How-to: Optical alignment tooling for field milling

How-to: Optical alignment tooling for field milling

CLIMAX milling machines are portable and easy to maneuver, so customers frequently take them into unconventional settings. Wherever that may be, it’s common that a milling machine will need to be aligned to another existing fixture. What is the best approach to ensure precise alignment?

Enter the Brunson 545-190 Precision Sight Level, which gives operators precise control to level or align any object within a 360-degree circle around the instrument. The precision level can align a single plane like the precision bed rails on the milling machine, so cuts to the work piece are absolutely accurate. The instrument is easily moved around the jobsite to evaluate surfaces that cannot be viewed from one location.

“Brunson Instrument Company has been the leader in optical alignment for years,” said CLIMAX Product Training and Applications Leader Jim Miller. “We recognized the fit between their products and CLIMAX’s and started integrating the products; our longstanding partnership allows us to offer our customers the optical alignment tools they need to get jobs done quickly in the field.”

Brunson tools are designed for field machining and are used in machine tool alignment and setup of many CLIMAX machines, including our milling machines, flange facers and circular mills.

But what if you need to align more than one plane? Brunson’s 76-RH190 Telescopic Transit Square with built-in cross telescope allows customers to align two and sometimes three planes precisely.

The versatile transit level is the workhorse of optical alignment, providing tremendous flexibility with substantial time and labor savings. The level combines the traditional main telescope with a fixed-focus cross telescope mounted in either the horizontal or vertical axis of the instrument. The second telescope is fixed at infinity focus to make collimation or auto-collimation with another instrument or mirror quick and easy.

This capability means that the tool can be quickly made perpendicular to an optical reference line. By simply shifting from the main eyepiece to the cross-axis eyepiece, an operator can establish or verify his or her position relative to the basic reference line within seconds. This effectively requires only one technician, where previously two were required.