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TIP: No More Turns Counting

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  • TIP: No More Turns Counting

    This is a tip for those of us who don’t have DROs or CNC and who still use the dial readings when milling. I have no trouble reading the dials but counting turns on a long cut can be a challenge. There are always so many other things competing for your attention. Applying cutting fluid, clearing chips out of the way, wondering what that new sound was, etc. After I had to re start a 1.68â€‌ slot I was milling for the third time because I was unsure of the turns count, I decided that something was needed to help.

    In about three minutes at the computer with my CAD program, I had a two inch paper scale that was divided into tenth inches and nicely numbered in the direction I was working. I also drew an index pointer right next to it. The accuracy need not be of the order of a caliper or even of a shop scale, but modern CAD programs and printers will produce a surprisingly accurate drawing when printed at a 1:1 scale. If the error is less than 1/40â€‌ at the full length, it is OK. If you are making a really long one, say 10â€‌ or more, I would check it against a good scale before use. In most CAD programs, you can adjust the print ratio to produce an accurate print on your printer. Notice that I used thick lines (0.007â€‌ wide) for easy reading.



    The two parts were cut out and slapped onto the table and cross slide of the mill with a few hobby magnets (I bought a pack of 50 at Wal-Mart for a couple of dollars and use them for many things around the shop).



    The index arrow was set to the zero at the start of the cut and I made a small pencil mark on the scale between the 1.6 and 1.7 inch marks to indicate the end. Now all it takes is a quick glance at the scale to see how close to the end I am. No more forgetting the count. Actually, no more counting, period.

    The picture was taken after nine parts were finished, two hours of milling, so it held up well. Using this technique, scales of any length can be made. Marks can be placed on them for any length cuts or at multiple hole locations. They could be used on other machines also; lathe or any machine that has slides and dials. Of course, you still have to read the dials for the exact locations but this eliminates the confusion and doubt of counting turns. Freedom!

    Paul Alciatore
    Paul A.
    SE Texas

    Make it fit.
    You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

  • #2
    Paul, neat idea, portable and cheap. Thanks for the idea.

    Joe

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    • #3
      Paul,
      Congrats! Beats my grease pencil and the old count... 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, etc.
      Ed
      Ed Pacenka

      Comment


      • #4
        Paul, this is why I use scales reading in tenths of an inch. Next, I use your idea all the time, just not as fancy. I use a fine-tip majic marker to mark my "0", then measure over and mark my stop point. This way if I get distracted, no problem. IDEA- you could clamp a 8 or 12" digital depth mic (or equiv.) on your machine and a lever to "catch" it. Using it would be easy and you can zero it to read either pushing or pulling the sliding rail/rod!.

        Comment


        • #5
          You can do this to the od on your lathe chucks/faceplates in degrees ,if done with care it is accurate enough for most jobs.
          Lumpsmith

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          • #6
            Paul, Neat idea but once you have determined the first long move just wondering why you don't use those sticky up metal bits to either side of the top magnets,
            You know the bed stops.

            John S.
            .

            Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



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            • #7
              Absolutely brilliant!!!

              All that you have to do now is put another scale underneath and you have the cheapest vernier in history.

              Gob smackin' in its simplicity

              Congratulations

              Comment


              • #8
                That's a good idea.

                Someone used to make these out of plastic
                with a venier scale imbossed on.

                You could hold -+ .oo1.

                They had a self sticking back surface so you could mount them anywhere. And we did.

                You stuck them on, then cut them with a razor blade across the joint.

                kap

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                • #9
                  Paul, you might want to put your magnets in some thin plastic bags. It will make it a lot easier to remove all the sharp steel splinters that will be sticking to them.

                  cheers,
                  Michael

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I did the same thing to make a hand wheel scale for the down feed on my shaper. It took several tries to get the paper strip to match the circumferance of the dial diameter, but by using the CAD program scaling feature no problem. A couple coats of spray lac to protect the paper and it worked for me.
                    Don Warner
                    P.S. The same scaling feature would work for making the vernier scale.

                    ------------------

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Paul,
                      Just re-read my original post, it sounds a bit like sour grapes, wasn't meant to. Good tip.

                      Don, I also did this on my old slotter, it had a 200 mark dial and it was about 1" in diameter.
                      Even Stevie Wonder couldn't read this on a good day.

                      John S.
                      .

                      Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Good job, mind if I use the idea and make a few improvements to make it "student proof"?
                        CCBW, MAH

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                        • #13
                          John, No offense taken. This is just a BS session and we have to say what we think.

                          Others, I have thought of the vernier thing. I even designed a triple vernier scale for my drill press spindle feed: mm in 1/20s, inches in thousanths, and inches by 1/128ths (or was it 1/256ths). With some care, a graphics program and a good printer can be coaxed to the necessary accuracy. I never built it due to lack of time. But iot would be far, far better than the built in scale.

                          In this case, I think that it would be easier to read the lead screw dials. And more accurate than a homemade Vernier.

                          spope, Please, go ahead and try. But I doubt that anything can be made "student proof". Let us know of your results. And of the students interactions.

                          Thanks to all for the comments. I am happy to see it so well recieved.

                          Paul A.
                          Paul A.
                          SE Texas

                          Make it fit.
                          You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            A question about accuracy. Don't have a cad program but I do have Corel Draw. It shows measurments out to three digits. Is this true? Don't have a printer right now. But is some accuracy lost when sending it to the printer? Or does it matter what type of printer would be best, inkjet, laser? to attain that.

                            Used it to make a 2 foot diameter degree wheel for an artist friend. And it worked perfect, but for what they were doing being super accurate wasn't neccesary. Just curious.

                            ------------------
                            Gene
                            Gene

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by topct:
                              A question about accuracy. Don't have a cad program but I do have Corel Draw. It shows measurments out to three digits. Is this true? Don't have a printer right now. But is some accuracy lost when sending it to the printer? Or does it matter what type of printer would be best, inkjet, laser? to attain that.

                              Used it to make a 2 foot diameter degree wheel for an artist friend. And it worked perfect, but for what they were doing being super accurate wasn't neccesary. Just curious.

                              </font>
                              As long as the program is vector based, which I believe Corel Draw is, you should be ok.

                              Try a quick & dirty sample tick marked strip and check it with calipers before investing to much time.

                              Ed
                              Ed Pacenka

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