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Black Forest
12-14-2011, 09:20 AM
I asked my friend Nick how he checked his tool height. He sent me a picture of a holder for a DI.

So because when I grow up I want to be just like Nick I built one for myself.

I took a very heavy piece of steel that I squared up and put a vitical rod bla bla bla.

I put an 8mm ground rod in the chuck and then adjusted the DI so the needle would zero when the plunger was moved up 1 mm.

So because I have the Multifix tool post it is a simple matter to raise the tool holder until the tip of the tool raises the plunger on the DI one mm.

How do you all do it?

http://i853.photobucket.com/albums/ab91/burnandreturn/Photo-0036.jpg

PixMan
12-14-2011, 09:35 AM
I just use a simple block of steel that measures in length the same distance from the top of the flat bedway on the lathe to the spindle center of rotation.

It's a highly complex tool, as you can see in the photo below. ;)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v466/kenm10759/Dads%20shop/IMG_1493-r.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v466/kenm10759/Dads%20shop/IMG_1494-r.jpg

I just match up the height visually. Yours is more exacting, my method relies upon having a fingernail to detect any difference between the tool and the top of the block. :D The "center guage" and it's poor spelling came with the machine, not my doing.

BTW, nice tool holder and those MultiFix quick change tool posts are awesome!

J.Ramsey
12-14-2011, 09:37 AM
http://img641.imageshack.us/img641/6729/ruler1i.jpg

bewards
12-14-2011, 09:44 AM
I made a couple of tools:
http://i791.photobucket.com/albums/yy200/wbedwards/Lathe/first%20threads%20and%20other%20projects/DSCN6310.jpg
http://i791.photobucket.com/albums/yy200/wbedwards/Lathe/first%20threads%20and%20other%20projects/DSCN6313.jpg

they are really handy when all you have a lamp post tool holder :rolleyes:


be

Black Forest
12-14-2011, 09:47 AM
J.Ramsey that is how I used to do it. Now that I bought all this Walter tooling I wanted to get as exact as I could figure out how to do it.

The one finishing insert has such a fragile tip that when I move the tool into the vertical shim to hold it against the work it chipped the insert. So I wanted a more "gentle" method. THe same as zeroing my DRO. When I cranked the tip into the workpiece to find zero I chipped the tip. So now to zero I have the workpiece turning and come in till I see it touch and then zero.

These finishng inserts are strange in that I can take a 2mm depth of cut in steel with now issues and get a great finish. Just don't bump them in any manner with stationary workpiece.

Hey I am a farmer not a watchmaker!!!!

J.Ramsey
12-14-2011, 10:07 AM
If I need perfect center which is 3.875 above the cross slide I use my $40 Grizzly height gauge.

http://img542.imageshack.us/img542/3517/heightguage.jpg

PixMan
12-14-2011, 10:11 AM
Count me as one who is no fan of the scale between the tool and the work method! It can damage the scale and/or the tool, though the workpiece usually survives. I've seen the 6" Starrett scale of a friend, all pock-marked and almost unreadable from doing that. He never mentions of he's chipped a tool.

RussZHC
12-14-2011, 10:17 AM
First real thing I turned when everything was square and flat enough for my use...simple column, counter bored one end for a magnet, flat way to centerline height, eyeball...one correction will be to make it an "L", eyeball becoming questionable, so I think a "touch" will work better

rkepler
12-14-2011, 10:27 AM
I use one of these:

http://www.nolansupply.com/small_images/32269.jpg

Source:

http://www.nolansupply.com/bysubcategory.asp?category=Indexable+Cutting+Tools&supercategory=Indexable+Replacement+Parts+-+Circle+Machine&subcategory=Circle+Machine+Company+Uni-Level+Set-Up+Level%26nbsp%3B&type=False&specs=True

http://tinyurl.com/cnkcqyz

I have that model listed but also an old one made of plastic that I usually reach for first. The level that you get with it should serve as a 'first guess' and it's tweaked for performance.

Deus Machina
12-14-2011, 10:42 AM
I'll make a tool for it eventually. Until then, since most of my work is done with tools that will both turn and face (I turn a lot of shoulders), I do it the old-fashioned way. I chuck up a random scrap and face it off. When it leaves neither a peg nor a cone, it's on center.

moe1942
12-14-2011, 10:54 AM
Count me as one who is no fan of the scale between the tool and the work method! It can damage the scale and/or the tool, though the workpiece usually survives. I've seen the 6" Starrett scale of a friend, all pock-marked and almost unreadable from doing that. He never mentions of he's chipped a tool.



I use a six inch scale. Back side. Never use that data. Only advance the cross slide enough to hold the scale, doesn't hurt the tool. Accurate enough for 99% of turning.

Tony
12-14-2011, 10:59 AM
BF -- you used a DI on an 8mm rod and are offsetting 1mm?
did you mean 4mm? or do you prefer to set 3mm above center? :)

(unless I've *totally* missed the point here).

-Tony

GadgetBuilder
12-14-2011, 11:17 AM
I find the best tool height varies considerably based on work material and cutting diameter.

So I use the tailstock center to eyeball initial height and try to put the tip about 1% of work diameter above center. Try cutting and adjust height based on how it looks and sounds. When turning a lot off the diameter I pause and readjust down as needed.
Diameter changes rapidly when parting so it requires more frequent pauses to adjust but avoids the serious chatter I got when starting with the parting tool at center height.

PixMan
12-14-2011, 11:19 AM
I use a six inch scale. Back side. Never use that data. Only advance the cross slide enough to hold the scale, doesn't hurt the tool. Accurate enough for 99% of turning.

Well, to each his own I guess. I use measuring tools only for measuring things, screwdrivers for screws (not prying or chiseling), stuff like that. ;)

Harvey Melvin Richards
12-14-2011, 11:41 AM
I have a 4" piece of .030" feeler guage stock that I use to set the tool.

Spelling for you PixMan.

Tony
12-14-2011, 11:43 AM
... screwdrivers for screws (not prying or chiseling), stuff like that. ;)

Pixman, can you post a picture of that? a screwdriver for.. SCREWS?
I can only assume you mean to pry them out.

;)
Tony

EVguru
12-14-2011, 11:47 AM
Well, to each his own I guess. I use measuring tools only for measuring things, screwdrivers for screws (not prying or chiseling), stuff like that. ;)
The British Standards test for a flat bladed screwdriver included its ability to pry open a can of paint.

justanengineer
12-14-2011, 11:47 AM
So I use the tailstock center to eyeball initial height and try to put the tip about 1% of work diameter above center. Try cutting and adjust height based on how it looks and sounds. When turning a lot off the diameter I pause and readjust down as needed.
Diameter changes rapidly when parting so it requires more frequent pauses to adjust but avoids the serious chatter I got when starting with the parting tool at center height.

x2 on using the tailstock, but on center, always on center.

Horst
12-14-2011, 11:50 AM
I use the J.Ramsey method except that I have a 1/8" Al. strip instead of a scale so that I don't damage anything. If I need it really precise I set a square on the cross slide for a reference.

Jaakko Fagerlund
12-14-2011, 03:30 PM
Faced piece of scrap with M8 hole down the center and all-thread Locktited in the hole. This has then been bent to an L-shape at the top and free-handed on the benchgrinder to a point. This point is then adjusted in height to the centerheight of the lathe. Easy to use and accurate enough for about everything.

DickDastardly40
12-14-2011, 06:29 PM
I used to have a pic of the method I use but I have lost my photobucket password.

Find centre height by trial and error by facing some thing coming upwards with your tool until the pip is gone.

With permanent marker colour in a patch on the end of your tailstock ram.

Gently scribe the ink with your tool which is at centre height which should give you a good semi permanent reference for setting your tools next time.

For quick and dirty, I also use the 6" rule method.

lakeside53
12-14-2011, 09:45 PM
I use one of these:

http://www.nolansupply.com/small_images/32269.jpg

Source:

http://www.nolansupply.com/bysubcategory.asp?category=Indexable+Cutting+Tools&supercategory=Indexable+Replacement+Parts+-+Circle+Machine&subcategory=Circle+Machine+Company+Uni-Level+Set-Up+Level%26nbsp%3B&type=False&specs=True

http://tinyurl.com/cnkcqyz

I have that model listed but also an old one made of plastic that I usually reach for first. The level that you get with it should serve as a 'first guess' and it's tweaked for performance.


I have something similar - they work very well!

Carld
12-14-2011, 10:01 PM
I use a sharp dead center in the tailstock and then adjust slightly if needed after a facing cut.

spope14
12-14-2011, 10:22 PM
five different ways ways I use: height post, align the tool tip to a dead center in the tail or head stock, scale, indicator, or my favorite is using the reflection of the tool on the workpiece, about .010 away. The reflection of the tip gets sharpened/focused up when good and is slightly out of focus when not there. learned that as a tool maker apprentice.

Kiwi
12-15-2011, 12:05 AM
I use a little stainless rod cut to the right lenth place it on the bed and hold it up to the tool easy

jackary
12-15-2011, 08:25 AM
I put a D bit which is exactly half the diameter in the chuck and level the cutting edge to the top surface you can also rotate the chuck 180^ to check if the cutting edge just touches the underside of the flat surface. I have also made a simple tool that rests on top of the tool post which is set at the centre height.
http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m287/jackary2003/th_Photo17a.jpg (http://s107.photobucket.com/albums/m287/jackary2003/?action=view&current=Photo17a.jpg)

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m287/jackary2003/th_Photo26.jpg (http://s107.photobucket.com/albums/m287/jackary2003/?action=view&current=Photo26.jpg)

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m287/jackary2003/th_Toolheightguage.jpg (http://s107.photobucket.com/albums/m287/jackary2003/?action=view&current=Toolheightguage.jpg)

Alan

herbet999
12-15-2011, 08:34 AM
For us new guys (or this new guy) can someone explain the J. Ramsey method?

Thanks.

RussZHC
12-15-2011, 08:45 AM
The rule is held in place against the workpiece by the tip of the cutting tool and then you adjust the vertical positioning (by the adjustment screw of the tool holder) of that tip based on how perpendicular to the workpiece the rule is...the overall length of the rule relative to the very small "point" of the tool bit tip combined with what is most often a curved surface (round work piece) allows for quite accurate setting at the center...you're aiming for the rule to be 90* from the surface where the tool will make contact

herbet999
12-15-2011, 08:54 AM
clever... and simple

wierdscience
12-15-2011, 09:25 AM
Use a height gauge to set the tool once ,then use the tool to scribe the side of the tail stock barrel,use the scribed line from then on.

No gauges to fiddle with,no strips of metal to drop and no time lost doing so.

lost_cause
12-15-2011, 09:41 AM
The "center guage" and it's poor spelling came with the machine, not my doing.

wait - you're telling me that broken english existed in the tool industry before everything was made in the far east? i never knew.

PixMan
12-15-2011, 10:12 AM
No...the block of steel was clearly "Made in USA" long after the used Victor 1640 lathe that I'd been gifted was manufactured in Taiwan.

Blackadder
12-15-2011, 11:38 AM
the problem is with replaceable tipped tooling where is the actual cutting edge on some its hard to locate due to the profile of the tip , harder on negative rake

Scottike
12-15-2011, 01:19 PM
Here's the center height gauge I use.
http://i1085.photobucket.com/albums/j422/Scottike/Hgtgauge.jpg

I cobbled this together using a caliper that otherwise would have had an untimely demise because I dropped it a concrete floor and ruined the head.
I calibrated the scale height with the mag base installed at assembly by setting it on the flat of the ways and using a 4" mic standard.
I just raise my tool height until it just contacts the gauge and then check it by raising the jaw and bringing it back down to contact the tool tip.

PixMan
12-15-2011, 01:59 PM
I don't understand why you need to check center height of a tool on that lathe. Clearly it has never actually made a chip, as it is too surgically clean to have done so.

:D

Nice machine. Good use of an otherwise dead caliper.

Scottike
12-15-2011, 03:13 PM
Oh, it's made a few chips in the five years I've had it.
I'm just finishing up reassembling it, after a complete teardown, cleaning, and inspection.
I r&r'd all of the bushings in the QC box, a couple of shafts, and replaced a few gears that I felt were scary worn.
Since it was down, I painted the cabinet and bed, (and touched up a few other spots) I didn't take the time to paint them when I first got the lathe because I was in a hurry to make some chips.
This has been my "good days" project over the last six months while I went through chemo. I finished the chemo this week and only need to do the final alignment on the belts for the reeves drive and motor pulley and the lathe is ready to start making chips again. Life is getting good again.
http://i1085.photobucket.com/albums/j422/Scottike/Lathe1.jpg

edit: Just to keep things somewhat on topic, I used a Grizzly 12" level (.0005/10") to level the bed. ($81.75)
edit to my edit: Oops! wrong thread!