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SETTING UP THE CUTTING TOOL TO THE

CORRECT LENGTH

V. Ryan © 2004

 

One of the few operations that the machine operator carries out is to change the cutting tool. Each CNC machine has a range of cutting tools. Straight cutters, chamfer V-groove and radius cutters are some examples. If a detailed design is being manufactured, it may be necessary to change the cutting tool at least once during the manufacturing process. It is very important that all the cutters are set up to exactly to the same length in the collet. If this is not done the material being machined will be machined at incorrect depths.
A special depth gauge is used to accurately set up the cutting tools. (see diagram below). This ‘rule’ applies to all CNC machines although different techniques may be used depending on the type of the CNC machine.

   

 
 
 

A pair of spanners are used to loosen the collet and locking nut. The cutting tool can then be removed and the new tool put in position. Once the depth gauge has be used to check the distance from the end of the cutting tool to the collet, the spanners are used again to tighten the collet and locking nut.

QUESTIONS:
1. Explain why cutting tools must be set to the same length in the collet, before machining can take place.
2. List the names of cutting tools available for any CNC machine you have used / seen.

   
 
   

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