Accurate setting of small boring bars

Posted on 10 Jul 2019 and read 937 times
Accurate setting of small boring barsWhen it comes to the precision setting of fine boring tools, skilled machinists have traditionally been needed to achieve precise tolerances.

Technology is eliminating the need for such skills, as the Smartbore Nano system from Hayle-based Rigibore Ltd ( can demonstrate.

This fine-boring head — available to cover diameters from 0.5 to 16mm — uses a patented digital measurement process to set the cutting edge.

The adjustment is clearly visible on the Smartbore Nano adjuster unit, with either positive or negative movements being made by a simple rotation of the adjuster’s barrel (either clockwise or anti-clockwise).

This system allows precise tolerances to be achieved without removing the boring head from the machine, thereby minimising spindle down-time.

Unlike mechanical systems where measurements are based on the revolutions of a screw, the Smartbore Nano electronically senses the actual movement of the tool’s cutting edge.

The design of the Smartbore Nano head centres around a pre-loaded cutting-unit assembly that ensures the cutting forces are always opposite to the direction of adjustment, there-by allowing tool sizing without any need for clamping/unclamping.

This arrangement removes the risk of the cutting edge moving after adjustment and compromising the finish bore size.

Rigibore chairman Roger Bassett said: “Smartbore Nano is the only digital adjustable boring system that measures the movement of the cutting edge and confirms that precise movement to the operator.

“The adjustment an operator sees on the LCD screen is the adjustment they have made. There can be no ambiguity, and total trust is returned to the whole process of adjusting the boring head with micron accuracy.”

Another advantage of this system is that all of the electronics are contained in the adjuster unit, not in the boring head; moreover, the Smartbore Nano head that holds the actual cutting edge can be held in any standard collet or side-lock holder, with adjustment made by applying the Smartbore Nano adjuster unit.

This arrangement means that the Nano boring head cannot be damaged by coolant ingress or swarf — and that a single adjuster can be used on a factory’s multiple heads.

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