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Thread: Using steel rule and 90-degree tangent for centre height tool setting Quick and easy

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Thanked 9 Times in 4 Posts

    Thumbs up The best is usually the simplest and most efective

    The only tool settersI saw in 40 years as a prototype machinest, instructor and master machinest are the ones supplied with the Hardinge lathe. They are simple and well made.
    Now after all my working years I rarely used anything to set the tool hight. You can usually tell by the way the tool is cutting. When facing you'll leave a stub if you are too low and if you are too high you won't be able to cut to the center.
    The "Calibrated Eyeball" is often used and being within a few thousandths is close enough for most jobs. When you are doing precision work and need to be "very careful", that's when you use the scale against the round part of the work or something on the tailstock that is on center.
    Another trick is when you are facing a part and cut low, reset on the small remaining stub by eye and you'll be very close to "on center".

    Quote Originally Posted by thehomeengineer View Post
    Hi All
    I have seen a lot of lathe centre height setting gauges. (which I might add are nicely made) I usually set my tools against the revolving centre or dead centre from the tailstock. If I need to set a tool half way in to a job which is supported by the tailstock I use the following quick fix. I use a steel rule and simply set this between the work piece and the tool to be set. If the rule leans forward the tool is to high and if the rule leans back to low. So, when the rule is upright the tool is on centre height and therefore, the cutting edge must be at a 90-degree tangent to the centre line/height of the machine. Simply and very quick.

    photo showing rule between component and rule

    Attachment 22297

    Tool to high

    Attachment 22298

    Tool to low

    Attachment 22299

    Tool at centre height

    Attachment 22300

    Thank you for viewing
    The Home Engineer

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  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jonny For This Useful Post:

    thehomeengineer (Jun 21, 2018), Toolmaker51 (Oct 17, 2018)

  3. #12
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    Jan 2016
    Southern tip of Vancouver Island
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    "But!!! It is made in USA." Funnee! Seriously. Liked your post. Your "spellen" as well.

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    Last edited by volodar; Jan 18, 2019 at 08:45 AM.

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to volodar For This Useful Post:

    thehomeengineer (Jun 21, 2018)

  5. #13
    Supporting Member Radioman's Avatar
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    Jun 2018
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    Radioman's Tools
    I learned something today. Thank You.

  6. #14
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    Aug 2018
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    Sometimes you can read instructions and general information, and even specific information, but you just can't make "it click" in your brain. But you sir have cut through all of the smoke and mystery with a simple, quick, and easily understandible golden nugget of information. Thank you for your post and Pictures.

  7. #15
    Supporting Member Toolmaker51's Avatar
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    Feb 2016
    Midwest USA
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    I can't recall EVER clicking 'Thanks' on so many posts in a thread. Because each is a valid point. Some lathes haven't a machined area on cross slide, making a gauge stand ineffective. That is a logical starting point for what to do instead. The vertical scale is most widely used; but like most tools just isn't the ticket for all situations.
    As one getting paid to run projects, has a lot to do about what is done when. One lathe runs a turret toolpost, heights are shimmed. Not bad for insert or brazed tools; PITA for HSS regrinds. My common approach is to set tool #1 with a scale.......then to scribe it lightly across the material. That scribed line is used to reference other cutters. If boring, I'll scribe the face as well. Using a height post here would triple+ time to complete a setup.
    But another lathe has a gauge post and quick change, so the options change.
    ...we'll learn more by wandering than searching...

  8. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Toolmaker51 For This Useful Post:

    Frank S (Oct 17, 2018), Paul Jones (Oct 20, 2018), PJs (Oct 17, 2018)

  9. #16
    C Tucker's Avatar
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    Jan 2019
    Thanked 14 Times in 9 Posts
    That's the way I learned to set any tool when I started my first lathe job back in the mid 70's.
    I never did understand taking time to build a tool height gauge, when I had the tool in my pocket, a 6 inch flexible scale.

  10. #17
    Supporting Member jimfols's Avatar
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    Sep 2015
    Ontario Calif USA
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    For 60 years I've used a Thread Pitch Gauge and it has worked well. Plus it's always right there.
    I can see the extra length of the rule would be better.

  11. #18
    Supporting Member MadTrapper's Avatar
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    May 2016
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    MadTrapper's Tools
    I was taught to use a brass shim as that preserved the tip of the tool? As long as you are not ham fisted then fine?

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