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Lathe DRO?

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  • Lathe DRO?

    Well i need a DRO for my lathe. No i dont need help pickin one out BUT i was looking at my Lathe with a Tool maker Friend Of Mine the other Day. We were musing (Not Silently but kinda Loudly while drinkin Beers) where the heck do you mount it. We both looked at the Scale on my bridgeport and took that height and looked over the Y axis crosslide and were thinking its not gonna fit, Then also since i do Lots of Stainless steel How do you keep the evil stringy chips from tearing of the encoder wires?? I need a DRO for these weird parts i make for customers yet im not sure it will fit. My lathe is a Cincinnati Toolroom (?) traytop Lathe with taper attachment, 15 x 40 inch model< ? Perhaps the lathe scales are thinner than the Mill scales?? Thanx mike

  • #2
    Yes, the cross slide scale for a lathe is thinner than the slides used for mills or the other lathe scale. The price for a 2-axis lathe kit is usually a hundred bucks more than a 2-axis mill kit. The thinner scale is why. Any decent kit has covers for the scales to keep the chips away. The encoder wires are usually in a steel sheath. And, you generally mount on the tailstock side for additional protection. Yes, this generally gets in the way of the cross slide lock. I'd rather have to jigger another lock than drop a chuck on the scale.


    • #3
      You can get some pretty small spars these days. The ones I've seen have been mounted on the rear of the lathe bed, for the carriage travel, and on the right side of the cross slide.

      If you poke around on the manufacturer sites ( and such) you can generally find documentation that gives the spar dimensions.
      Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
      Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
      Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
      There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
      Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
      Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie


      • #4
        Look into a Newall M20. The scale is a flat metal strip and the reader is a small rectangular box and it would take up very little room on the carriage.

        The crossfeed and compound screws are very accurate on my lathe so the only one I would be interested in is the carriage travel. For that reason I have been thinking about a Travadial but they have issues too. I guess I could just buy a scale for the bed and move my console to the lathe when I need it.
        It's only ink and paper


        • #5
          As part of the rebuild on my hurricane Katrina South Bend lathe I decided to install DRO while everything was out in the open and easier to get to. I watched ebay for a while and quickly saw that 'generic' (unfamiliar name) DRO's were plentiful at quite a bit lower prices than I'd thought. I chose one that was offered as a 'bid on' and bought it for $376----

          It seems to be a well made unit with some nice features .. no problems at all in the appearance/quality with it.... but...I'm like Carld. I thought the cross feed would be marginally useful and the carriage would be the real winner, but I'm not too geeked about the whole set-up

          As pointed out, the cross feed mount is the sore spot, along with loss of the lock, the mount ate a huge hunk of real estate that had belonged to the tail stock travel. And, like the post the other day talking about reading the some what jerky, fast moving figures on the panel strains my eyeballs. Like Carl says, my dials are also very accurate and I find myself going to them for my reading still.

          On the carriage, I like the DRO better, but still ----- I had a trav a dial on my Birmy and .... well, I MISS it!

          All things considered, if I could do it over I'd just mount another travadial.

          By the way, Lane tried to tell me ----- I shud learn to listen to the pros ....Anybody wanna buy it?
          If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........