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Digital Readout for the Lathe

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  • Digital Readout for the Lathe

    I would never again be without a DRO on my mill but I have never used one on a lathe. If you were outfitting a new lathe would you spend $700-$800 for a digital readout?
    Byron Boucher
    Burnet, TX

  • #2
    I don't have a mill, but I'm pretty sure the same goes for the lathe. I know I'm a lot quicker since I put mine on and spend a lot less time messing with my calipers. If money is an issue grab one of the SINO or SINPO kits from ebay for under $300.

    Igor

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    • #3
      Absolutely. You will not regret it for a minute.

      Brian
      OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

      THINK HARDER

      BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

      MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

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      • #4
        Adding a Sinpo DRO to my Harrsion was a great move. I paid extra for a 1 micron cross-slide scale because I thought I might not be able to find room for it and if not I could use it on my cylindrical grinder.

        With the upgrade it cost £300 including delivery.

        I ended up using a magnetic strip encoder which made for a very compact installation; http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/thr...tic-DRO-scale?
        Paul Compton
        www.morini-mania.co.uk
        http://www.youtube.com/user/EVguru

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        • #5
          Absolutely !
          Even if it is not a "new lathe"

          What I find is that diameters are good, but part length control is awesome.
          Try parting of 10 pieces and holding length within .001 without a DRO and see how much time is spent ?

          The greatest time saver on an engine lathe is a QCTP
          Next is power feed.
          Then comes DRO's

          Rich

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          • #6
            I've never felt the need for a DRO on a/my lathe.

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            • #7
              Same here I prefer a Trav A dial.
              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
                I find a 2 inch indicator on mag base plus micrometer stop does all I need on the lathe for part length control. I modified the mag base so it grips non-functional way surfaces. I can slide it around without concern for grinding swarf into the ways. Dial works fine for diameters.

                I don't feel the same about the turret mill. I think DRO is not quite but almost a requirement for a mill.

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                • #9
                  Do it. You will enjoy your lathe much more and do better work.

                  Randy
                  Do yourself a favor and see if your TV carrier has America One News Network (AONN). 208 on Uverse. It is good old fashion news, unlike the networks, with no hype, bias or other BS.

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                  • #10
                    I'm going to drop way more than that on my 14x40 lathe and put on Newall system...

                    Hard to beat for X axis layout / features. Less interesting for cross slide ops but...

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                    • #11
                      I find that I can do most of the "parting off" and other stuff using the "depth" and "step" functions on a digital or dial caliper.

                      http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/a...l_caliper4.jpg

                      http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/a...l_caliper5.jpg

                      http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/a...caliper2-1.jpg

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                      • #12
                        Agree with you tiffie. I use my calipers this way on the lathe all the time. Can hit +/-.002" easily. Closer with some care.

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                        • #13
                          Oh god yes. DROs on a lathe are wonderful. No need to watch out for backlash, able to switch between metric and imperial on the fly. And you know where you are in Z. Better DROs allow you to set tool offsets for different tool holders. This comes in handy big time when you have a quick change tool posts and carbide inserts. Especially if you need to make more than a few of a part. Go fro turning tool to a threading tool and press the button(s) for the new tool and you know where you are in space.

                          Mine has a few more features than most, mine supports up to 4 scales, I have one on the carriage, cross slide, and compound. When the compound is set to 29 degrees it will also show you how far in X you have moved to make thread depths easier.

                          After using a lathe with a DRO you will really hate using one without.

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                          • #14
                            Macona,

                            Do you happen to have photos of your setup?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My 1963 Harrison L5 was an ex school machine and as per regulations had been changed to Metric when that entered the curriculum. Unfortunately because the telescopic cross-slide leadscrew that goes with the taper turning attachment was very expensive, they only changed the actual dial on that axis! I'd taken to working with digital calipers as a matter of course.

                              That was fine for most turning ops, but not so good when cutting threads when I'd have to do a conversion from the dial reading to reality (1mm indicated = 1.27mm advanced), even worse if I was cutting an inch thread. When I was upgrading the ancient Mitutoyo DRO on the mill, I took the opportunity to add one to the lathe.

                              What a difference in the speed and ease of working!

                              Take a clean-up cut, measure the diameter and bang that number into the display. I've found that I can then trust that number as I take successive cuts and get a desired diameter within a thou or so.
                              Paul Compton
                              www.morini-mania.co.uk
                              http://www.youtube.com/user/EVguru

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