Friday, 31 January 2020

Lathe tool height gauge, and the kindness of makers.

Whilst this isn't the most earth shattering of makes I wanted to post about about it as it was nice the way that it came about. So above in the picture is a little gauge I have made using a piece of clear acrylic, a couple of 3d printed blocks and a small piece of mirror. The clear acrylic has been marked using a sharp scriber held in the lathe chuck to mark the height of the centre line of the chuck. Many lathe tools require to be set as accurately as possible to centre height or a position relative to centre height. It can be hard to see around the toolpost and this little tool means that I can quickly shim a tool to the required height and I can look directly down into the tool and see the tool tip and the centre line in the mirror helping a quick and accurate cut. It can be used facing the tool tip or sat alongside the tool if the tool is at 90 degrees to the chuck face. 

I've had this on my to try list for ages but I never seemed able to find a piece of mirror the right size and I didn't want to buy a larger glass mirror and cut it down. Here is where the kindness of makers comes in, I saw a friend of mine on twitter talking about how well this plastic mirror material was cutting on his laser cutter, shamelessly I enquired if he had any scraps that a 30mm square could be made out of, luckily he had a 35mm length of scrap and was kind enough to cut me a few squares and post them up to me. Maker community rocks!

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