Quick Edge and Center Finding
© Frank Ford 2006; Photos by FF
Most of what I do ain't exactly rocket science. OK, nothing I do is rocket science. Anyhow, I do often want to find the center of a rectangular work piece so I can mill some feature, drill evenly spaced holes or whatever. Here's how I do it when I'm in a hurry, which seems to be most of the time the days I suppose.
First, I chuck up the end mill I plan to use, set the mill at slow speed and turn it on, running in reverse.
Then I simply slide the table over until the rotating cutter just bumps the edge of my piece. I can easily hear and feel it as it just begins to touch. Sure, it makes a teeny little scratch on the side of my part, but this is a casual job, so that doesn't matter. For more important work, I'll use a regular edge finder, of course.
I'll then set my DRO to zero on that axis, and repeat the process at the other end, noting the reading:
Dividing that number in half with my trusty little calculator-in-a-bag gives me the setting for the center of the piece.
No need to consider the diameter of the end mill or anything else. I scoot the table over to that setting and zero out the display. From then on, I can simply work from center to locate whatever I want.
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