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Mechanical Position Readout

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  • Mechanical Position Readout

    This is a back burner project. Anybody have any ideas on how you could build a Trav-a-Dial type readout for a lathe. I really have never liked watching a DRO for position when coming to the end of a cut. Probably because I watch* the pointer sweeping up to the "zero". Guess I must really be from the Jurassic. I've thought about gear driven off of the rack but you are dependent on just how good the rack is. Also a cable driven device with the cable fixed heastock with a weight on the other end being wrapped around a drum.

    *I also have an intense dislike of digital watches. But I love DROs on mills and CNC :-?
    Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.

  • #2
    If you have a small lathe- you could use a dial caliper. Some very large calipers exist. You could also use a short dial caliper such as 12 inches that can be moved about .

    Do you basically just mean "analog position readout"?


    You could use a very coarse worm thread. Done with a mill and gear train dividing head. That is how Starrett Last Word indicators work.

    Verniers might be possible.

    For a Rack- Other Option

    Do you know how accurate your lathe lead screw is?


    Then make a worm with, say, 20 TPI and hob a worm wheel with it. Use the worm as a rack.

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    • #3
      I thought of a DC. Worried about chips
      Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.

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      • #4
        I used a Starrett long-travel dial indicator for years as a Poor Man's carriage Trav-A-Dial until I got a DRO. Didn't seem to mind the chips
        "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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        • #5
          Likewise, I used a 1" and 2" on my Rockwell. There was no other way to measure longitudinal travel in a cut...
          Russ
          Master Floor Sweeper

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          • #6
            Baddog and I talked about this before when he was at the shop, and I don't like watching the readout either, much easier watching the dial. One of you smart electronic guys needs to make a display that we can attach to the dro that is an electronic dial that sweeps around

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            • #7
              Just use a Trav A Dial .They work great. Plenty on E - bay for good prices.
              Every Mans Work Is A Portrait of Him Self
              http://sites.google.com/site/machinistsite/TWO-BUDDIES
              http://s178.photobucket.com/user/lan...?sort=3&page=1

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              • #8
                Yep, you almost have to count cadence or something when watching the DRO. Analog is much better in some situtations...
                Russ
                Master Floor Sweeper

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                • #9
                  Similarly I find digital dial and test indicators- or rather dial, never seen a digital test indicator-- completely inexplicable aside from SPC.

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