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DRO head location 14x40 lathe - where do you prefer / where to you despise location?

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  • DRO head location 14x40 lathe - where do you prefer / where to you despise location?

    I am in the process of installing a DRO on my, new to me, Summit 1440 lathe. This lathe is rather sturdy for its size. On my Clausing 5914 I have the antique Acu-rite DRO box suspended from a shelf at my eye level, centered side to side over the far edge of the headstock. That puts the display about 18 inches (side to side) from the chuck - usually within arms reach without having to step sideways to touch the display. On the Summit placed in a similar manner would be 29+ inches away from the chuck. Ideally I would like the display adjacent to the right hand side of the headstock but that would place the display in the travel path of swarf and lube/coolant flinging off of the chuck - and my arm would have to reach over the chuck. Not acceptable from a safety point of view to reach over a spinning chuck.

    I **use** the top of the headstock as a work in process storage spot so I don't want to block access to the headstock upper surface. I did a web search for lathe images with DROs. I've seen images of a few midsize lathes with the DRO mounted to the far right side of the carriage. Anyone have any experience operating a lathe with the DRO on the carriage? I would need to remove the traveling light on the carriage to put the DRO there. I have also seen images of some rather large lathes with the DRO at the far left hand side of the headstock (lathes where the headstock appears to be 3+ ft wide) - definitely not in arm's reach of the lathe operator.

    Your thoughts?
    Metro Detroit

  • #2
    Just bolted mine to the splash guard out of the way. Is it ideal? Won't know until I mount the scales.


    • #3
      Mount it on the right back side of the carriage.


      • #4
        As above - That's where mine is; always in the same place relative to me (just to the right of the back of the carriage) , and unlike head mountings, I don't have to reach back past my chuck.

        I mounted it on a bar at eye height, and on a swivel arm so it can be angled to my vision while turning. Perfect,
        Last edited by lakeside53; 10-18-2020, 01:20 AM.


        • #5
          You know, this brings up an interesting question. It seems to me that the 'standard' location for a DRO is the headstock, but that seems kinda inconvenient to me. To check the DRO, you have to look away from the work, the display isnt really in the normal field of view. Wonder if theres any reason you couldnt mount the mounting bracket for a DRO to the carriage instead. Course, depending on where you put it the display could be right in the line of fire for stuff slung off the workpiece, but if you biased the mounting to the right side, seems like youd get the display in easy view with minimal risk


          • #6
            Place the control within reach, if the machine has a 100"+ Z axis mount it on the carriage, if a 40" Z axis machine just about anywhere is within reach unless your arms are freakishly short.
            110" lathe

            40" Z lathe, never farther then an arms length away from the control.


            • #7
              The neatest setup I have seen is where the display rides on a swing arm off the right side of the carriage. *Much* more convenient that way.


              • #8
                We had both at work, mounted over the headstock and swing arm off the carriage .
                The problem with swing arm is it was a two hand operation. when you punched the buttons, it moved away..
                Some would use their fingers to hold the back and the thumb for punching
                My DRO at home is over the headstock. If I had it on the carriage , I would have a brake on/off on the support arm
                Green Bay, WI


                • #9
                  A vote for the headstock. I want to watch the work and the DRO at the same time.


                  • #10
                    I guess it depends on where you stand. I stand to right of the chuck and slightly to the right of the carriage center (to avoid the burning) crap. My dro is always in my eyesight and within my reader glasses focus. The headstock location would mean i have to reach back past the chuck.

                    Another advantage is that the are no moving reader head cables - all are fixed to the carriage.

                    I don't have a problem with the DRO moving away with my key presses. The swing arm is adjustable for tension. It can rotate left and right - left puts it almost on the tool center. The pic shows it to the right.
                    Attached Files


                    • #11
                      Click image for larger version

Name:	image_13350.jpg
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ID:	1905599 My lathe is a 13x40 and the DRO display is mounted on a swivel arm bolted to the electric control box behind the headstock. The arm's swivel is tight enough to allow one finger touch but loose enough to allow movement.
                      Last edited by Dave C; 10-18-2020, 02:40 PM.
                      “I know lots of people who are educated far beyond their intelligence”

                      Lewis Grizzard


                      • #12
                        This works fine for me on my 16x60.


                        • #13
                          I like the corner mount as others have posted,this Newall came with my Mazak Clone. Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_3330.PNG
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Size:	3.05 MB
ID:	1905613