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XY table - mounting a indicator

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  • XY table - mounting a indicator

    Yea, stupid question but if I knew, I wouldn't be asking here that's for sure. I want to cleanly mount an indicator on the larger XY table shown in this cell phone picture, so I am able to move it in precise increments, instead of using the dial on the XY table. <red-faced>

    Thanks in advance,

  • #2
    I'd likely start with trying to make up a holder for the gauge that fits into the front edge dovetail in place of one of the stops. The finger of the gauge could measure from the center stop block.

    That'll cover you for the X axis in a fine way. You'd need a second gauge for the Y axis.

    If you shop around a little you'll also find 2 inch travel dial gauges. I'd likely use such a gauge on the X axis and use the present 1 inch on the Y axis.

    ... um... where's the Y axis wheel? Around the back where we can't see it? I'm more used to seeing the travel stops shown on the front edge.
    Chilliwack BC, Canada


    • #3
      Replace the existing back of the indicator with a flat back. Epoxy a magnet to the flat back. Locate the indicator(s) appropriately on the table



      • #4
        I used 6in digital calipers on my xy table, that way i can set zero wherever i want and convert between imperial and metric. I used pieces of alu right angle to mount them.


        • #5
          I tried searching the forum for "ideas", examples but didn't find anything. Also tried the Internet with no results. Then again I didn't know what words to use in the search criteria but I did try. I thought it was odd nothing showed up. Makes me feel like a DA when I don't know the proper terminology to use while searching. I'm only interested in the X axis on the larger table (there is no Y axis on that table). That's an old telescope helical focuser on the smaller table that I use for my Z axis. The smaller table has and X/Y adjustment as well. I plan on buying a much longer indicator, probably 4 inches but was looking for "ways" to mount it. BTW, what are those "things" on the right side of the larger table for? Depending on what I'm doing I need to monitor the "steps" on the X axis on the larger table depending on a particular lens I'm using. In this case it's a Canon 65mm MP-E

          1X f/11 0.66 mm
          2X f/8 0.18 mm
          3X f/5.6 0.075 mm
          4X f/4 0.037 mm
          5X f/4 0.028 mm

          Eventually I will fabricate a different setup but this is working for me now, I just need to mount the indicator better and of course buy a longer one.

          Last edited by Smokedaddy; 07-27-2016, 08:22 PM.


          • #6
            That smaller one looks just like what I have on my big drill press, and and mine is a serious POS. The bigger one looks more legitimate.
            CNC machines only go through the motions.

            Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
            Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
            Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
            I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
            Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.


            • #7
              ....what are those "things" on the right side of the larger table for?
              I'm not sure what you mean by the "right side". If you are talking about the two odd lumps of metal in the dovetail slot that is on the FRONT EDGE of the table then those are travel stops. They "bump into" the rectangular block mounted to the base.

              They are very nice travel stops too. Micrometer adjust screws for fine tuning the stopping points. VERY nice.

              If you're keen on getting a long travel sort of setup then dial gauges are not really the best way to proceed. 1 inch models are cheap and for a lot of things will provide you with information for small but accurate movements. The 2 inch versions cost about double and are still limited to 2 inches of movement. A converted digital vernier mounted so the base moves the shuttle with the display and the beam is fixed to the table would give you 6 inches of measured travel. There's no easy and trim way to mount it though. You'd need to dream up a method and fabricate stuff.

              There's small digital readouts with pickup racks you can buy for quite cheap. You still need to fabricate stuff to mount them and do some drilling and tapping to install them. But here's one single axis example from Ebay that has a 12 inch range of operation.

              Chilliwack BC, Canada


              • #8
                There are several digital readouts available at low cost. Here is an example:


                • #9
                  Mount the indicator towards one end of the table. Install a Vee parallel to the indicator axis and use a set of standards along with a micrometer head so that the centerline of the standards is concentric with the indicator. Its old school and the way that it used to be done. I would imagine jig bore standards are cheaper than dirt these days

                  Couldn't find any of Flea Bay but there are a three jig bores that are cheaper than dirt now. Two SIPs for less than 3K, one at 1500. Plus an Atlantic for under 1000

                  Last edited by Spin Doctor; 07-28-2016, 07:02 PM.
                  Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.


                  • #10
                    ... thanks for the suggestions.