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Measuring tilt angles

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Chris TickTock13/08/2020 11:33:17
561 forum posts
39 photos

Hi,

There seem to be many options to do this so no harm asking for what you guys use / recommend. Scenario you are told to mount a piece of metal at 15 degrees in the mill vice...which tool do you use. To date just been using an old school protractor but you can get stainless ones with attached straight edge also digital levelers etc?

Chris

David George 113/08/2020 11:52:37
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1302 forum posts
447 photos

Hi Chris.

How accurate do you need to be. I use a steel protractor with an adjustable rule for general use and have a few pieces of gauge plate with included angle on for better work but use a sine bar to accurately set pieces which must be right.

David

Ady113/08/2020 12:03:28
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3809 forum posts
519 photos

phone app, bubble level was good

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gamma.bubblelevel&hl=en_GB

Nicholas Wheeler 113/08/2020 12:04:58
360 forum posts
20 photos

Digital bevel gauge does everything I need. Works on car suspension too.

Dave Halford13/08/2020 12:11:11
869 forum posts
8 photos

The digital ones are good comparators just check the bed then the work

not done it yet13/08/2020 13:00:05
4872 forum posts
18 photos

Is that 15, 15.0, 15.00 or 15.000 degrees. There is a difference, and method of measurement should undoubtedly reflect this. I actually tilt the vise if the angle measurement is not approximate. It may also depend on other factors, of course.

Howard Lewis13/08/2020 13:00:12
3536 forum posts
2 photos

You have a wide selection of methods.

A Digital angle gauge; a Digital Protractor; a Vernier protractor, a metal Protractor, with either a round or a square head, and Angle blocks.

Each has it's advantages and disadvantages. From time to time, I have used almost all of the above.

Choose whatever best suits: the work that you propose to do; and your budget.

Howard

SillyOldDuffer13/08/2020 14:48:14
Moderator
6181 forum posts
1345 photos
Posted by not done it yet on 13/08/2020 13:00:05:

Is that 15, 15.0, 15.00 or 15.000 degrees. There is a difference, and method of measurement should undoubtedly reflect this...

Examples always help:

  • A decorative bevel along one edge of a plate need only be accurate to a degree or two, so a protractor is suitable. Mine can just about manage to get within ½°
  • However, if the same bevel is carried completely around a rectangular plate, the edges have to be cut at almost exactly the same angle. It's because the human eye is good at spotting differences at corners, or in reflected light. Better than ½° accuracy is needed, and the angle has to be repeatable because the plate will have to be reset to do each edge, . A Wixey Digital Gauge is a reasonable choice because they manage about ±0.1° accuracy, roughly 5 times better than a protractor.
  • However, when repeatable angles are involved, I prefer angle blocks to Wixeys because blocks are faster to use, about ten times more accurate, and less error-prone in use. A limitation of my angle set is the blocks can only be stacked in ¼° increments, so they're not a cure all.
  • A Sine Bar with thickness gauge blocks allows any angle to be set with considerable accuracy. Useful when two parts have to be machined to meet precisely at a non-standard angle. Not had that challenge yet in my workshop with one exception - matching tapers.
  • Tapers have to mate accurately and have inconvenient angles, for example MT3 is 1° 26' 16" ( ie a slope of 1 in 19.922 ) For tapers I reach for trigonometry. Basically the lathe's cross-slide is carefully angled to match accurately measured taper Length and Depth dimensions. Much the same technique can be used on a mill.

When milling my favourite angle tool is a Rotary Table. I also have a Swivel Angle Table, or grip work at an angle in the machine vice, or bolt it direct to the table with blocks to control the angle. My swivel angle table gets least use, but it's really handy for some jobs.

Dave

Oily Rag13/08/2020 14:51:56
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123 forum posts
57 photos

Swivel the table! and then check it with a gunlaying clinometer.

David Noble13/08/2020 15:08:34
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203 forum posts
8 photos
Posted by Oily Rag on 13/08/2020 14:51:56:

Swivel the table! and then check it with a gunlaying clinometer.

David

Baz13/08/2020 15:18:23
450 forum posts

All depends on the accuracy required, a cheap plastic protractor up to a sine bar.

Gary Wooding13/08/2020 15:53:08
753 forum posts
194 photos

As others have said, it's really a question of what accuracy you're aiming at. A sine-bar and gauge blocks is probably the ultimate, but how accurate is base on which the sine-bar is referenced relative to the mill spindle? Pretty good results (to about 0.1° can be obtained with a digital gauge (Wixey?) that is zeroed on the mill table or vice, then used to position the workpiece. An error of 0.1° at an angle of 15° is equivalent to about a 6 thou error in the gauge blocks on a 4" sine-bar.

Chris TickTock13/08/2020 16:32:12
561 forum posts
39 photos
Posted by Baz on 13/08/2020 15:18:23:

All depends on the accuracy required, a cheap plastic protractor up to a sine bar.

Funny you should mention a cheap protractor Baz, I have ordered in amongst a couple other items a zero edge one as this has some benefits.

Chris

SillyOldDuffer13/08/2020 17:05:27
Moderator
6181 forum posts
1345 photos
Posted by Gary Wooding on 13/08/2020 15:53:08:

...

An error of 0.1° at an angle of 15° is equivalent to about a 6 thou error in the gauge blocks on a 4" sine-bar.

Yes, but given a gauge set has tenths accuracy there's no excuse for making 6 thou errors with it!

smiley

Dave

Bandersnatch13/08/2020 17:26:37
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1716 forum posts
60 photos

For"standard" angles I usually find a set of these makes it easy:

Martin Kyte13/08/2020 18:37:54
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2010 forum posts
36 photos

I agree with Bandersnatch. The setting guages are the simplest solution to most set up's. I have never had to resort to anything more sophisticated. No doubt having said that I will now need to.

regards Martin

Mark Gould 113/08/2020 20:27:13
218 forum posts
130 photos
Posted by Bandersnatch on 13/08/2020 17:26:37:

For"standard" angles I usually find a set of these makes it easy:

Good recommendation, I have the same set, very handy. Arc sell that set too, but for less

https://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/Catalogue/Measurement/Parallels-Angle-Blocks-Test-Bars/Precision-Angle-Block-Set-17pcs

Mark

Chris TickTock13/08/2020 21:18:29
561 forum posts
39 photos
Posted by Mark Gould 1 on 13/08/2020 20:27:13:
Posted by Bandersnatch on 13/08/2020 17:26:37:

For"standard" angles I usually find a set of these makes it easy:

Good recommendation, I have the same set, very handy. Arc sell that set too, but for less

https://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/Catalogue/Measurement/Parallels-Angle-Blocks-Test-Bars/Precision-Angle-Block-Set-17pcs

Mark

On my list, many thanks

Chris

Chris Evans 614/08/2020 09:24:46
avatar
1724 forum posts

Over the years I have made a set of angle setting "Wedges" from 1/4 degree to 50 degrees. for most work they are good enough. I do have 2" 3" and 5" sine bars but they are only used occasionally.

mechman4814/08/2020 11:52:46
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2723 forum posts
422 photos

Like others I have a couple of ways of setting angles; Stainless protractor with pivoting straight edge, Digi gauge, M & W protractor /rule, plastic protractor ( from school pack ). Using the digi gauge I always set the zero relative to the mill table. I have since made a set of angle gauges using trig' some previous write up a member had written up ( can't remember where dont know  )     & checked relative to the Digi gauge, all within +/- 0.1* which is more than acceptable for my use. I would like a sine bar, but would I use it... probably once a year, if that thinking . a couple pics of home made set ...

 

home made angle plate 45 deg (1).jpg

home made angle plate 45 deg (4).jpg

home made angle plates 30.60 (2).jpg

homemade angle pl;ates 70.20 (1).jpg

George.

 

Edited By mechman48 on 14/08/2020 11:53:32... flippin smiley!

Edited By mechman48 on 14/08/2020 11:55:05

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