How do you align your mill/router consistently when you change tools, move parts and have a low tech environment.
Use an enhanced Mark 1 Mod 0 eyeball with a bit of electronic assistance.
First of all, today was a good machinist day. I went to the local flea market and picked up a pair of calipers, a 6" engineers square and a set of feeler gauges for $20 total. I almost bought a X1 micro mill for $300 but remained reserved.
Jack, the gauges are Russian because the vendor told me the "CCCP" engraved on them meant they were from the old Soviet Union. Not quite sure about that but it made a nice story. The square is a beauty, an original mid-war Rabone from Brum as are the calipers.
He also put me on to a web site called CNC CAM http://www.c21systems.com/CNCCam/
which is the point of this post.
I strapped a webcam onto the mill with some cable ties and got the results below.
The video (to follow soon) should be self explanatory. Once I calibrate Mach3, I just need to configure a button on the screen using the free editor and allow for the offset of the camera.
This gives the concept
Any time I want to align tooling to a spot, I eyeball it on the 46" screen at 200x magnification, press "ALIGN" and away I go.
As long as I remember to zero the "Z" axis first to avoid any parallax issues then all is good. It also means my 4th axis is not so urgent; if if create 3 or 4 alignment marks on the obverse side of my milling subject, I can flip it on the table and use the marks on the reverse to align and hence mill the reverse face.
Oh happy day. Very Cool.
And the other one