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Finding lathe center height the easy way.

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Jimsehr

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#1
Use height gage touch top of stock . Take half of stock dia away and you have centerline. Mark this size on tool post and you always know true center.
 

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P. Waller

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#2
This is the easy way, determine a distance from the ways to center and then use a ruler to measure the tool, I have done this for years without ill effect.

If one is truly determined to have the tool on center (parting to 0 for example) just run it across the face of a part and adjust it until the nub disappears, this approach is fool proof
 

Dabbler

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#3
I made an aluminum gauge rod that gives me the centre height as a fixed gauge. I can feel within .002 quite easily to make sure the tool is on centre.I usually achieve closer to .001.

I measured using an electronic vernier the height from the saddle top to the top of a known gauge block in the chuck, then the height from the flatway to the saddle, and subtracted 1/2 the diameter of the gauge block.

That established the length of my aluminum setup rod.
 

GL

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#4
Watch Joe Pie's video. In general, 1/2" diameter in the chuck, 1/4" diameter on top of your height gauge. Sweep across the top of both, adjust the gauge until equal. Pretty easy conceptually.
 

RJSakowski

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#5
The thin steel rule between the stock and the tool edge can be fairly accurate if your ability to judge a vertical condition is decent.

Another way that I have found to be accurate is to use is this low cost tool. eBay cost is under $10. I found that it would detect a change of less than .002" in tool height. One requirement is the lathe must be level front to back.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lathe-Gage...l-center-height-setter-USA-MADE-/370592279135

Finally, I made a gage and calibration standard which allows me to set tool heights with .001" repeatability. An advantage is that I can set repeatable off center tool heights. A description is found here: https://www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/making-tips-for-a-dial-indicator.67209/#post-561864 post #3.
 

pineyfolks

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#6
I don't believe it's all that critical. I've found some materials like the tool slightly above center others slightly below. Wherever it's happy is where my tool sets.
 

GL

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#7
Yep, happy is happy, regardless of what things say should be. Center is just a good starting reference point.
 

Ken from ontario

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