How To Use A CNC Machine

Some years ago, I ventured north to visit my friend, his company and shop. My goal was to make some parts for a now defunct CNC conversion project, as well as the XS1100 Special triple tree clamp that I sell from time to time. I recall that the Haas VF-2 wasn't even working when I got there and I had to do a bunch of maintenance and teach myself how to use the thing. I took a ton of video but didn't get around to pulling it together into something useful till now. I guess sifting through all my old files when I upgraded my computer reminded me that I should either delete the footage or make a video.

Getting Started with the Haas VF-2

Though the machine is a little dated, the information is still relevant and I use basically the same process outlined in the video when setting up the Mini Mill 2 over at The Foundery. Here is a summary of the steps (and timestamps) I detail in the video below:

  • 0:27 - Things you will need + safety
  • 2:10 - Turning on the power
  • 3:00 - Overview of the control panel
  • 3:30 - Starting up the machine and clearing alarms
  • 4:25 - Reset and homing the machine
  • 6:53 - Setup of the work coordinate system
  • 9:10 - How to Jog the head around and tool change
  • 11:24 - Program to turn the spindle on for edge finding
  • 13:43 - Entering a work offset after edge finding
  • 14:55 - Measuring the tool offset
  • 16:03 - Future me comments on a better way to set the z offset
  • 17:19 - Discussion of method to use gauge block to set tool offset
  • 18:40 - Using a tool height dial indicator to set tool offset
  • 24:00 - Finding the Z offset with a height gauge
  • 27:13 - Loading a program from disk
  • 30:00 - Cycle Start (money shot)

Feel free to drop me a line if you have questions about CNC operation. I'll try to update this page with relevant info!

If you enjoyed reading this or learned something, please consider sharing via , , or . Thanks!

If you enjoyed this article, you might like others related to the Machining interest.