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Lathe DRO Direction Question

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  • Lathe DRO Direction Question

    I am attempting to add DROs to a small lathe. As I do not have a lot of $s to throw at the project I am trying to use bargain priced calipers for the scales. As the choice of mounting techniques will determine which way the display shows increasing numbers, I would like to know which motions of the cutting tool are usually set up as increasing. Left or right? In or out?
    Paul A.
    SE Texas

    Make it fit.
    You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

  • #2
    Paul
    As far as diameter goes it is "normal" for it to decrease as you approach center.

    This really depends on what you are doing, some DRO's will display actual diameter for you - most will not. It can be set the other way as well.

    Most turning is done towards the headstock - but not all.

    Set your caliper/DRO up the way you are comfortable with them Paul, you are the guy using them - that should be your only concern.

    [This message has been edited by Thrud (edited 11-16-2002).]

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    • #3
      Yeah -- make your best guess and use it a while to see if it feels right. If after use, you decide it ought to be the other way, you can always change it. Whatever feels right to YOU is the right way.
      ----------
      Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
      Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
      Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
      There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
      Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
      Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie

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      • #4
        FWIW, on a CNC lathe right is positive and left is negative, just like conventional Cartesian coordinates, except that the spindle axis is called the Z axis. Z0 is usually the face of the finished part, which makes all the Z positions negative. But you needn't observe that if it's easier to mount your scales the other way. And on a manual lathe it sometimes makes more sense to set Z0 at the face of the chuck and use positive values.

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        • #5
          Thanks guys. Sounds like there really is no standard. Since I doubt that I will ever try to put CNC on this machine, I'm only concerned with the easiest way for manual operation.

          I hadn't even thought about indicating actual diameter. That would require a caliper that reads two thousanths for every one actually traveled. I don't think anyone actually makes such an instrument - remember I said this is on the cheap so I'm not going to buy an actual DRO. But perhaps I could get it to read in terms of the radius.

          But, assuming you already have some work in progress and you need to change tools, how could you (quickly?) zero the reading with the new tool at the lathe's center line?
          Paul A.
          SE Texas

          Make it fit.
          You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

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          • #6
            Paul

            With a quick change tool post you can have all the tools preset for lathe center height and identical overhang. Although to be honest I do not think most of the brothers bother setting up identical overhang. I do not, but I use a four way, two way (bits & small boring bars), and an English toolpost.

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            • #7
              Mount them so when you look at the numbers they will be right side up. Depending on where you zero them will dictate weather the numbers get bigger or smaller. Then you'll figre out what you like better. You might like both, depending on the job!
              Rob

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