Maybe the old saw should be "pain is the mother of all invention"
I took delivery of a nice new Haas GT-10 and now have to figure out how to use it while doing minimal damage to myself and the machine. I've read the thread in setting up tools and work offsets and thought I would try to take the best recommendations and incorporate them into my procedure. Seeing I have none it's a good opportunity to establish a good one. I like Geof's system of keeping all the Z's the same sign and insuring a mistaken plus sign heads right rather then left. I like Hu's idea if establishing a fixed point to reference all the tools from in Z.
As I see it, the problem is establishing a consistent reference point to set tool lengths from, especially when changing from collet to jaw chucks. I've attached a drawing of a simple plug I'm hoping can be used in the collet chuck to give me the consistent reference point. I will make the plug long enough to insure that most of my tools will always be using negative numbers. I guess I could use Donkey's idea and implant some kind of indicating devise in the end to tell me when the tool arrives.
I've read the threads about not using collet stops with draw tubes. Having never had a draw tube I found the information a little hard to understand. My concern about my proposed reference plug is running afoul of draw tube limitations. Will using the pull back of the collet to seat the face of the plug against the end of the collet chuck cause problems for the draw tube mechanism? The plan is to make a similar plug for the 3 jaw that indexes against the face of the chuck and protrudes a distance toward the turret to match the distance established by the collet chuck plug.
The lathe has tooling fixtures with one inch diameter holes in them for collet chucks and boring bars and such. I see these tools are held into the fixture bores with set screws. Do you machine a series of small flats on the collet chucks for the set screws to seat against? I would think simple winding in the set screws would scar the collet chuck shaft and make it difficult to slide it back out. I also notice that one can easily allow the shank to stick out the back enough to jam the turret.
Please have patience, this will be the beginning of a long string of stupid questions and ideas.