View Full Version : Squaring the axes

12-01-2003, 08:28 AM
Just wondering what you guys have done to ensure squareness between the x and y axis? I know "cut and measure" can be used, but there must be a more accurate way?

12-01-2003, 12:26 PM
I put a big square along the x, clamped it, then lined my spindle with a dowel in the collet up to it. Jogged to the other side, adjusted, jogged back, adjusted, etc. etc. until it was close enough for the parts I gotta make. I don't have a machinist's square so I used a carpenters square. It's probably out a few thou.


12-01-2003, 01:11 PM
Hey Eric are you saying we woodworkers are not sq?? That's the best news I've had in yrs.

Kong when I first set up my Digital Tool router I used the cut and measure method but I kept the first cuts within the max of my dial calipers, 8". I would cut and then measure etc and etc. After getting it as square as I could I cut a square as large as my machine would cut. 72" and checked it with a tape. Since that inital setup I have never had to resquare. Half of my parts are within the 8" square with the dial caliper so I know they are probably as close as I can get the machine. I just wish I had a set of 72" dial calipers. :D


12-01-2003, 01:31 PM
Good question

On a larger (72" Y) table this would probably be important.

How about the old 3'x 4' x 5' triangle method using a taut masons string and a tape measure?
Then use a dowel or pointer in the spindle to jog up & down the Y to check it against the string
The thought is to make the triangle as large as possible to gain better accuracy for perpi.

You can double the 3' x 4' x 5' to 6' x 8' 10' to become more accurate

Barbwire Bill

12-01-2003, 03:37 PM
Thanks guys that's a big help. For some reason I never thought of measuring with the dial callipers?!:rolleyes:

12-03-2003, 01:14 PM
On really big routers, like my 8' x12', the easiest thing to do is drill 4 1/8" holes about 1" in from the extremes, e.g.

peck at 1,1; peck at 1, 143, peck at 95, 143, peck at 1, 95.

insert short pieces of 1/8" drill rod or pins, and measure with a tape measure carefully....out of square is real obvious in the difference in the diagonals.

if you don't want to drill, tightly tape down 4 sheets of paper and chuck a pen in the collet.

tape measure not accurate enough you say, diagonal measures about 171 inches, you can estimate to at least 1/64th of an inch on a 32nd graduated tape, you'll be so close it'll scare you....1/64th at 171 inches is 1 in 10, 944. Acucurate enough????

One other thing, after squaring your axis, you should tram the spindle with a dial indicator, try for .001 in a 6-10" circle, this is very critical when hogging out areas, as the slightest misalignment will show up in the work as tell tale signs of where the cuts overlap.