or factory floor. Then again, they add value to businesses and improve efficiency and quality. That’s because leveling feet help level equipment on uneven floors that often go unnoticed.
With the use of adjustable machine feet, you can adjust the height of your machine and create a level surface. Doing this also prevents damage and improves the longevity of your equipment.
In this article, we will provide you with everything you will need to know about adjustable leveling feet and accessories:
In this article we will take a closer look at:
1. Types of Leveling Feet?
> Studless Leveling Feet
> Stud Leveling Feet
> Jig Leveling Feet
> Tapped Leveling Feet
> Metric Tapped
2. Leveling Feet Materials
> Steel and Stainless Steel
3. Leveling Feet Load Capacities
4. Leveling Feet Applications
> Create a Level Surface
> Reduce Vibration
> Reduce Maintenance Costs
> Increase the Lifespan of Machinery
5. Leveling Procedure
> Ensure Even Weight Distribution
> Use the Highest Setting
> Check your Levels on Schedule
> Review the Machine Specifications
Leveling feet come in different shapes and designs depending on the applications they are used for. Some are ideal for DIY home improvement projects, while others are required for heavy-duty applications. So, before deciding the type of leveler to purchase, let’s go over this list of products and accessories first:
A leveling foot without a stud is ideal for most static applications. They can serve as furniture leg levelers or workbench levelers. The large base diameter allows for rigid support while rubber or neoprene anti-slip pads prevent movement. In addition, this type of leveling foot can withstand a heavy load capacity and provide an adjustable angle between 15 and 20 degrees.
Also ideal for furniture and shelving units, stud mount leveling feet are designed to carry larger equipment such as lathes, conveyors, and milling machines. This type of product includes a socket mount variation that provides a 5 to 20-degree swivel. Made from steel or stainless steel, stud leveling feet consist of a base and a built-in stud with some designs capable of holding up 30,000 lbs.
Jig operations such as tapping and contouring require a level surface. This is where jig leveling feet come in. Made from high quality steel, the feet are ideal for medium-duty applications. They often feature a removable pad and a convenient socket which allows for easier adjustments using a hex wrench. Depending on the application, you might want to look for jig feet assemblies that already come with a plate and hex nut.
Certain types of leveling mounts feature a threaded shaft. These are known as tapped leveling feet. Unlike a stud mount where the bolt is built-in, this type of leveling solution is ideal for mounting and stabilizing machines that already have threaded bolts. They can come in anti-vibration, low-noise designs as well.
Metric tapped leveling feet consist of a ball and hex component. Just like tapped leveling feet, this type of product has a threaded shaft. The only difference is that it has metric threading. It provides a 15-degree swivel and comes in a wide array of finishes, including zinc-plated chrome and black oxide.
This type of product consists o a spindle. As the name suggests, the feet are threaded from the top towards the spindle. This makes for a rigid and reliable base that can withstand varying degrees of vibration.
A metric leveler is a must-have in a number of industries, including metalworks and manufacturing. Consisting of a metric threaded rod, this type of leveling feet can come in the thread size that you require. Choose anywhere between 50mm and 200mm, depending on the machine specifications.
Apart from checking the design and construction of an adjustable leveling foot, you will also need to look at the material it’s made from. Not all materials are suitable for your industrial environment. In addition, you will need to pick the products based on the amount of weight they can carry. Resistance to heat, corrosion, and long-term wear should also be considered.
Knowing which one can last long and bring the most value to the production line is imperative. In this section, we look at some of the materials that make for high-quality leveling feet:
When it comes to durability and reliability, steel and stainless steel mounts top the list; as a matter of fact, these materials are ideal for a wide range of leveling types. If you need a feet glide or chair legs to withstand high loads, look towards steel or stainless steel products. For industrial applications, stainless steel leveling feet with yellow chromate finishes are often sought after.
Found mostly on furniture, office equipment, and household appliances, leveling feet made from iron material are designed to last long. For heavier applications, look towards cast iron glides and feet.
Lightweight and versatile, aluminum is a good choice for light applications. It provides excellent corrosion resistance and durability. On top of that, it’s also resistant to magnets and cheaper compared to stainless steel.
Although not as strong as other materials on this list, plastic leveling feet can provide a great deal of support for light-duty applications. They provide excellent floor protection to wooden, concrete, and carpeted flooring. Plastic also makes for great feet casters since they are resistant to solvents, grease, and other fluids. For best results, look for levelers made from polyethylene materials.
Finding the right leveling feet isn’t a straightforward process. For one, you will need to consider the load capacity required by the application.
Bear in mind that not all leveling solutions are designed for workpieces and machines weighing more than 100 lbs. To be safe, look at the size and construction of the base. Does it have a large enough diameter to allow for optimal weight distribution? Is it rigid enough to allow for stable CNC workholding?
Clearly, choosing a certain style of adjustable leveling feet isn’t enough. You need to narrow down your search by checking to see which ones can carry the required weight amount. Some designs can carry a maximum of 50 lbs. while others are well-suited for larger machines that weigh close to 15 tons.
At any rate, the load capacity of leveling feet relies on the construction and material they are made from. Lighter loads do well with plastic mounts, so you might as well consider plastic table leg levelers and floor protectors for desks. Carbon steel is also great for conference tables due to its durability and corrosion resistance.
For heavier loads, consider steel and steel alloy materials. Bronze and galvanized aluminum are also top choices for leveling feet. Choosing the right leveling feet is important not just in terms of efficiency but also safety. Mounting heavy machinery on the wrong kind of feet will result in costly and fatal injuries. So, to ensure a safer work environment, you need the right leveler feet for the job.
Adjustable leveling feet are critical to manufacturing, automotive, food processing, and other sectors that use heavy-duty machinery. They add value to production lines through the following:
Production floors are not always perfectly flat. You may not notice it, but you could be standing on uneven ground. It becomes apparent when you measure the work and determine that it falls short of meeting product standards.
If you are manufacturing machine parts, a level surface helps ensure accuracy and prevents errors that are impossible to rectify. Hence, using adjustable leveling feet can solve the problem of uneven floors and reduce waste due to inaccurate work.
Moisture, heat, and everything else can affect the health and performance of your machine. Then again, vibration is often the chief cause of repairs. From lathes to milling machines, almost all industrial equipment is vulnerable to vibration damage.
As a general rule, these types of machines shouldn’t be installed directly onto a concrete floor. Instead, it would be best to keep them elevated at the right height. Adjustable leveling feet are ideal for this.
When it comes down to vibration control, it’s important to select leveling feet that feature vibration isolation accessories. For example, rubber anti-vibration pads can help reduce movement and noise during an application.
Since leveling feet create a rigid base and reduce vibrations and shocks, they can help prevent damage and slow down wear and tear. This, in turn, reduces maintenance and upkeep costs on equipment that are prone to overuse.
Choosing the right levelers seems inconsequential, but it can lead to significant cost savings in the long run. So, if your goal is to reduce operating costs and maintain productivity, use stable leveling feet to keep your machines performing on spec.
Apart from cost savings, adjustable leveling feet can prevent equipment turnover. Considering how they prevent damage to your equipment, these tools can slow down depreciation.
Whether they are used for long periods or exposed to fluids, machines with leveling feet are meant to last a long time. In effect, you won’t have to procure new machines within a short period. Greater longevity helps you get as much value from your equipment up until there is a need for an upgrade or replacement.
Want to look for leveling feet that can last you a long time? Make sure you find one for the type of machine or equipment you are using. Then, by selecting the right leveling solutions, you can access these benefits and more!
Machine leveling is a straightforward process, but it requires a familiarity with certain tools and approaches. We can almost say that a leveling process is an art form in itself. Here are a few essential techniques to keep in mind when you are using adjustable mounts for leveling lathes and workbenches to get you started.
The most basic principle to follow is weight distribution. Each corner of the machine needs to provide equal support. The surface becomes unstable if one corner isn’t as rigid as the others. To fix this, you can slip a shim underneath each leg. However, this can be tedious since you will need shims of varying thickness to mix and match for optimal weight distribution.
Using adjustable leveling feet is easier since you can adjust each corner to match the required load. For heavier machines, it’s advised to set leveling wedges on the floor before mounting the machine. In any case, you will need to test if there is even weight distribution across all corners. Simply mount the machine and check each corner if it’s receiving load.
If the machine weighs around 1,000 lbs or more, lower it onto the mount and instead of lifting it and slipping the feet underneath. Once mounted, check if you have a level plane. If you are satisfied, turn the adjusting screw clockwise to lock the levels.
Mounting the machine isn’t all that there is to it. The levels may change over time depending on how frequently you operate the equipment, among other factors. So, to ensure that your machines are properly leveled, make it a part of preventive maintenance to check your levels and make adjustments. Do this every six months or once a year.
Different machines and applications require specific leveling solutions. One thing’s for sure; certain measuring devices may not work for the job. Consider which tools you need to check for levels. Using the wrong ones won’t provide accurate measurements. To ensure precision, use only leveling tools and techniques that work for the machine.
No matter your industry, adjustable leveling feet are important devices to have on the job site. Choosing the right one that suits your load capacity and application adds value to the manufacturing process.
So, if you want to get started in your search for high-quality leveling solutions, check out Reid Supply today. Our catalog features a long list of leveling feet across a variety of styles, materials, and load capacities.