Technical Tip Of The Week: When to use a Nose Rider

What is a Nose Rider?

A nose rider is a popular option for AXYZ CNC routers. It is a relatively simple accessory which fits onto the bottom of the routing spindle and fixes its position relative to the pressure foot. The end result of this is to effectively ‘lock’ the height of the spindle to the surface of the material. The final depth of cut into the material is determined by how far the router bit is protruding from the lower face of the pressure foot. The nose rider includes an adjustable ring which allows very fine tuning of the vertical position of the spindle relative to the pressure foot and therefore the cut depth.

When to use a Nose Rider?

The primary reason for using a nose rider is when an application requires an accurate and constant cut depth when measured from the surface of the material.

If the sacrificial bed of the machine is absolutely flat and if the thickness of the material being processed is accurate and consistent then there should be no need to use a nose rider. However, if either of these cases is in doubt then the nose rider provides an excellent means of simple yet accurate compensation.

One example of this is engraving. For best visual results, engraving demands a very consistent depth of cut and quite often materials to be engraved are not consistent in their thickness and can vary by as much as 1.5mm over the area of a sheet. Even if the material does have a consistent thickness, any minor variations in bed flatness can spoil a fine engraving job. The nose rider will easily compensate in these situations and ensure constant depth engraving over the entire bed area.

Another example is when V-grooving composite materials which need to be folded. The depth of cut is quite critical in order to ensure consistent fold lines and final visual appearance. The AXYZ PANELBuilder machines which are designed for panel fabrication applications are almost always supplied with a nose rider accessory.

How to use a Nose Rider?

This video shows how a nose rider can be fitted and adjusted on an AXYZ machine.

Author: Ged Lodge is an Applications Specialist for AXYZ, a global manufacturer of CNC router and knife systems. Ged has over 10 years’ experience with AXYZ and over 25 years’ experience with CNC routers.