• Scam Alert. Members are reminded to NOT send money to buy anything. Don't buy things remote and have it shipped - go get it yourself, pay in person, and take your equipment with you. Scammers have burned people on this forum. Urgency, secrecy, excuses, selling for friend, newish members, FUD, are RED FLAGS. A video conference call is not adequate assurance. Face to face interactions are required. Please report suspicions to the forum admins. Stay Safe - anyone can get scammed.

Show us your Tool Height Standard

jcdammeyer

John
Premium Member
Last year I tried to buy one of these but the Chinese store cancelled the order. I was refunded but never did try again.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000480545163.html
With these you can load a tool, move over and go down until contact is made. No clip lead needed on the tool. As long as you know the height of the sensor assembly you can then enter the tool length into the tool table for either MACH or LinuxCNC. However, it doesn't help with finding the top of the work say mounted in the vise.
Tormach also sells a holder along with a gauge so you can measure the distance from the TT Reference surface to a tool tip. Then you can enter that in relative to the quill.
I think I'd rather have the sensor mounted on the table so that I can put a drill bit into a chuck, zoom over and touch off to find the length of the now mounted drill. That length is then used to properly drill holes to depth.
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
Last year I tried to buy one of these but the Chinese store cancelled the order. I was refunded but never did try again.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000480545163.html
With these you can load a tool, move over and go down until contact is made. No clip lead needed on the tool. As long as you know the height of the sensor assembly you can then enter the tool length into the tool table for either MACH or LinuxCNC. However, it doesn't help with finding the top of the work say mounted in the vise.
Tormach also sells a holder along with a gauge so you can measure the distance from the TT Reference surface to a tool tip. Then you can enter that in relative to the quill.
I think I'd rather have the sensor mounted on the table so that I can put a drill bit into a chuck, zoom over and touch off to find the length of the now mounted drill. That length is then used to properly drill holes to depth.

I agree. I have no interest in cnc so setting tools to a standard dimension doesn't work. The only way I can see to do an electronic system is as you suggest - the sensor system has to be on the table, not in the spindle.
 

DPittman

Ultra Member
Premium Member
but man I hate YouTube. I fell asleep watching these videos. I really HATE the way videos like these take forever to show one minute of good content.
Yes sometimes that's the case, people pontificate about things and possibilities and say alot of words without really enlightening anyone but themselves it seems. However sometimes roses grow among manure.
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
Regardless, I believe you are missing out by not using a standard. You need to make one and try it. I'll wager a coffee you will wonder how you ever got along without it. I like my coffee double cream..... ;)
I guess I didn't explain myself properly. I do have a standard, its just a piece of stock like your pic machined to equal my spindle height. But rather than have it sit on the bed & bring the tool up to it (not always convenient) I just set it up on a flat surface & use it as a dedicated gage block to zero my indicator held in mag stand essentially as @thestelster shows in post#8. Then I bring that over to the lathe, mag base on lathe bed & indicator registers on the tool tip. I guess some advantages to this method is you can extend the arm out to different positions & its also providing dimensional feedback, high by a thou, low by thou, zero by a thou... :) etc. maybe if you prefer to have it offset from center by some difference for some cutting reason. The only improvement I would suggest is screw on a flat indicator anvil vs a ball, just easier to register to pointy tip cutting tool vs a ball end.
 

Attachments

  • EDT-2022-07-21 10.56.22 PM.jpg
    EDT-2022-07-21 10.56.22 PM.jpg
    39.4 KB · Views: 3
Last edited:

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
I guess some advantages to this method is you can extend the arm out to different positions & its providing dimensional feedback, high by a thou, low by thou, zero by a thou... :) etc. maybe if you prefer to have it offset from center by some difference for some cutting reason. The only improvement I would suggest is screw on a flat indicator anvil vs a ball, just easier to register to pointy tip cutting tool vs a ball end.

I see. That makes sense. And instinctively I agree that a flat tip would probably be better.

If you need the dimensional aspect for any of the reasons that you describe, then a measurement is required. Simple as that.

Nothing would preclude me from doing that with mine if I ever needed to or wanted to. Normally I wouldn't and in the time I've had my standard (about 10 years) I've never needed to. Center is center - simple as that. I think it's just the extra step of bringing a measurement into the picture that I have avoided. But if I ever needed that on a regular basis, I'd do exactly what you did and set up a dedicated indicator.

I suspect that there is something about your lathe bed that makes this a bit more necessary than mine. In @thestelster's case, the difference is simple. He needs to know how thick a shim he needs. If I recall correctly, you have a wedge style tool post so that isn't required.

Could you take a look at my photos above and comment on that? Perhaps also post a similar picture of your bed and tool post tool holder geometry here?
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
I think I'd rather have the sensor mounted on the table so that I can put a drill bit into a chuck, zoom over and touch off to find the length of the now mounted drill. That length is then used to properly drill holes to depth.

I clicked on your Ali link so that height gauge keeps popping up in my suggestions now. Which only serves to make me think about it more than I want to.

It's too tall as is and I think it requires a brain box of some kind to use.

I'm thinking about cutting apart a regular edge finder and mounting the end piece in a piece of flat stock that also holds the rest of the assembly laying on its side. I think that would make the entire assembly about an inch high or so. Easy peasy to touch off an end mill remove the top finder, and then either bring up the Z an inch or zero Z on a DRO to plus 1 inch.

The biggest negative to that is the ball or cylindrical nature of electronic edge finders. It would be better if it was an inch wide platten of some kind - like the one on Ali. I suppose one could make something that has a wire lead on it. That way perhaps one could make two flat caps for it so it could sit flat on your work or your mill table to provide a touch-off for end mills or fly cutters.

The more I think about this, the more I like @thestelster 's feeler gauge method.......
 

Dusty

(Bill)
Premium Member
For what it's worth I found this one accurate, handy and easy to use. Just saying!

 

thestelster

Ultra Member
Premium Member
For what it's worth I found this one accurate, handy and easy to use. Just saying!

Holy smokes @Dusty
You reminded me that I have something similar. And it works quite well, but the lathe has to be level in the front/back direction since it relys on a bubble level. Though I have seen one which is adjustable, and made of aluminium.
 

Attachments

  • 20220722_094630.jpg
    20220722_094630.jpg
    571 KB · Views: 3

YYCHM

(Craig)
Premium Member
Holy smokes @Dusty
You reminded me that I have something similar. And it works quite well, but the lathe has to be level in the front/back direction since it relys on a bubble level. Though I have seen one which is adjustable, and made of aluminium.

How do you use this one?
 

ShawnR

Ultra Member
Premium Member
If I've done it right this link should point to a short video, hand held cell phone, of my CNC router doing homing. It's a short script in MACH3 that moves down until the contact is made. It then adds 0.062" (PC board thickness) to that point and sets that as 0.000" for the Z axis.

I know they sell electronic edge finders but @jcdammeyer video, with the alligator clip, makes me think that a simple LED circuit can be made up (haphazardly or in a nice little box...;) ) to be used when looking for an Z axis zero. Alligator to the bit, other one to the table or work piece and a battery, resistor and led. Should be a fairly accurate vertical zero, me thinks.
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
Not really pertaining to center height because its showing from DOC section perspective, but I like magnified Slow-Mo videos. One can better visualize the effect of rake angle & DOC how materials might shear & pile up differently. And then there's chip breaker geometry & tool vibration & dullening & cutting fluid effect & all that good stuff....

 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
Just put the v on the part, and the shelf on the cutter tip. You can also use it on the rear of the part for checking boring bar height.

Pretty cool device @thestelster! Prolly a pain to make but shouldn't cost too much to buy.

Prolly a good solution for those without a flat way. But prolly wouldn't help a poor SOB like you with a 4-way.;)
 

jcdammeyer

John
Premium Member
I clicked on your Ali link so that height gauge keeps popping up in my suggestions now. Which only serves to make me think about it more than I want to.

It's too tall as is and I think it requires a brain box of some kind to use.

I'm thinking about cutting apart a regular edge finder and mounting the end piece in a piece of flat stock that also holds the rest of the assembly laying on its side. I think that would make the entire assembly about an inch high or so. Easy peasy to touch off an end mill remove the top finder, and then either bring up the Z an inch or zero Z on a DRO to plus 1 inch.
It could be wired to an LED or if you have a DRO with a touch input. If clamped to the far corner of the mill table it's still lower than the vise. Once you've found the absolute location you can subtract or add an offset to bring it reference work clamped in the vise.

For edge finding I used one of these for years.
https://www.amazon.ca/FOWLER-54-575-600-0-200-Electronic-Finder/dp/B00DHMSIRA
Then promptly broke it when I jogged the wrong way.
Bought another one. Still have that. Was planning on running a wire to the Shumatech DRO. Just never got around to it. Manually jogging the XY axis and watching the LED come on was adequate. I'd then set the DRO to 0. It has a parameter for the diameter of the probe (0.2").

But then I found out about the edge finder in the second video along with a complete Python Screen for LinuxCNC. Hard to say if I'd buy that one right now since it's made by a guy in Belarus and the Russian supported countries are kind of off limits. But once I figured out how to properly integrate it with the screen I was able to have it automatically find 0 in both X and Y. Either internal or external. Or the center of a bored hole.

 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
You'll have to excuse the poor focus, but here's my lathe standard. I remember seeing oxtools' vids on the subject and got excited to make a fancy adjustable threaded version, but in the end I chose this much simpler design.

View attachment 25133

KISS KISS KISS. LMAO!

I AGREE! I could not use my cross slide. Surface is not flat. My flat way was just fine though.

You and @Dabbler both have a flat at the side. What advantage does that provide if any?
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
It could be wired to an LED or if you have a DRO with a touch input. If clamped to the far corner of the mill table it's still lower than the vise. Once you've found the absolute location you can subtract or add an offset to bring it reference work clamped in the vise.

For edge finding I used one of these for years.
https://www.amazon.ca/FOWLER-54-575-600-0-200-Electronic-Finder/dp/B00DHMSIRA
Then promptly broke it when I jogged the wrong way.
Bought another one. Still have that. Was planning on running a wire to the Shumatech DRO. Just never got around to it. Manually jogging the XY axis and watching the LED come on was adequate. I'd then set the DRO to 0. It has a parameter for the diameter of the probe (0.2").

But then I found out about the edge finder in the second video along with a complete Python Screen for LinuxCNC. Hard to say if I'd buy that one right now since it's made by a guy in Belarus and the Russian supported countries are kind of off limits. But once I figured out how to properly integrate it with the screen I was able to have it automatically find 0 in both X and Y. Either internal or external. Or the center of a bored hole.


As I said before, no cnc for me. Prolly not ever.

I have a Fowler and I like it. But I like this accusize unit even better.

Accusize Industrial Tools Electronic Short Shank Edge Finders with Sound Alert, C028-9273 https://a.co/d/266wAFQ

I find that the round ball gives a more consistent reading. Always repeatable within a tenth or even less (if I believe my DRO). LOL!

Off to the shop to noodle a Z sensor and try @thestelster 's method.
 

Six O Two

(Marco)
You and @Dabbler both have a flat at the side. What advantage does that provide if any?

It's easier to butt up the standard against a flat cutting edge, and I find the straight edge of the standard easier to measure against, vs how it would be against a curved edge. A curve can play tricks on you as it curves or falls away from the point of your tool.
 
Top