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converting to digital readout by using digital Vernier caliper

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  • converting to digital readout by using digital Vernier caliper

    I have been told that some amateur machinists are converting lathes to digital readout by adapting cheap digital Vernier calipers to the topslide and cross slide and tailstock. This sounds rather neat. I was wondering if anyone here has done this, and if you have any pictures you could post. I tried using the search function, but to no avail.---Brian
    Brian Rupnow
    Design engineer
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada

  • #2
    I believe this is what you are after: http://www.gadgetbuilder.com/DRO.html
    There is also a guy that sells a DIY kit for a 3 axis display that uses the output of those little critters, so you can get an official looking DRO. The name of the company escapes me, but someone will recall. It was very reasonable priced.

    Later,
    Jason

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    • #3
      Jacampb2--Thank you very much---Brian
      Brian Rupnow
      Design engineer
      Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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      • #4
        Here's a cheap and dirty version on my Grizzly 12 X 36. Ninety nine percent of what I do is less than 6" long so having this is lots better than dreaming about a 36" DRO. The bed clamp doubles as a carriage stop too.

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        • #5
          GKman---I like that very much. I wondered how a person would get around the issue of having an 18" bed and only a 6" or 8" Vernier. Now I know.---thank you.---Brian
          Brian Rupnow
          Design engineer
          Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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          • #6


            I've had this 18" scale on my 12x36 for some time now. I don't remember what I paid but I think it was under $40. It mounts with two screws and easily removed if need be. The only problem I've noticed with this type is display response time. It's easy to overshoot if you're watching for a number so you have to feed manually and sneak up on it when you get close.

            I like the longer scale even though my work envelope is like GKman's. It allows the carriage to be moved out of the way of the work when needed.

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            • #7
              I was thinking of doing this exact same thing, but the set of digital calipers I had were very picky about getting cutting fluid on them - the slightest amount would stuff-up the display for hours. Is this just the set I had or do others suffer the same problem?
              Peter - novice home machinist, modern motorcycle enthusiast.

              Denford Viceroy 280 Synchro (11 x 24)
              Herbert 0V adapted to R8 by 'Sir John'.
              Monarch 10EE 1942

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              • #8
                Cutting down the digital caliper

                I am also thinking of using a cheap 6 inch digital caliper to measure the depth of the holes I drill - I can mount it to the tailstock fairly easily, except that the tail end of the caliper interferes with the handwheel on the tailstock. I was thinking of cutting off the last couple of inches of the end of the caliper - but I don't know if that would keep it from working properly - any suggestions would be appreciated. Barry

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by barabach
                  I am also thinking of using a cheap 6 inch digital caliper to measure the depth of the holes I drill - I can mount it to the tailstock fairly easily, except that the tail end of the caliper interferes with the handwheel on the tailstock. I was thinking of cutting off the last couple of inches of the end of the caliper - but I don't know if that would keep it from working properly - any suggestions would be appreciated. Barry
                  Barry, I did that not too long ago for my 14x40 Birmingham lathe. Used a cheap Harbor Freight 6 inch digital caliper. Only problem I encountered was that the scale was so hard I ended up having to cut it with an abrasive cutoff tool, the hacksaw wouldn't touch it! Had the same problem when I mounted a vertical digital scale set from CDCO Machine Tools onto the quill of my Birmingham 9x49 Vertical Mill. The mounting kit that came with it didn't fit the Birmingham all that well, had to modify it just slightly, and then the scale was about .75" too long. It also was hard as can be.
                  Steve
                  NRA Life Member

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                  • #10
                    [QUOTE=RetiredFAE]Only problem I encountered was that the scale was so hard I ended up having to cut it with an abrasive cutoff tool, the hacksaw wouldn't touch it!QUOTE]

                    I have had to cut three of them myself. I mounted one of those 8"x1/16" zip blades in my coumpound mitre saw. they cut stainless with no problem. I use that now for any small metal rather than drag out my band saw. also for stuff thats too short to hold in the bandsaw. Its great also for cutting precise angles on a piece of flat bar. (Did I wander OT???? )
                    Ernie (VE7ERN)

                    May the wind be always at your back

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                    • #11
                      Cutting digital caliper

                      Steve and Ernie, thanks for the help. I didn't know how they work and was concerned that if I cut it it wouldn't work at all. Barry

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