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Fitted a DRO to my SB9

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  • Fitted a DRO to my SB9

    thought I'd post this up as a little project. Installing a DRO was pretty much the last major thing on the list before putting my wide 9 back together, so I'm pretty pleased to get it done. What a faff that was, more drilling, tapping and head scratching than I care to remember.

    Had to cut the cross slide scale due to some mixed up communication, but that went fine with an angle grinder and a thin cut off disk. Tapping 4 2-56 holes in the end was a pain
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    the cross slide was the biggest pain. Had to countersink the way cover so I could screw it to the cross slide (had these weird "pins" before), then attach an arm to hold the read head out behind the lathe. Scale is bolted directly to the piece that attaches to the saddle plus a 3/8x3/4" bar that is also attached to that piece. It's pretty sturdy.

    Finished it off with a cover for the bottom and a piece of treadmill belt to cover the slot at the top
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    Carriage scale was alot less of a pain, with a block that bolts to the saddle piece and a plate that connects that to the read head. I used 2 5/16" thick pieces of alu at each end of the scale to attach it to the bed as the side of the bed had a 1deg or so slope off vertical.
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    whole thing
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  • #2
    readout
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    It's nothing fancy, but it'll serve my purposes just fine. Cost $220 from Shenzhen DRO for a 0.005mm res carriage scale, 0.001mm res slim cross slide scale, the readout and delivery. I'll be getting a 3 axis one for my mill when I've saved up the funds.

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    • #3
      Oooo nifty! I've been wondering how the heck somebody would put a DRO on a South Bend because there are very few flat surfaces.... that had to be a pain, but it sure looks like it was worth it!
      25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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      • #4
        Just make dead sure you haven't left anything in that woodwork vise.

        I tried a cheap version based on a digital caliper with a remote USB connection on the Smart & Brown model A at the museum, the works just fitted under the cross slide, but it was unreliable. Even putting the extension cable inside an earthed flexible steel tube like yours did not prevent electrical interference. Fortunately the backlash is only 0.001" so binning it was no great sorrow.
        Last edited by old mart; 05-21-2021, 02:03 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post
          Oooo nifty! I've been wondering how the heck somebody would put a DRO on a South Bend because there are very few flat surfaces.... that had to be a pain, but it sure looks like it was worth it!
          yes, there was much scratching of head, then remove, file, replace, repeat. I had to do it piece by piece as I couldn't figure out what it was going to look like from the beginning. Also had to do alot of fiddling around to get the cross slide scale stick out as minimal as possible so the whole thing fits on the bench and clears the back splash I need to make for it!

          Originally posted by old mart View Post
          Just make dead sure you haven't left anything in that woodwork vise.
          I was more worried about hitting my head on the scale every time I dropped something on the floor (alot)! Funnily enough I don't use that vise anywhere near as much as I thought I would.

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          • #6
            Click image for larger version

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ID:	1943776Not trying to take anything away from your post, honest.
            But it is a very bulky installation. But for the $200 price,
            I get it. You did an excellent job for the size of the scales
            that you had to work with.
            My personal take away from this, is save up and spend
            the money on the MicroSyn scales and by a Newall.
            The small size make it worth it to me.
            DZER

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            • #7
              no worries at all. I spent a good long time looking at mag scales as an option, but I still would have had the problem of where to mount the cross slide scale - you have an old SB9, you know how little room there is around the cross slide/ carriage/ compound. That plus it would have been double the price ruled it out and Newall kind of prices just aren't going to happen, got too many other things to spend money on. Fun stuff like braces for my kids . This set up looks as ugly as a Russian mother in law after a night of heavy drinking, but it'll do the job.

              Besides, I'm hoping people will focus on the horror of the Atlas lathe feet on my South Bend instead

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