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  1. #1
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    Digital Height Gauge...

    Hey guys,
    I am still on the prowl for a decent digital height gauge. I would love a Starret or Mitutoyo but as usual that is probably not in the cards. I was surfin' ebay and found this thing....

    12" DIGITAL HEIGHT GAGE GAUGE BRAND NEW - eBay (item 160547073206 end time Feb-23-11 01:14:08 PST)

    It is from Ebay seller 800watt. Does anyone here have it and is it a piece of crap or a decent unit? Obviously the price is okay but I just wonder if it is any good. I really need one to do my offline measurement of the TTS tooling. Makes for a more accurate setup and honestly it would just look cool on my huge surface plate. I knew I bought that damn thing for something right...

    If you guys have another one that is a good deal and relatively inexpensive I would love to hear about it. Peace

    Pete

  2. #2
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    Jermie
    http://www.eartaker.net http://thehorticulture.net

  3. #3
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    Jermie....

    Hey thanks for that man but that is just a little more than I want to spend for one at this time. Altho I am really glad you posted that page because I have wanted to find that dial indicator holder for setting the zero with and I had actually started to make one but if they are that cheap I will just turn that holder I was making into a flycutter or something. I also like the looks of that edgefinder they sell. I have been wanting to try some probing with the mill and that thing would make a great TTS probe I think. Heck if you bought that TTS probe and did your tool locating with it and then set your Z zero with it electronically it would be a do it all tool really. Just gotta make sure you are careful with the movements. Again thanks for the link... peace

    Pete

  4. #4
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    I have bought a few tools from that seller.
    Chinese made tools, some surprisingly good.
    I have some digimatic calipers of Chinese origin, again, surprisingly accurate.

    That's my experience, YMMV

    Joe

  5. #5
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    Pete,

    I go there a lot and hope one day the wife will let me but the set lol. I will be investing in some Tormach tooling once I have the mill up and running.
    Jermie
    http://www.eartaker.net http://thehorticulture.net

  6. #6
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    This is how I got around that back in the day.
    [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkQGRhWWj8Q"]YouTube - setting tool heights with DRO[/nomedia]

    I have a surface plate now but still no height guage, that's a good price.
    Hoss
    http://www.hossmachine.info - Gosh, you've... really got some nice toys here. - Roy Batty -- http://www.g0704.com - http://www.bf20.com - http://www.g0602.com

  7. #7
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    Honestly....

    I have been using it for some time now and made tons of chips with it and I really like it. The Z zero repeatability is excellent and I only touch off once. The issues a lot of people complain about are really not there if you are careful with cleaning the shafts and properly tighten the drawbar on them. I make some relatively heavy cuts and push my machine pretty hard sometimes. The collet holders are very nice and honestly if you intend to buy the kit I would look at getting some 3/4 shank collet holders from maritool. You will have the option to use ER32 holders if you do and that can hold a larger bit. I am using mostly ER20 holders and some setscrew holders. I made my Boring head holder from a Shars 3/4 shank boring head holder and it works great. I also have made a few cutters with 3/4 shanks into TTS tooling. It really is a great way to go and you have access to the whole Tormach line and ANY 3/4 shank tooling out there. Since our buddy Hoss has figured out how to make a powerful enough cylinder to adequately hold the TTS tooling it is a no brainer to me really. If it is strong enough for the Tormach mill then it is strong enough for my machine too and so far it certainly is. I also really like the very short toolholders makes changing tools easier. With the RF45 and IH machine Z height is not a problem so that is not as much a factor on our mills but if you have a RF31 or one of the smaller machines it can be and the short tool height can become a very welcome aspect. I have to get a decent facemill setup in one and also gotta figure out how to convert my slitting saw arbor somehow. There are of course other options in tooling but none have the large variety for reasonable cost that I have seen. Peace

    Pete

  8. #8
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    Hoss....

    I have seen your video and have actually tried it on my mill. Worked fine really but it is kinda difficult to measure endmills because I always had to move the table a little to get to the lowest point on the cutter. Always wondered if that affected the accuracy any. Probably not much really. Having a nice digital height gauge tho would make this a more simple setup and offline measuring on a nice surface plate has gotta be more accurate really. I also think that a nice height gauge with a carbide scribe can be really useful for marking and locating marks on workpieces. There are tons of things I do with a simple caliper that would be more accurately done with a nice rigid height gauge. Which price were you referring to as being a good one the Tormach one or the 800Watt one... ? peace

    Pete

  9. #9
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    Pete,

    I understand what your saying. I really don't want to throw down $800 on a set of tooling that I might not use all of the tooling at once. I was planning on building up over time and $100 per ER-20 holder seems to quite expensive. I would like to try and make some set screw holders but I am worried about the TIR. Never hurts to try though. I was looking at converting one of the Shars 2" face mills to a Tormach style tool but they are always out of stock.
    Jermie
    http://www.eartaker.net http://thehorticulture.net

  10. #10
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    I have considered that.....

    The runout of the collet holders is much better from my experience than the setscrew ones. If you are gonna make your own I am sure if you were careful and you used a decent lathe it should be pretty good really. If you do not care about your time and you make a large batch of them it would be worthwhile. The setscrew holders are pretty cheap, I use them for my hogging mills and mills that I do not care about the cuts accuracy because I am gonna follow it with a finish pass with a collet holder mounted mill I have optimized the runout on. It makes a BIG difference in cut quality that way and you can still hog to your hearts content with the cheaper cutter.

    Speaking of TTS tooling I am placing an order for my new Tension Compression tapping head and collets and I just thought I would ask this question of you guys, if you were to purchase a TTS tool for zero setting your test tool as it were, would you think it would be better to purchase one of their nice TTS shanked electronic edgefinders and convert it to a probe with a lead back to the controller as a lot of people have done or would you just get the Dial indicator mounted TTS holder for the Z presetting and continue using a traditional edgefinder as I am doing with a collet mounted and runout optimized endgefinder from starrett? I like the edgefinder for locating material and if that one they sell is any good at all I could put one tool in the spindle, locate X, y, and then carefully probe Z and use the setting as my number one tool which I use as my test tool of which everything else is measured from. Tormach shows in their video that they use the dial indicator mounted tool and set height of material that way and the tool is setup as number one in the tooltable for zero reference... Cannot decide what to do and I want to finally get this stuff ordered. I am really anxious to try tapping with my newfound reversing setup here. Gonna be really cool... peace

    Pete

  11. #11
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    Just throwing this out there since its on topic I have an 18" Mititoyo height gage for sale(metric actually 0-450mm)...just needs a scriber tip or whatever you wish to use and the clamp...

    its not digital but it does have the dual counters

    nothing wrong with it its just too big for my use...and Id also like a digital gauge or something I would use more often.

    if anyone is interested pm me
    http://www.g0704.blogspot.com/

  12. #12
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    DAMN MAN!!

    Why did it have to be METRIC!! freakin' metric.... I'm goin' to bed now and cry myself to sleep...peace

    Pete

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by pete from TN View Post
    Why did it have to be METRIC!! freakin' metric.... I'm goin' to bed now and cry myself to sleep...peace

    Pete
    LOL @ Pete,

    hey man I can throw in the conversion formula for free lol metric/25.4 presto!!!
    http://www.g0704.blogspot.com/

  14. #14
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    Yeah man....

    I know the formula... just do not want to be reaching for the calculator every time I measure some damn thing... I would love to get my hands on a nice MItutoyo height gauge in INCH readings but they are so DAMN expensive.... Oh well I can dream can't I... Thanks for the offer tho and I am sure that if the price is right someone in one of the metric speaking countries would jump on it..haha peace

    Pete

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by pete from TN View Post
    I know the formula... just do not want to be reaching for the calculator every time I measure some damn thing... I would love to get my hands on a nice MItutoyo height gauge in INCH readings but they are so DAMN expensive.... Oh well I can dream can't I... Thanks for the offer tho and I am sure that if the price is right someone in one of the metric speaking countries would jump on it..haha peace

    Pete
    Pete,

    you should take some "metric as a second launguage classes" lmao...
    bah, I was the same way until I went to work for Toyota, now I use both systems equally. just got used to keeping a calculator handy...and I think equally well in both systems. The only problem I have is when someone tells me a spec, It never fails as soon as they walk away I say to myself " was that .050mm or .050"...that sort of thing could be catastrophic.
    http://www.g0704.blogspot.com/

  16. #16
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    Are you a decimal inches person, or do you think in 1/32nds, 1/64ths?

  17. #17
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    Is that directed to me?

    If it is then I am a little bit of both. See in a previous life I have been a professional high end cabinet builder. Recent events have made that difficult if not dangerous to my health so now I am TRYING to be a machinist... I am very used to working with fractional inch numbers and also decimal inch numbers so I can go either way there. Trying again to learn to use decimal and metric strictly as that will be the majority of what I will be working with but I am a stubborn semi-old bastard and I just like my INCH decimal figures better... No offense intended or implied!!

  18. #18
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    I have an imperial manual lathe and mill and a metric CNC mill. Many of the drawings I'm working to are in fractional inches. So I find a big wall chart helpful. But I've never been able to add fractions, so I work in decimal, inches or metric. And a digital height gauge is definitely the way to go. I was lucky to find a decent second hand one.

  19. #19
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    METRIC IS SOOO MORE ACCURATE

    I mean 1/1000 is 25.4 microns what resolution is that! It is on the US that persists with the imperial system. well i say engineering as the science community has seen the light.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by fragger6662000 View Post
    METRIC IS SOOO MORE ACCURATE

    I mean 1/1000 is 25.4 microns what resolution is that! It is on the US that persists with the imperial system. well i say engineering as the science community has seen the light.
    you can get equal "accuracy" out of either system....just depends on the resolution you use...just less digits in metric gets you more accuracy!

    also it all goes in tens, I dont know about the rest of you but tens is the most natural counting system to me
    http://www.g0704.blogspot.com/

  21. #21
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    HuH?....

    Not sure how one way of counting is more accurate than another? Just different strokes from what I see.... Both are easily way more accurate than I can be with this Chinese mill so in that light it seems pretty gray to me... peace

    Pete

    Oh yeah and what the hell does this all have to do with my Digital height gauge query!! ?

  22. #22
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    Not sure how it stacks up really but I picked up a I-Gauging height gauge and have used that for setting the heights on my TTS tools. I made a little fixture for measuring from some scrap on my lathe. I'm not sure it's really 0.0005 accurate but my results thus far on Z seem to suggest it's accurate enough. It was pretty cheap.
    CNC: Making incorrect parts and breaking stuff, faster and with greater precision.

  23. #23
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    Pete,

    If you're looking for something to use for tool setting, have you considered buying, or making, one of these?

    Pro Touch Off Gage

    Regards,
    Ray L.

  24. #24
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    Ray....

    Yeah I saw that and it sure looks nice. I even considered making one of the touch tools as depicted on the old IH site from a dial indicator. What I have wound up with is basically what Tormach shows in this video....


    [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0VoVL6aCX4"]YouTube - Tormach Tool Change[/nomedia]


    I got one of these in my order...

    http://www.tormach.com/images/produc...anical_lrg.jpg



    They show using a nice Dial indicator setup in a tts holder and going down to a specific spot in the travel. This should allow for a safer and quicker as well as more accurate Z setting than my current lower the solid shank tool number one to fit a piece of paper or a toolshank underneath it. The Z repeatability should be improved I hope. The thing I need is a decent quality Height gauge for the offline setting and I just have not found one I like that is a good price. I want a digital one so I can set zero at the top of my tool and then take my offsets for my other tools from there. Right now I am using my TTS test tool and putting it in the setting tool and carefully measuring it in my digital calipers. It works but it is far from ideal and the longer drills I cannot reach because the caliper is only so long. I have also done as Hoss suggests and measure it in the mill. That works too but if you manage to break an endmill or something and have to setup a new one you gotta move stuff all around on the machine and that cannot be good for accuracy....

    I am hoping to get this TTS setup completed here and have their repeatability and ease of use all setup the way they do it and I should be golden. Especially if this high tension power drawbar I am working on actually works.... peace

    Pete

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