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Rapid Centering Of The Cutter In A Mill Vise

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  • Rapid Centering Of The Cutter In A Mill Vise

    Many times you want to drop a piece of flat stock in a vise and intend to mill the center and speed is important
    Here is a method that works slick for centering your cutter without using a edge finder or a DRO
    And if you want to mill the center of round bar for a key way, just drop in a flat bar that matches the diameter to get the cutter location first

    All it takes is two identical pieces of sheet metal triangles exactly alike !
    I think the pictures are self explanatory, but I'll review it as well .
    You can make the triages any size and have them next to the mill.
    Mine were made from a old "F" style ( flat ?) gallon thinner can .
    Clamp the pieces together and sand them at the same time on a belt sander ..done !
    You can have washers or bushing that closely fit the cutter , or use some flat ended round stock -whatever is on hand
    I have the metal angle in two colors for ease of viewing in function

    Click image for larger version

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    Now place the angles between the jaws that clamp your work piece -- and leave them !
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    Now move the Y Axis (Vise towards you ) and feed the table to the right

    Click image for larger version

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    You want to watch the left side of the Triangles --and when the left edges are even, you are DONE ! and on center

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    Click image for larger version

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    Green Bay, WI

  • #2
    And here we are on Center ...Time to ZERO the Dials or DRO
    Rich
    Sometimes simple things are the best

    Click image for larger version

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    Green Bay, WI

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    • #3
      Nice trick. Easy to make and looks like it's fast to use too.

      I tend to use either a) a wobbler or b) edge finder or c) cigarette paper. All work about as well. Is there a reason to use an end mill with that doughnut instead of a piece of round stock? It would seem to be a hassle to have a doughnut for every endmill size.
      At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

      Location: SF East Bay.

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      • #4
        Looks interesting. I will have to try it. And I wonder if it could be incorporated into a device that does not have separate pieces.

        Of course, there are places where errors can creep in. The triangles must remain against the vise jaws. The angle of the triangle helps there and it seems that it should be kept smaller than 45 degrees on the right ends as seen in the photos.

        And there is backlash in the screw to keep in mind. You will want to remember which way you were turning the feed when you reach that zero point and make any adjustments from center going the same way.

        But all in all it looks handy. Thanks!
        Paul A.
        SE Texas

        And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
        You will find that it has discrete steps.

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        • #5
          Looks handy for fairly close non exacting work, BUT I am rather disabled by arthritis, even just picking up work pieces and putting them on parallels and tightening the vice and checking to see they are seated hurts on a bad day.
          Using my edge finder. while involving handle twiddling, involves less pieces to pick up and place and perhaps less discomfort than having more pieces to juggle.
          It is so simple that I am tempted to try, Thanks for the idea.
          Regards David Powell.

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          • #6
            I'll trust my DRO and edge finder. Though it will put you close enough for most work. I like the thinking behind it.

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            • #7
              I use an edgefinder and calculator mostly but they're not mistake proof either. One can make a mistake with numeric entry on the calculator (done that) or make a math error in your head when you think .625" is half of 1-1/8" (done that too).

              I love easy shortcuts but there's no substitute for keeping the brain engaged.
              .
              "People will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time they will pick themselves up and carry on" : Winston Churchill

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              • #8
                Jesus take the wheel.!

                -Doozer
                DZER

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                • #9
                  nice dea. but i wonder, you mention the dro. dont you have the edge of the vise jaw stored?

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                  • #10
                    That's interesting but I'm thinking of the variables that could lead to inaccuracy such as any play between the cutter and the hole in the ring, slight difference in the angle of each triangle.

                    Have you noticed any irregularities because of these ??

                    JL.................

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                    • #11
                      It's Monday, for some it's, "Poke holes in my time saving tip day."

                      Thanks Rich. I can see the simplicity of it.

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                      • #12
                        Another little bit of info for me to store away for future reference. I will make a couple of triangle pairs and put them in the goodie drawer. The accuracy will increase with a smaller angle (more pointy). I see this method being very quick, but not intended for tight tolerances.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
                          ......... variables that could lead to inaccuracy such as any play between the cutter and the hole in the ring, slight difference in the angle of each triangle.

                          Have you noticed any irregularities because of these ??

                          JL.................
                          I initially thought that. But then it occurred to me that the pressure exerted by the sides of the triangles would cause the ring to self-center on the cutter.
                          Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by lynnl View Post

                            I initially thought that. But then it occurred to me that the pressure exerted by the sides of the triangles would cause the ring to self-center on the cutter.
                            Yes, the ring will center between the triangles but you could still move the cutter within the ring if there is play there. That was my thought.



                            JL......................

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                            • #15
                              For me it is much faster to simply make the spaces between the end mill and the vise jaws equal using a dial caliper. But I am about to install a DRO soon.
                              12" x 35" Logan 2557V lathe
                              Index "Super 55" mill
                              18" Vectrax vertical bandsaw
                              7" x 10" Vectrax mitering bandsaw
                              24" State disc sander

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