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Thread: Workpiece Alignment ideas

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Posts
    4

    Default Workpiece Alignment ideas

    Hello-
    First post- please be patient.
    After using our PRS Alpha for 4+ years, I'd like to make workpiece alignment simpler. I may be missing some simple solution. I am also likely adding a vacuum table in the near future.

    I'd like load my sheetgoods against a positive stop for X and Y and know that I am in the right spot every time. We rarely change our zero for X and Y. We use a lot of 4x8 sheets of varying thicknesses and frequently cut all the way to the edge.
    I have been toying with using 'bench dogs' of some sort that drop into holes on the X and Y zero lines. The other thought I had was guides on hinges that can be flipped out of the way when cutting along the zero lines.
    In the past, I have set my spoilboard outside my zero lines for x and Y and cut a slot (1/4" wide by 1/8" deep) and aligned to the inside edge. It works ok but can be painful when I resurface.

    I feel like someone else has to have a solution. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    765

    Default

    You could probably search Gary Campbell here or on Youtube. (see this vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDlRTOG9B4M ). You can adapt the concept to your own needs.
    Best Regards
    Monty

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Memphis TN
    Posts
    874

    Default

    I cut the zero edges of my spoilboard to be the exact zero position. That way, to align a sheet or other material to the table, I just have to get it aligned with the spoilboard edges. Very simple. Very repeatable. Easily verified.
    ShopBot Details:
    PRS Alpha 96x60x12
    4hp Spindle
    12" indexer
    Aspire
    Rhino

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Workpiece Alignment Ideas

    "You could probably search Gary Campbell here or on Youtube. You can adapt the concept to your own needs."

    I'll take a look. Thanks!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Are you using a vacuum table? I guess my concern is the distance of the plenum from the edge. I don't have much first-hand vacuum table knowledge.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    420

    Default

    I use a vacuum table and side references.I replace the inside piece periodically and trim it to zero on the SB. I have very accurate 1/2" and 1" spacers which I use occasionally. The vacuum plenum is HDPE (I think) but I am going to change to a phenolic table in the next month for improved dimensional stability. I use 2 Lighthouse vacuum motors mounted under my shop with cooling fans on them. I can hold sown a 4 X 8 but rarely do. I often use sacrificial plywood sucked down and screwed to that or otherwise hold it to the plywood. As you can see these last a long time.I also have low density fiberboard spoilboard pieces cut for each vacuum zone and flattened in place for hold down. This works well for me.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Diamond Lake, WA
    Posts
    1,690

    Default

    Here's my simple solution to X,Y alignment.





    Not shown, but there is also one that goes into the front of the table to align the X at the same point every time.

    I used the CNC to drill the holes for the blocks. Made the blocks the old fashion way with table saw and drill press. Pins are 5/8" oak dowel wood. Has worked well for about 9 years now.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Don
    Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks, LLC
    www.dlwoodworks.com
    ***********************************
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece; But to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, bank accounts empty, credit cards maxed out, defiantly shouting "Geronimo"!

    If you make something idiot proof, all they do is create a better idiot.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Don said-"Here's my simple solution to X,Y alignment.
    Not shown, but there is also one that goes into the front of the table to align the X at the same point every time.
    I used the CNC to drill the holes for the blocks. Made the blocks the old fashion way with table saw and drill press. Pins are 5/8" oak dowel wood. Has worked well for about 9 years now."

    Thanks, Don- this is the general concept I had in mind.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,355

    Default

    I use slide bolts for the stops

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