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setting lathe tool height

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  • setting lathe tool height

    Got to thinking about all the posts I've seen with people having trouble getting a tool set to the proper height. My favorite method is one an old machinist showed me years ago. I keep a small piece of sheet steel, about 14 gauge, about 1/2" x 5" in my toolbox. I place it vertically between the shaft and tool tip, pinching it between the two (gently), and see if it stands vertically. It's a simple matter to adjust your tool to the proper height using this method, and I find that even just eyeballing it is plenty close enough to face a shaft to center without leaving a nub at the center of a shaft. Lets hear your ideas.
    Pete

  • #2
    A friend turned a bit of bar stock (about 1.5" OD) and faced it to the center height distance from the cross slide. He then screwed a piece of flat stock to the top and he has a gauge that will sit on his cross slide and let him set all of his tool holders before starting work.

    cheers,
    Michael

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    • #3
      I use Pete's method, but with my 6" scale. It's almost always handy.

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      • #4
        Same as Vinito.

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        • #5
          I have used Vinito's way for a great long time. Charlie
          Don\'t ask me to do a dam thing, I\'m retired.
          http://home.earthlink.net/~kcprecision/

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          • #6
            I keep a surface gauge for use on the cross slide for setting height. On some inserts, the old method of using a 6" rule doesn't work.

            Don Clement
            Running Springs, California

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            • #7
              I made up a simple tool based on the height gauge idea I saw on this forum, and I use it all the time. It's incredibly accurate, fast and easy. I, too, have found that the pinched straightedge can be a bit "iffy."

              http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Mach...heightset.html
              Cheers,

              Frank Ford
              HomeShopTech

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              • #8
                Im with bill vinito and pete I always have my six inch scale in my pocket of my work shirt, and it works just fine.

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                • #9
                  you always have the tailstock center and a eye ball to get close.

                  In school we used the steel rule trick.

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                  • #10
                    Another vote for the 6" scale , was one of the first little tricks i was shown.
                    jack

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                    • #11
                      you have to love the steel hook trick

                      I did not need it on my first machine shop job, it was booring 32" holes on 350 lbs castings at a foundry.
                      It was more like, make parts and not get killed.

                      lol Im not jokeing

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                      • #12
                        I use the vertical rule and a square on the cross slide to line it up,it's easy to double check by doing a light facing cut to see if it leaves a pip.

                        Allan

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                        • #13
                          Another little trick when you get to the next step of putting a side hole in that round stock is touch the c-drill lightly on work and drag the tool(spinning of course) back and forth without moving the quill.
                          that will leave a little mark that you line up on the center of that.
                          depending on the quality of your eyeballs, you can get within a couple thou of true center.
                          *sigh*now for the the tricks ive forgotten? many more of those than id care to admit.
                          lots a luck with your projects...
                          jack

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                          • #14
                            I adjust my tool usually when I face a part. If not then I set to the live center point in the taistock quill. I use a rocker post most of the time but my holder is shop made by me. It has no rake built in like the Armstrong HSS holders.

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                            • #15
                              If the steel rule doesnt quite do it sometimes, I will take a light facing cut and adjust so the little nub is turned away, then you know for certain its on center.
                              Geez, some lathes are so big, I guess it is a fight for your life, some of those chips I bet could sever your arm or decapitate you!

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