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DRO and longitudinal direction ?

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  • DRO and longitudinal direction ?

    How do most people tie a DRO to the longitudinal feed of a lathe? It seems pretty much impractical to try and couple it to the compound so that pretty much would rule out use of the compound movement except for threading. Do most people just use the longitudinal feed handwheel, very slowly? I do have a handwheel at the end of the leadscrew (have to disengage feed gears and engage half nuts) but what do you do on a lathe without a finer feed like that?

  • #2
    "It seems pretty much impractical to try and couple it to the compound"
    I guess I don't understand what you're trying to do with your lathe. I addapted two of those cheap Digital calipers ($19.99) to a mini-lathe. (Watch me catch heck for that.) I mounted one to follow the apron and one to follow the cross slide. They are zero resetable at any point, so I can start and stop anywhere. So for under $45 (out-the-door) I have a two-axis DRO.
    I see were it would be a problem if you're using the compound to cut longitudinaly. If I were doing that regularly, I would set my x-axis gage to read that movement or add another $20.
    By the way, This lathe has a bi-directional lead screw with neutral as well as forward and reverse motor.


    • #3
      Hope you don't catch any heck. The digital calipers seem like a pretty good alternative to the DRO, especially considering zero setting and metric/inch conversion. They also take a lot less space than the DRO encoders.

      I was thinking mostly about finishing to a precise shoulder using the compound for the finishing cut. In reading your reply, the thought occured to me that it should be easy enough to either leave a standard, fixed amount (say 0.003") for all such finishing cuts or actually subtract it using an offset on the DRO.