Keeping Z with tool change

I have two different length bits. Got any good techniques for keeping the same bit height above the material for the tool change so it mills at the same level as the first path?

Touch plate?

http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Home/Limit_Switches#Touch_Plate

Alternately, that’s arguably what depth rings/collars are for (but I always worry that it’s going to work loose and won’t be the same depth).

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You need to reset your Z when you change tools.

I usually find a location that will not be machined away and use that to set Z zero for all tools.

Or you can use a touch plate.

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My tool provider adds depth collars for no extra charge. When the job gets to the tool change screen, you turn the router power off, change the tool, power back on and let the job continue. Easy.
In order to facilitate tool changes, I set the retract height in CM to 24mm (instead of the default 12mm) and the tool changes are pretty easy at that height. (Note…the additional retract height will add additional time to your overall job time length because it takes slightly longer to retract and plunge each tool path)

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@WillAdams, in my experience the depth collars are reliable. Distance rings? describes my experience with the collars (which I called “distance rings”) on a Proxxon spindle.

I was using a tool table, but if you can get mills with constant-stickout rings it will be as good since all will be the same length relative to the first tool.

Randy

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