Y & Z Centering Microscope. Source: Titan Tool Supply Inc. Y & Z Centering Microscope. Source: Titan Tool Supply Inc.

Precision machining operations require accurate workpiece positioning relative to the cutting tool. Regardless of how skilled the machinist is or how good his or her eyesight or feel, it is not possible to locate a part with high precision without the aid of set-up tools.

Centering microscopes are toolmaker set-up instruments that precisely locate work on a milling machine, lathe, electrical discharge machine, drill and other machine tools as well as coordinate measuring machines for part inspection. They allow operators and set-up personnel to locate edges, centers, layout lines, contours and irregular shapes.

The top of the microscope typically has a shank or other means for locating and mounting it to the machine spindle to ensure it is centered. Most centering microscopes present the eyepiece at an angle of 30 to 45 degrees from horizontal to make them easier for the operator to use.

Most centering microscopes contain cross lines or concentric circles to help the operator center the work. Magnification can be from 10 times to 400 times or more, depending on the application and magnification lenses. Many units offer interchangeable eyepieces to change the magnification levels. Depending on the optics within the microscope, some display an inverted image, while others show the images in an optically correct manner so that the image appears the same as the object does to the naked eye.

In addition to replaceable eyepieces, some centering microscopes offer video adapter options. The video adapter connects the microscope to a video camera, allowing the image to be displayed by multiple individuals on a video display.

Supplier information

Titan Tool Supply Inc.Company profile | Website

Flexbar Machine CorporationCompany profile | Website