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  1. #11
    For what it's worth here are some pics of one I made years back for my Novamill.Click image for larger version. 

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    Basically laminated from a MS block with an inset magnet, then layers of 12mm epoxy fibreglass (could be e.g. Corian). There is a machined cavity inside which contains a stainless steel slug at the botton (insulated from the base), then a strong spring, then a 12mm square carbide insert as a hard anvil. Most of the layers are glued with epoxy but the top is bolted on to allow assembly. The slug has a hole drilled from the side for a 4mm banana plug to connect to the probe input. It fits to the table with the magnet, and the top face of the anvil is measured at 38.84mm above the table surface which is input as the setting plate thickness. As the Novamill table is small I generally just place this for setting the tool then take it away, with a bigger table it could be left in one place. The spring has a few mm free travel to reduce the consequences of a tool crash. Of course it depends on the tool being grounded. Total cost negligible as made from the scrap box.

    On my lathe I have a rather different system to do an equivalent job which is to find the end of the stock in the chuck and zero the z axis. That's another story, it still relies on electrical contact between tool and work but senses that magnetically.
    Last edited by JohnHaine; 13-02-2023 at 06:46 PM.

  2. #12
    Andrewg's Avatar
    Lives in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 12 Hours Ago Has been a member for 2-3 years. Has a total post count of 74. Received thanks 13 times, giving thanks to others 34 times.
    Thanks John, nice solution for a real engineer. As a woodworker I need to buy or assemble from purchasable parts.

    Coincidentally I noticed from another reply you are based in Cambridge UK, like me.

  3. #13
    AndyUK's Avatar
    Lives in Southampton, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 2 Weeks Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 449. Received thanks 95 times, giving thanks to others 43 times. Referred 1 members to the community.
    FWIW, My probing routine requires me to touch the plate to the tool to initiate the process. I touch it against the tool and then it pauses for a few seconds, then the machine proceeds to move downwards. This, hopefully checks that there is a working connection.

  4. #14
    m_c's Avatar
    Lives in East Lothian, United Kingdom. Current Activity: Viewing Forum Superstar, has done so much to help others, they deserve a medal. Has been a member for 9-10 years. Has a total post count of 2,822. Received thanks 346 times, giving thanks to others 8 times.
    I'd always recommend testing the probe prior to any automated probing routines.
    If you're manually changing a tool, then you're already at it, so for all the time it takes to trigger the probe/touch the plate against the tool, it ensures things are working, and eliminates the risk of a broken wire, or more likely, you've forgotten to plug it in
    Avoiding the rubbish customer service from AluminiumWarehouse since July '13.

  5. #15
    If you fit a "loop back" connection within the probe plug, you can detect if the probe is(n't) plugged in and inhibit probing moves. Requires an additional input but equally it reduces the risk of a crash. Some probes also have a secondary (overtravel) switch that you can wire into the e-stop circuit in case the probe connection doesn't work.

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