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Thread: Bowl Depth Gauge Pics

  1. #1
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    Bowl Depth Gauge Pics

    Greetings all

    Last year when I was making my second video I developed a depth gauge that would work with any kind of bowl, hollow form, vase, whatever, as long as it had a hole in the middle. It was a shop wonder, screwed together plywood and some dowels.



    Just this morning I received two prototypes of the same jig, only now in aluminum, and with some refinements to boot. They were made by the same gentleman who makes my vacuum chuck. I mentioned the prototype's impending arrival in a thread last week, and offered to post some pictures once I had it in hand. I apologize for the cluttered background. It might make it hard to see a little, but that is the way my shop is.



    Here is the new one. The design is essentially the same, but refined somewhat. The rods are adjustable and can be held steady with a knob. There are a number of holes to accommodate different sized lathes. The second prototype is actually sized for mini lathes.



    The depth rod that goes to the bottom of the turning is blunt. The tip of the vertical measuring rod is sharpened like a pencil for accuracy. Below is a shot of it measuring a bowl from a piece of (gasp!) firewood I turned this morning.



    Of course, people like fancy, so I asked for some high tech stuff.



    It is not easy to see, but there is a hole drilled just behind the one for the rod which will accommodate a laser pointer. By adjusting the depth rod to meet the laser beam, I now have a laser guided depth gauge.



    I have circled the laser beam for monitors that may not show it real well (like mine). I hope that the circle shows so you know where to look! As you can see, I need to make the bottom just a little thinner.

    Like I wrote, this is a prototype. If anyone has a suggestion to improve it I would be glad to hear it. I have a few of my own, mostly minor stuff, that I discovered while using it this morning. And of course, if anyone has any questions, I will be glad to try and answer them.

    Bill
    Last edited by Bill Grumbine; 07-25-2007 at 12:55 PM. Reason: speling

  2. #2
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    Looks good from here Bill. I can't imagine how it could be better. Personally I kind of like the plywood one .
    Happy and Safe Turning, Don


    Woodturners make the world go ROUND!

  3. #3

    through the tail stock???

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Grumbine View Post
    Greetings all
    Like I wrote, this is a prototype. If anyone has a suggestion to improve it I would be glad to hear it. I have a few of my own, mostly minor stuff, that I discovered while using it this morning. And of course, if anyone has any questions, I will be glad to try and answer them.

    Bill
    Since you are going through dead center, could you use the tail stock MT to mount the device on/with? Seems like it would be sturdy and maybe a little less cumbersome (just a thought). It would probably take up less space when not in use too...

  4. #4
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    Bill; I like it. Great idea.

    But just a dumb question. Why overhead, why not underneath? The accuracy depends upon a perfect right angle three times why not lock two in to a plate from the bed.

    Just a thought.

    Kim
    Trying to eliminate sandpaper - one curly shaving at a time.

  5. #5
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    Maybe I missed out, but why is it so tall? Seems like just a little more than the swing of the lathe would all it needs to be. Maybe its an optical illusion but it seems really tall.
    How is it attached to the bed? Do you have to remove the banjo and tailstock to use it? If so it would be nice to have a quick release from the base to remove from the lathe quickly.
    Kevin
    Insert witty saying here.

  6. #6
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    Hi guys

    To answer the questions so far...

    George, to use it based on the tailstock would require it be crammed in pretty tight to keep it from rotating around, or held with one hand. The whole idea is hands free for the purpose of marking the bowl, standing there and contemplating, etc.

    Kim, overhead puts the marker (pointer or laser dot) on the top, which is the easiest way to view it. Besides, while my tool rest was removed for clarity, most of the time there is going to be a banjo in the way of anything that would go under the bowl.

    Kevin, it only needs to be as tall as the tallest lathe for which it was made. It is designed for lathes with up to 30" swing. The mini gauge will work for lathes up to 12" or a little more. I forget which at the moment. It is held in place by gravity alone, so it is quick to get on and off the lathe. While it is tall, it is thin, so it doesn't take up a whole lot of room. You would have to move your tailstock back, and on a mini it is probably going to be off the lathe anyway, unless there is a bed extension on it, but it should work without having to move the banjo - only the tool rest.

    Bill

  7. #7
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    Bill that really looks sharp. I like the simplicity and the incorporation of laser possibility. A nice chance to upgrade if you wanted too.

    Kevin, I imagine the height is just for versatility to work with anyone's lathe or something along those lines. If it is a production piece, you'd want it to accomodate as many people as possible unles you were going to custom make them or have several lines. (answered while I typed)

    Thinking about versatility, do you have plans for the base to have the ability to mate to different lathes' ways?

    I agree with Kevin that a way to make the base attach without removing the tailstock would be a nice convenience factor also. (also answered while I typed)
    Last edited by Brett Baldwin; 07-25-2007 at 3:04 PM.

  8. #8
    The only thing I could see that could be improved is some way to fold it down for storage. That is the one thing I hate about my homemade one is in a small shop it is an odd shape for storage.
    I suspect the added manufactureing cost for this might make it not worth it, but just a thought.
    Mike Vickery

  9. #9
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    Great idea Bill. Looks mighty fine to me.
    Bernie

    Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.



  10. #10
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    Bill; thanks for the answer, you're right it would be better to view from the top. I like it, let me know when you have them on the market.

    Hey, what about a magnet on the base to make sure it stays flat.

    Thanks

    Kim
    Trying to eliminate sandpaper - one curly shaving at a time.

  11. #11
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    The aluminum version looks great, Bill...and what I like most about this thing is that it works.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  12. #12
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    Fine looking instrument, Bill. Looks like it's good for more than 30-inch swing, though; depending of course on how "swing" is defined.

    It doesn't really have to be attached to the bed, does it? Used more like calipers than a permanent installation, right? Otherwise, the depth rod would be in the way for hollowing.

    I think a below-the-bed version with the laser would be feasible, and more compact. Some of the lasers for layout work have an auxiliary lens that sprays a thin line instead of a spot. One that I have puts out a 12-inch line at a distance of 12 inches; in other words, at least half of the swing distance (again, depending on how "swing" is defined). The line would be sprayed halfway up the workpiece, and visible from anywhere below the equator. Wouldn't work on all lathes, though, if there's a cross member at an inopportune location between the ways.

    Joe

  13. #13
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    Good morning folks. I appreciate the thoughts.

    We are trying to keep this thing as simple as possible. There are lots of things that could be done to it to enhance performance, at least for a given person's preferences or situation, but would add significantly to the cost to produce, and you know what that means!

    The jig is designed so that it will rest on its base standing free. It is only for the purpose of measuring, so it does not need to be fastened to anything, but being able to use it hands free is a huge plus. I have another jig that I use that requires one hand to hold it, while marking the bowl with the other. Until one gets used to using it, holding it is tough for lefties and marking it tough for righties. But this one plops down on the ways of any flat bedded lathe (sorry VB owners) and will not move unless the turner knocks it over, or sets it down on a pile of shavings in the beginning. That leaves both hands free to get your marking tools, hold them up to the wood, mark the wood, get a cup of coffee, whatever. I was in a hurry to post the pictures yesterday before I had to leave the house, and I forgot to turn the laser off. When I returned over an hour later, it was still there. Fortunately, the laser had not burned a hole through my bowl!

    Mike, I had it together in a matter of moments out of the box. It would come apart the same way. I did not look real close at the top, but I think it is just a machine screw holding it on. I will check when I am up at the shop today. The base is held on with a single screw, and with the exception of the top rod, the other two can come right out by loosening the knobs holding them in place. It is long and tall, but it is very thin with the exception of the base. I will probably end up hanging mine on the wall like a framing square.

    Kim, magnets would be fine, but they would have to be glued on since the base is aluminum. But it doesn't really need them. It is not like you need it to stay there while the lathe is turning. Besides, my new Robust has stainless steel ways, so they won't work even then!

    Joe, below the bed might be feasible, but that means scrapping all that has been done for a totally different concept, and then there is still the obstacle problem. It is not just the obstacle of the banjo, but also of the turning itself if the turning is approaching maximum diameter. Regardless of whether the measuring device goes over, under, or around, it still needs to account for the potential diameter of the piece being turned. And if it goes under, it limits that potential diameter by its own thickness plus the clearance required times two. Take it around front and it is going to get in your own way. Take it around back, and people with the lathe up against a wall, or with tools and stuff hanging behind are going to get tangled up. Going over the top has the least potential for problems and gives the easiest viewing angle as well as operating position for both the old fashioned stick and the laser.

    Then add in the cost of a laser. I suspect that one of those that sprays the line is just a little more expensive than the one in the prototype. The one I am using has a momentary switch, and it still costs $12.00. To get a genuine on/off switch the price goes to $25.00. In and of themselves, those are not bad prices, but then add in everything else that goes into producing something like this, and they really cause the cost to go up quickly.

    Checking for depth should be fast and easy, and not automatically require the removal of the banjo from its setting. for most turnings, the gauge should not be maxed out, meaning that the banjo can remain in the place it is set. Depending on the turning and the tool being used, the tool rest itself may be able to stay in place as well.

    Bill

  14. #14
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    Where's the picture

    Hi,

    Ia it me?? I don't see a picture of the depth gauge. I certainly would be interested as I'm always going too shallow or too deep.
    Hilel.
    No one has the right to demand aid, but everyone has a moral obligation to provide it-William Godwin

  15. #15
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    Hilel
    I believe you will have to contact Bill directly, I do not believe he posts here any more
    Making sawdust mostly, sometimes I get something else, but that is more by accident then design.

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