Best way to change bits mid project

So I tried using the “detail bit” function in the beta of Easel last night and it worked great. I did have one issue though. I started using a .25" bit to rough out all the larger areas, then when done the detail part was completed with a .0625" bit. When the project was all done the areas the .0625" bit carved didn’t extend down the the same final level that the .25" bit did. This was my error in adjusting the bits to the same “home” on the Z axis.

So, what would be the best way to make sure that when I swap from the .25" bit to the .0625" the bottom of the bit is at the exact same Z location?

Thanks - Jer

When you change your Bit, you have to Z zero for the new Bit. You don’t have to do Homing for X and Y, just for Z. Jog anywhere convenient for you and Z zero.

Yeah - I did that and that’s what the question really is, I guess. What is the best way to make sure the bit is exactly the same in the Z axis when I tell Easel that the bit is “homed”. I tried this time to set the .25 bit so that it touched the part just ever so slightly, then I tried to do the same with the .0625 bit, but apparently it was off by a hair. I was just cutting MDF and trying to eyeball it. Is there a more technical way?


I have had good success just using using a sheet of paper.

Place a scrap of paper on the work surface under the bit and then lower the bit (using .1 mm movements when it is close) till you fill the paper being trapped between the tip of the bit and the work. You should be able to slide the paper out from between the work and the bit with just a bit of resistance.

This will put the bit withing .002 inches of the work surface every time. Just use this same method for each bit to set the Z0 and you will not have any Z height problems (at least none caused by the Z0 location)


Thanks - simple enough. I’ll try that tonight.

This is the method I use, and it’s great! Simple and easy.

I saw another cool method in a video (I use a touch plate now). They loosely put the bit in the collet, lowered the bit until it was almost touching, then loosened the collet to let the bit drop onto the work surface. Then tightened it up. For a tool change do the same thing in exactly the same spot and you will know the heights are the same.

Just make sure your bit is almost touching before you loosen the collet to let the bit drop to the surface… because you want to minimize bit stick-out.

1 Like

I use the paper method as well. Works great, I keep meaning to build a touch plate, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

You have to have Touch plate. You’re gonna see your pockets when you start using it. Absolutely awesome.

1 Like

I use the exact same one.

Just ordered one of those from your link, thanks, man! :slight_smile:

I use a piece of scrap metal that I attached a wire to. :wink:

1 Like

Me too. This thing is better looking though. I suppose if someone was watching, this would be more impressive. I think I am going to make one with flashing LEDs and sell it for $19.99.

1 Like

Most of the buts have a plastic ring mounted to the bit, and as far as I could tell they all have it the same distance, so kinda makes it easy to change bits as ik the hight of the bits are very very close to eachother… if there was a difference maybe less then .25 mm

Actually, It goes down making rumbling noise, because it is very slow then, as soon as touches the plate it runs up like a crazy you can hear yeeyyyy. Like touching hot surface with bare finger. You can’t miss. Take your clip off of the bit, then it’s ready to go. Here is the code for that. " G38.2 Z-.5 F1;G92 Z.785;G0 Z.25. “.
Z.25 is the run back command after touch. .25” up.

Your description of it just sold me on the idea. :smile:

1 Like

Showing right now (Sunday 9/20) as $99.99???

EDIT: Be careful - there are numerous listings at numerous prices for this item. Fortunately I caught it before buying,

Common Robert, we’re still expecting another instructional Video for this Zeroing procedure I know many guys are confused. :wink:

In this case, I’ve got to be able to pretend to be competent and not just knowledgeable. :smiley:

1 Like

@AllenMassey I have tried this method and am having problems.

I did a carve with one bit. When it was done, I jogged it to get the bit clear of the workpiece to change it. Reset the Z axis to the height of the material and then in Easel, I selected “Use last home position”. I noticed that once this option is selected, the “Raise the bit” option in Easel does not show. Anyway, I spun up the spindle and started the carve.

The spindle went up and then moved to the correct start position (X and Y), but the Z-axis did not comeback down so it was carving air.

I tried it a couple of times with the same result. In the end, I guesstimated where the original X and Y were and reset home position. Worked out in the end this time, but what am I doing wrong?