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Thread: Metrology for the cabinetmaker

  1. #46
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    Count me in the precision measurement camp. Im trying to hit .001" on certain things.

    Though I tend to leave my micrometers and surface plate in my machine shop.



  2. #47
    Thank goodness I mostly just match old stuff, cant make that look too good or its obvious it's been replaced

  3. #48
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    Very interesting discussion. I’m definitely a believer in good layout tools no mater the discipline. The issue I have always had with machine tools and woodworking tools in the same area is contamination. Dust and machine tools don’t play well. Likewise for metal contamination on wood. Machine tools can do some wonderful things for woodworkers. CNC May be the answer. Machine tool made for woodworking good, lots of sawdust floating into your metal lathe not so good. It would be the same for having your blacksmith shop in your machine room. The layout tools are important for all disciplines. Just some thoughts on my part.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin Santos View Post
    I think this is a valid point. Like all things, this subject is personal, which is to say if one is wired with a machinist's or engineer's mentality, I can see where it would be rewarding and maybe even comforting to pursue super high levels of precision.

    I think it's important to note, that working this way is a matter of personal preference, not necessity.

    After all, traditional methods of woodworking have not required the types of super high precision being discussed here. I like to remind myself that the average human hair is about .004. So working to thousandths is basically working to a fourth of a hair. Plus wood is an organic ever moving material. Plus we don't work in clean rooms, so there's that little bit of sawdust that enters the picture.

    But if a person enjoys the machinist approach to the craft of woodworking, I say by all means have at it.
    For me, I'm willing to go partway down the metrology road, but too far gets me into the law of diminishing returns maybe because I'm not working in volume and partly because of my own inclination. It's very interesting though and thanks for sharing.
    I appreciate you thoughts Edwin. I do both wood and metal, but I mostly leave my Mitutoyo Height Master, CMM, Optical Comparator, Starrett surface plate, Brown & Sharp sine bar, sine vises, Starrett planer gauges, precision gauge blocks and pins, and many of my other precision tools that would normally be used for precision metal working/machining dedicated to just that. With the exception of the dial caliper and maybe some gauge blocks - I just don't see the need for any of these other precision measuring instruments with respect to the wood working genre.

    I did enjoy seeing the photos of the accumulation of Mitutoyo tools that the OP has acquired, and appreciate his investment into his tools and career.

    After perusing his website, I now have a newfound appreciation for the current market value for his type of services. I suppose that I am fortunate that I can do most of this myself.

    And I whole heartily wish him well with the persuit of his woodworking endeavours.



    David

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mann View Post
    I hope no absolute beginner gets the false impression that this sort of measurement accuracy and instrumentation is necessary for doing first class woodworking.
    Hi Art,
    I agree with you 100%. Most of us here on SMC (seasoned members- myself not included) are far from "beginners". It would be a shame for some new comers reading this to reach the conclusion that they need all these "fancy measuring tools" to succeed with their newfound hobby. I agree - Let's Keep It Simple!
    David

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Holcombe View Post

    More to the point, should we stop discussing industrial machine tools because someone may interpret them as necessary? Should we also stop discussion fine hand tools because they may also be deemed necessary?
    We should stop discussing machine tools as if they were necessary for making fine furniture and cabinetry. You did not make that point clear. There is a place for discussing fine hand tools on this forum. It is called "Neanderthal Heaven". That is where people go to discuss such things. There is also a place for discussing machine tools and instruments. It is called "Metalworking". What is wrong with discussing it there?

    As far as I know, nobody before me stated that you can do first class woodworking without machine tool accuracy. That omission could lead some readers to a false conclusion. What is wrong with making the point clear? Do you really disagree with it?

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Buchhauser View Post
    Hi Art,
    I agree with you 100%. Most of us here on SMC (seasoned members- myself not included) are far from "beginners". It would be a shame for some new comers reading this to reach the conclusion that they need all these "fancy measuring tools" to succeed with their newfound hobby. I agree - Let's Keep It Simple!
    David
    Did you read the article? Point is mainly that I’m using these tools for setup of machine tools. Not everything you run into is simple and having an understanding beyond the basics is often required.

    If one had a tilt spindle shaper then wanted to put a tenoning head on it, wouldn’t you tram it to the table first rather than take the chance that you’re going to cut tenons at a slight angle.

    If you decided not to, then run a few hundred tenons, what then? Throw them out, cut them undersize, build out of alignment? Is that something you’ll notice right away or when every single joint gaps in your run? Are you going to immediately realize why or does it take a few hours?

    What if you need to realign your mortiser, something used for cutting hundreds of mortises in expensive material that makes the job unprofitable if you need to replace it all. Should you get your good tools or is this a better job for the eyeball gauge?

    Is everything always immediately apparent in test cuts?
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mann View Post
    We should stop discussing machine tools as if they were necessary for making fine furniture and cabinetry. You did not make that point clear. There is a place for discussing fine hand tools on this forum. It is called "Neanderthal Heaven". That is where people go to discuss such things. There is also a place for discussing machine tools and instruments. It is called "Metalworking". What is wrong with discussing it there?

    As far as I know, nobody before me stated that you can do first class woodworking without machine tool accuracy. That omission could lead some readers to a false conclusion. What is wrong with making the point clear? Do you really disagree with it?
    Hi Art,
    I feel that you are 100% correct. We have forum topics for hand tools as well as machine tools. This may have not been an appropriate venue for the OP's topic. He did manage to start a topic of interest to many, including some or the moderators. Maybe they should consider moving this to a more appropriate place. In any case, this did afford me the opportunity to peruse his website.
    David
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 08-03-2019 at 11:41 AM.

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Holcombe View Post
    Did you read the article? Point is mainly that I’m using these tools for setup of machine tools. Not everything you run into is simple and having an understanding beyond the basics is often required.

    If one had a tilt spindle shaper then wanted to put a tenoning head on it, wouldn’t you tram it to the table first rather than take the chance that you’re going to cut tenons at a slight angle.

    If you decided not to, then run a few hundred tenons, what then? Throw them out, cut them undersize, build out of alignment? Is that something you’ll notice right away or when every single joint gaps in your run? Are you going to immediately realize why or does it take a few hours?

    What if you need to realign your mortiser, something used for cutting hundreds of mortises in expensive material that makes the job unprofitable if you need to replace it all. Should you get your good tools or is this a better job for the eyeball gauge?

    Is everything always immediately apparent in test cuts?
    Yes - I did read your article. I do understand that your apparent level of expertise far exceeds that of most of the members here - particularly with regard to your previous work as a machinist and metal worker. Never the less, I take Art's point very well. This is all great stuff for the highly advanced woodworker, but is most probably not applicable to the average enthusiast.
    David

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mann View Post
    We should stop discussing machine tools as if they were necessary for making fine furniture and cabinetry. You did not make that point clear. There is a place for discussing fine hand tools on this forum. It is called "Neanderthal Heaven". That is where people go to discuss such things. There is also a place for discussing machine tools and instruments. It is called "Metalworking". What is wrong with discussing it there?

    As far as I know, nobody before me stated that you can do first class woodworking without machine tool accuracy. That omission could lead some readers to a false conclusion. What is wrong with making the point clear? Do you really disagree with it?
    The point of my article is that when you actually do want accurate machine tools, you need to check them. It does not say anything about it being required for fine woodworking. In fact if you search my site you’ll see where I build projects using nothing but a basic set of hand tools.

    Ive added machines over the past few years and initially took the approach of ‘check the work’ problem is that you're Using a small work piece to check a long measurement. Better the other way around, which is why one usually trams a large circle.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  11. #56
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    I don't think this forum is the wrong place for this thread, as "power tools" do need accurate setup which involves more or less precise measuring tools.

    My first reaction was " This is a bit precious- measuring the measuring tools" but I must admit to a similar general approach to Brian's in the shop in a quest for accuracy and efficiency. I don't work much with metal so no sine bars or micrometers but I use a digital caliper and engineer's square every day and make frequent use of dial indicators, taper gauges and straightedges to check and adjust the machinery I work with. It's interesting to see the spillover from machine shop experience to the woodshop, and it is as valid in its place as the more free approach I bring to, say, turning.

    Here are a several tools I use frequently. The large taper gauge is quite useful for gauging reveals when hanging doors and the smaller one is in regular use for establishing Z-zero on the cnc router. The flat magnetic-back dial indicator is handy for fine adjustment of fences.DSCN0624[1].jpgDSCN0622[1].jpg

  12. #57
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    I also don't have a problem with the thread or its place.

    Any opportunity to learn anything is worthwhile.

    It seems that if anyone shows anything more than beginners methods, there is some kind of backlash to protect them from being discouraged from seeing something that they cant do. The fact is beginners cant do anything, they are beginners, this is how the learn by seeing amazing stuff and being motivated to want to learn to do it.

    Many different ideas on woodworking and levels, i have no problem seeing all of them showcased; take what you want or what you can, and move on.
    Last edited by Mark Hennebury; 08-03-2019 at 10:41 AM.

  13. #58
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    I’d like to bring up one of the more aggravating things I’ve had to solve. I have a slot mortiser, the settings it arrived with were good enough only to pass a very rudimentary inspection. Cut a small mortise with it, it’s passable, cut a long mortise with it and it started showing odd things.

    I started digging into it a bit and begin to realize that I need to get it right before I do anymore checking of the output.

    First I determine that the spindle must be parallel to the machine ways, one typically assumes that the factory does this and their was a stack of shims at the back of the motor.

    Easy fix, travel and indicate the spindle on top and side. Why? Because the table can be eliminated from the measurement. It was originally shimmed to match the table by whom ever set it up previously and they were both out of parallel to the machine ways. The result was a mortise with a taper on one wall so the top of the mortise was a different size than the bottom.

    Next the table is made parallel to the ways. Indicate down the table at a few points and along the front edge, but only after determining that the table is reasonably flat. This is made more difficult by the four screws that hold the table in place and the fact that they can influence flatness.

    The hard way to do this is test cutting, which is an hours long process which will provide mediocre results that are affected by things like bit deflection.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  14. #59

    Metrology for the Cabinetmaker - Page 2

    Moving toward higher accuracy, the digital protractor which reads out to a tenth of a degree. This protractor is useful for machine setup in less demanding situations.
    img_3787.jpg

    In higher precision machine setup and for checking angularity, it is often done one of two ways, angle blocks or a sine bar. Angle blocks are precisely ground small blocks which can be stacked together to form a very accurate representation of a given angle. A sine bar is a precision bar with two round portions. The sine bar provides a fixed distance for the hypotenuse allowing the user to calculate any angle and bring the bar to that angle by using gauge blocks.

    Distance

    Distance measurements are done with varying degree of accuracy depending on their need. Different tools for different tasks, we separate shop standards and high precision measuring from basic layout devices which are referenced to those shop standards for quality then used for lower precision tasks.

    The most basic tool is the scale, or rule, depending on your preference. The scale can be relied upon for measuring in scenarios where the accuracy needed is less than the width of the tick marks and they’re often available up to about 60″ in length in steel.

    Used in conjunction with a scale, the combination square can used for measuring from an edge.
    img_3793.jpg

    When measuring from a 45 degree position one can use this feature of the combination square.
    img_3792.jpg

    When measuring from an angle outside of 90 or 45 the protractor head is used.
    img_3786.jpg

    When measuring from a square corner toward center, or finding center of square corner one may chose to use another part of the combination square kit, the center head.
    img_3789.jpg

    Next is the double square, featuring a shorter blade for getting into tighter spaces. The double square is a wonderful device for small scale layout and useful in many scenarios where high precision is unnecessary.
    img_3798.jpg

    Followed by a higher precision, but smaller double square made by Starrett and featuring a series of blades which allow it to be used in tight spaces.
    fullsizeoutput_fe9.jpeg

    Another way to measure from an edge is a kegaki scribing gauge, this one manufactured by Matsui Measure. This provides a similar degree of precision as the combination square, but it has a longer reference face which is handy to scribe against.
    img_3796.jpg
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 08-06-2019 at 4:53 PM.
    Lee Schierer
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  15. #60

    Metrology for the Cabinetmaker - Page 3

    Following is a piece that has a role in both the carpenter’s kit along with those of the cabinet shop, this is the square rule. In this case it is a Sashigane, or Japanese carpentry square.
    img_3803.jpg

    Processing toward a greater degree of accuracy we first move into the vernier caliper, with digital readout in this case. This particular model is provided with its own standard, which is intended to be measured at 20 degrees celcius.
    img_3769.jpg

    From there we move into the indicator, also digital in this case. Indicators are available which measure very finely. This particular one measures to five tenths (.0005″). Indicators are a multi function tool, depending on how they’re fixtured, they’re a great device for taking measurements directly from a machine or for use in a comparator.
    fullsizeoutput_fec.jpg

    The indicator can also be used in a magnetic base and mounted directly on iron or steel surfaces.
    img_3811.jpg

    A finer reading indicator known as the test indicator is often used for more detailed work, it has a much smaller range of motion and it can provide a higher degree of accuracy. These commonly read to a tenth of a thousandth of an inch. When combined with fixturing devices such as the Magnetic stand, spindle mount or comparator it is very useful for a variety of indicating needs. I typically use a test indicator for tramming work.
    9FLQgyBKQzSt6b5YtimRw-734993022-1564578314233.jpg

    For height, the height gage is used, digital in this case. This can be used for precise comparison in addition to gauging of height. This is a wonderful device for checking tooling heights but must be used with extreme care as the tip is carbide.
    img_3809.jpg

    More accurate still we move into the micrometer. This digital mic can read down to microns in metric or hundred thousandths in imperial, I don’t use a lot of micrometers in my work, so I have a 1″ model only.
    img_3813.jpg

    Depth is best measured by a depth micrometer, this one included a set of six probes and allow it to measure from between 0-6″ of depth.
    xfcf2NjJTeORab480xC1Q-3640341377-1564282906336.jpg
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 08-06-2019 at 4:53 PM.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

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