Touch probe and repeatable homing

Although I am yet to receive my 1F but am busy working on workflow and jig design as I am looking at utilising vacuum jigs and location pins for repeatability and accuracy in my work I have been looking on the forum but didn’t find anything like what I am about to ask in the touch probe section

I am wondering if anyone has been using their touch probe in a permanent location (or in a pocket that does not allow movement) in order to set a home X / Y / Z point that references the rest of the table. If you do

  1. What has been your experience in repeatability in the x / y / z and yes I realise that I should not be worrying about the stall homing numbers not being the same as I would have to re-zero each axis

  2. Anything that I should watch out for

  3. where do you recommend the probe should go (Personally I think to the front right hand side as that would be the least used)

thanks in advance

I use many different fixtures and jigs with my workflows and since they’re not permanently installed on the waste board I design in a corner for the probe. Even with holes for dowel pins in the wasteboard placing the fixture back in the same exact spot (+/- .1mm).

  1. The repeatability for me is very good, generally +/- .01mm. You need to ensure the probe is aligned parallel to the X and Y axis as it probes the upper right corner to locate the lower left corner of the object you’re probing. With the probe offset distance of about 55mm any error is magnified. I don’t rely on the accuracy of stall homing, I will either re-probe my fixture or some other repeatable point on the part for my 0,0,0 work offset.
  2. I only use the round part of the shank of a bit for probing X and Y (usually a 60 degree v bit). I have found probing on the flutes of a cutter will provide greater variance depending on where the cutter contacts the probe.
  3. I don’t use a fixed probe but keep in mind it will probe the upper right corner of the probe so it will need to travel beyond the upper right corner (in the +X and +Y direction).

When you say repeatability, do you just mean getting consistent results? Or are you doing a cut where you have to remove the project then place it back on the 1F to do another operation? The zero probe does fine with the first part, but make sure when you home the 1F that they actually go to the hard stop. As for getting repeatable results on a single project while removing it is to make sure an edge is parallel to the X-axis.

Hi Derek Thanks! I think using a permanent location on the jig would definitely allow better tolerances and prevents using stall homing as the method of zeroing x and y.

It is definitely working towards my end goal.

@Dr-Al I mean that I have a task with multiple operations including flipping and I would like to batch my guitar necks using one tool at a time over a number of necks not changing the tool 4 times per neck.

Regards Colin

For something like that I would mount two boards perpendicular to each other to slide the blanks against. Each one would need to be parallel to the axis associated with each board. As long as you don’t turn the controller off the zero will stay the same. Just use clamps to push the blank tight against the two boards and it’ll be very repeatable.

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yes I intend on utilising that method for some work like cutting templates etc but I want to have a way to have consistency for items on location pins even after turning it off as I would like to use these jigs for several years.

I was thinking referencing from a set point on the surface-board but I really like Dereks suggestion of pocketing into the jig for the probe to zero off the X and Y to get accurate zeroing in a way that you can reference the pins.

Quick note - I had to make adjustments to the size of my probe in the 1F config. Mine was just a little bit off in both X and Z directions from the default.

I’ve had good luck getting a fixture set, probing for it’s zero, and then using multiple pieces inside the fixture. Makes for fewer mistakes when setting up the cutting of the pieces as well - the zero point isn’t somewhere half way across the table, or in a different spot than I remember…

Awesome I will definitely check the config and yes having it closer to the work would make for less traverse time and would have it in the same position in reference to the rest of the jig