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Thread: Mill DRO - having extra scale(s) for Z axis

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Metro Detroit
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    308

    Default Mill DRO - having extra scale(s) for Z axis

    I installed a Mitutoyo DRO to my current small table Bridgeport. It met my then requirement of available used (cheap) and able to monitor X & Y axis position. https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...act=mrc&uact=8 Features it really does not have. For Z-axis, I have mounted an import digital caliper to the quill.

    I have assembled and am debugging a new to me Bridgeport with a standard size table and I am looking into installing a DRO before selling off the small table mill. I expect to buy a unit from DROPros or similar supplier. I am trying to decide if I want to spend extra for a scale on the knee and possible a scale on the quill (my understanding is that these two scales input the Z-axis display).

    Any of you splurged for a z-axis scale? One or two scales? Any of you regret not adding a 3rd or 4th scale to your mill when you bought a DRO? Any features that some newer DROs have that you find indispensable (new is relative to my antique Mitutoyo)? Other lessons learned with respect to buying a DRO?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Canton, Ga
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    74

    Default Z DRO

    Ten years ago I mounted a modified HF digital caliper to my round ram Bridgeport mill.
    It has been a very helpful accessory. I cut the jaws off and made a mount and link to the quill stud.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    6,665

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    When I put the X & Y scales on my mill I went the extra for the knee and quill. No regrets. Had to get a coupler box to connect them to. I can set it to read a couple different ways, meaning track opposed etc. You really need both knee and quill. If I didn't put them both on I would have regretted it without a doubt.

    JL..................
    Last edited by JoeLee; 08-29-2019 at 08:11 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    SW VA
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    Default

    I may add a Z scale to my knee at some point.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2013
    Location
    West coast of Canada
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    Shortly after I bought my Craftes mill I installed a 3 axis DRO Pros on it. The mill came with a cheap DRO on the quill that didn't work very well and you had to keep feeding batteries to.
    It was a bit of work designing and fabricating mounts but I am happen I went that way. It had worked perfectly and I gained all the features of the larger DRO. Picture shows the quill mounting.

    Larry

  6. #6
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    Aug 2009
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    6,665

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    In time your going to find out that it's a must to have a scale on the knee. I can't count how many times I had to lower the knee to change tooling and didn't want to loose my setting.

    JL..............

  7. #7
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    Mar 2010
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    Metro Detroit
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    JoeLee:

    Please explain about the "coupler box". I am presuming that the quill scale and the knee scale read in opposite directions so that raising the knee or lowering the quill would change the z-axis display in the same direction. Correct? I assumed the summation of the two z-axis scales occurred in the DRO display. If so, what does the coupler do?




    Quote Originally Posted by JoeLee View Post
    When I put the X & Y scales on my mill I went the extra for the knee and quill. No regrets. Had to get a coupler box to connect them to. I can set it to read a couple different ways, meaning track opposed etc. You really need both knee and quill. If I didn't put them both on I would have regretted it without a doubt.

    JL..................

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    992

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeLee View Post
    In time your going to find out that it's a must to have a scale on the knee. I can't count how many times I had to lower the knee to change tooling and didn't want to loose my setting.

    JL..............
    That has not been my experience. If I change tooling, the setting is lost anyway (since position relative to the tooling is what's important in Z axis). I installed a 3 axis DRO on my Bridgeport clone but haven't bothered to mount the Z axis; the knee dial does what I need and I've never had a use for the Z axis.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Somerset UK
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    2,486

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    Can you get a readout with X, Y and two Z axis readouts on it? Having a quill dro is useful when drilling, I have just ordered a short digital calliper style one except the scale is horizontal when the dro axis is vertical. https://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/Catal...100mm-to-300mm

  10. #10
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    Nov 2010
    Location
    Portland Oregon
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    Hi oldmart,

    Which one did you order and have you installed it yet? A picture of this would be great, as I've come to the realization that even just the quill having a readout would make life a whole lot easier. using the ruler does not always work. Probably need to get one!!

    TX
    Mr fixit for the family
    Chris

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