Help Zeroing Z Axis

I am working on aluminum sheet metal just testing for right now and I know it won’t sit perfectly flush. But in my testing I am curious that, assuming it is all perfectly flush, how low do I put the Z axis for zeroing to start the job? I’ve seen some use a sheet of paper but I am just wondering if there is a specific science to this?

My end goal is this: cut out an oval hole in .04" thick aluminum with 2 tabs at .015"-.02" thick. I don’t care if I have to go a little deeper to ensure the sheet metal cuts all the way through but I want to be certain. That and I really need a way to hold the metal flat.

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The paper is just usually close enough, you can subtract the thickness of your paper, too.
If I want to be real close, I’ll touch till the paper tears, or you can use a volt meter on ohms:

There is a lot of work holding ideas, just do a search here, like carpet tape, or 2 pcs. of tape and super glue, wax.
The problem you’ll have is the aluminum plate will be warped a little, one side will bow out.
I like to use clamps bow side down, but you dont have room for that.
Hmmm, maybe a socket head screw at each end where the bows are (bow side up), where the head just reaches over the edge of the part?
Also not sure what machine your using :slight_smile:

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