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Setting lathe QCTP tools on centerline

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  • BCRider
    replied
    Originally posted by mikey553 View Post
    Thank you BCRider for your kind words. But this describes only half of the story. I setup my master tool on the centerline and verified it by a trial facing cut. After that I just use an indicator to transfer the height from the master to any other tool. In my opinion it is more universal and more accurate than your gauge.
    Well there ya go... That's still a good pragmatic shortcut compared to doing the whole initial setup each time. I'm sorry if I missed that step in your original post.

    More than once while checking a difficult to set tool I've thought about the idea of a dedicated fixed stand with a cheap dial gauge on it. Some of the tools are hard to get a finger onto the tip of the cutting edge due to the cutter's shape or the way the holder crowds the tip.

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  • mikey553
    replied
    You just made my day!

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  • misterfxt
    replied
    Mikey553 It's a great idea. I'm gonna try it, as soon as I can get to the shop.
    Thanks for that, I'm sure others will try it also, just not these guys. They have their own methods that work for them, as we all do for certain things. Again thanks

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  • mikey553
    replied
    Thank you BCRider for your kind words. But this describes only half of the story. I setup my master tool on the centerline and verified it by a trial facing cut. After that I just use an indicator to transfer the height from the master to any other tool. In my opinion it is more universal and more accurate than your gauge.

    Leave a comment:


  • BCRider
    replied
    Originally posted by mikey553 View Post
    I just wanted to help you guys. I guess you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. So stay with your steel rule method.
    To be fair to your original post your method is what I did to find the actual height of my spindle in the first place. And armed with that measurement I made the "shortcut" gauge. Your method is very valid and certainly effective.

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  • macona
    replied
    I eyeball it. 99% of the time its close enough. For the other 1% I set it a touch low and face a piece of round and raise it til it no longer makes a nub.

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  • mikey553
    replied
    I just wanted to help you guys. I guess you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. So stay with your steel rule method.

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  • MrWhoopee
    replied
    Originally posted by Doozer View Post
    You are trying to achieve perfection
    on something that is not needed. Don't ruin the hobby.
    -D
    I find this to be a common affliction on hobby machinist forums. Not having been formally trained or worked in the trade, many have no understanding of what is critical and what is not.

    Chasing .0001 when .01 will do.

    Last edited by MrWhoopee; 01-19-2022, 04:41 PM.

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  • Butcher
    replied
    Originally posted by Doozer View Post
    I kind of held back to see the ideas presented here.
    All of which are very good. For sure.
    But I must say that the method I have used for years
    was just to face a round piece of steel, and if it leaves
    a tit in the middle, the tip of the tool is too low.
    Adjust higher and try again, sneak up on it.
    I really don't think with turning tools that a little low
    is going to hurt, and with boring tools that a little high
    is going to hurt. I really think you guys are making
    too much of this tool on center thing. Being OCD
    about it is just going to make the new bees paranoid
    and make using the lathe less fun. Shame on you all.
    If it cuts, it works. You are trying to achieve perfection
    on something that is not needed. Don't ruin the hobby.

    -D
    thank you!

    Leave a comment:


  • Doozer
    replied
    I kind of held back to see the ideas presented here.
    All of which are very good. For sure.
    But I must say that the method I have used for years
    was just to face a round piece of steel, and if it leaves
    a tit in the middle, the tip of the tool is too low.
    Adjust higher and try again, sneak up on it.
    I really don't think with turning tools that a little low
    is going to hurt, and with boring tools that a little high
    is going to hurt. I really think you guys are making
    too much of this tool on center thing. Being OCD
    about it is just going to make the new bees paranoid
    and make using the lathe less fun. Shame on you all.
    If it cuts, it works. You are trying to achieve perfection
    on something that is not needed. Don't ruin the hobby.

    -D

    Leave a comment:


  • lynnl
    replied
    Originally posted by BCRider View Post
    I'm thinking that the way with the rule or piece of shim stock would have been more usable before carbide inserts. I can't help thinking that one could fracture a lot of tips with this ruler trick unless pretty high degrees of care were not used.

    There's also the issue that on larger diameter work with a lesser change in angle over a degree of vertical change that the ruler trick becomes less precise and more open to an optimistic eyeball's judgement.

    .....
    I have never fractured or chipped a tool tip. But I do now have a 6" scale with numerous pock marks as a result of this use.

    You're right of course about less sensitivity with larger work pieces, but as others have described, a facing cut will reveal whether you're on center or not. ...in fact that is the only indicator that really matters.

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  • doc0455
    replied

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  • Richard P Wilson
    replied
    Originally posted by BCRider View Post
    I'm thinking that the way with the rule or piece of shim stock would have been more usable before carbide inserts. I can't help thinking that one could fracture a lot of tips with this ruler trick unless pretty high degrees of care were not used.

    Maybe, but you only need to lightly grip the rule, it shouldn't be enough to damage a tip.



    Hey Richard, I see that while the bed is round the cross slide still has a flat table on your Drummond lathes. So my own option of spinning the tool post around and using a gauge that sits on the table would still be an option for you. Of course this won't work with a rocker style post if that is still what you use.
    The roundbed Drummond has the facility to rotate the saddle around the bed, about 45 degrees each way, and when this happens, the tool height above the bed varies. Thats the way I set tool height, no shims needed, and I do admit to using the eyeball or facing cut methods as often as not. The height gauge tool just wouldn't work for me.

    Rocker style post? Hate them! The Drummonds came with a really rigid block toolpost, and thats what I still use.

    Leave a comment:


  • BCRider
    replied
    I'm thinking that the way with the rule or piece of shim stock would have been more usable before carbide inserts. I can't help thinking that one could fracture a lot of tips with this ruler trick unless pretty high degrees of care were not used.

    There's also the issue that on larger diameter work with a lesser change in angle over a degree of vertical change that the ruler trick becomes less precise and more open to an optimistic eyeball's judgement.

    Being a fan of HSS I used to just tune the height for a minimal pip on the first facing cuts. But I have to admit that having a good easy to use height gauge that does not rely on swapping tooling in the tail stock or work pieces already in the chuck has proven to be far more convenient, faster and more precise.

    Hey Richard, I see that while the bed is round the cross slide still has a flat table on your Drummond lathes. So my own option of spinning the tool post around and using a gauge that sits on the table would still be an option for you. Of course this won't work with a rocker style post if that is still what you use.

    Leave a comment:


  • The Metal Butcher
    replied
    Originally posted by Rich Carlstedt View Post
    I think your setup is nice, but there is a faster way that dates back to lantern Tool post days.
    Just hold a ( Aluminum Preferred) 6 inch scale between the work and tool point.
    bring the tool in and gently touch the scale to both workpiece and tool ( Clamping it so to speak.
    If the scale tilts away from you, you are too high
    If it tilts towards you, Too Low
    If the scale is vertical, you are on center

    Rich
    This is one of the reasons old time machinists wore aprons, with the scale pocket in the center of their chests

    PS Your method works great if you have multiple tools to set up at the same time using the DI !
    This is my method. However, if one is careless, very sharp tools can be chipped. Especially dead sharp threading tools. You can get a tool close with this method and fine tune it by faceing to center. Remember to set all your tools before you bore a hole. That gets me often at work where tools have inexplicably been moved off center for reasons unknown to man.

    Leave a comment:

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