Here’s an explanation of a term widely used in the moulding industry, “Axial Constant”, this article will help you better understand how to calibrate your moulder to a constant position axially. The first time you hear the word axial constant it sounds a bit confusing, but once explained you quickly begin to understand how you can incorporate this time saving setup procedure on both your moulder and profile knife grinder. Axial constant is nothing more than a constant measurement used on acrylic profile templates, profile knife grinders and molder machinery, the image below should help you better understand the theory behind axial constant positioning.
Every cutter head on an industrial style moulder has two movements, radial and axial. On vertical moulder spindles (right & left cutter heads), the radial movement is forward and backwards, towards and away from the inside fixed fence on the moulder. The axial movement is up and down, toward and away from the moulder bed plates the lumber moves on during the milling process. On horizontal moulder spindles (top and bottom cutter heads), the radial movement is up and down, toward and away from the moulder bed plates. The axial movement is forward and backwards, towards and away from the inside fixed fence on the machine. If the moulder, grinder and acrylic template are in the same axial position, then in theory you would never have to move the axial position on your moulder, thus saving you up to fifty percent of the time you spent setting up the moulder before milling.
The industry standard axial constant position is .394”/10mm, but you can use any axial constant system you prefer. We use the industry measurement of 10mm/.394" on all our molding knives, and .787”/20mm on all our profile template designs, this is designed so you don’t fall off the template at the same time you end the knife while grinding the profile, this industry specification prevents you from grinding into the cutter head.
There are two zero points on your moulder from which all measurements are calibrated, the inside fixed fence and the moulder bed plates, if calibrated correctly your setup time can be reduced to a minimal.
First you will need a few things:
Here is something I want you to think about before you make any movements of your axial positioning while manufacturing mouldings. If “.000” represents alignment of the bottom of the spindle with either the fixed fence or the bed plates, then, before you make a movement, think what number you need to be at on your counter before you make the adjustment. Let’s say I want to make a movement down on the vertical (backward on horizontal) spindle, well, we are going further away from “.000” point, so I would add to the current number on my spindle counter. Or, let’s say I wanted to make a movement up on the vertical (outward on horizontal) spindle, well, I would subtract from my current number on my counter because I am moving closer to the zero point. Remember, “.000” is where you should run out of spindle movement because your cutter head is now aligned with either the fixed fence or the bed plates, and no more knives exist. Please refer of our article on Moulder Spindle Alignment for a better explanation with pictures to help you understand the theory.
Now that you have successfully calibrated your moulder spindles to an axial constant position, try calibrating all the radial measurements on your moulder, we have an article to help you with this task as well.
If you need any further assistance please contact us, we would be glad to help you with any question you may have.