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Why put DRO x-axis scale on back edge of mill table?

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  • Why put DRO x-axis scale on back edge of mill table?

    I'll be adding a DRO to my new-to-me Bridgeport.

    I notice a lot of DRO installations on mills have the X-axis scale on the back edge of the table. Seems to me the only advantage of this is that it's out of harms way when moving heavy tooling on/off the table. But the disadvantage is it reduces the y-axis travel.

    If the scale is mounted on the front edge of the table it allows full y-axis travel, although it needs a length of angle iron for protection, which is easy enough to add with the t-slot on the front edge of Bridgeport table.

    Are there other considerations eluding me?

  • #2
    The travel stops for the power feed are on the t-slot on the front of the table . Additionally, I have used the front t-slot to hold part of a jig.
    Doug

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    • #3
      Mine is hanging off the end. Nowhere on the front to fix it and I didn't want to lose any of the Y travel.
      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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      • #4
        If you mount it on the front edge, you loose your table stop and the use of the front T-slot, mine is on the front edge, I don't need the table stop since mine is cnc, would be nice to be able to use the front T-slot, but not really an issue, and yes mine does have a cover ober it. I would definately mount it on the front edge, I need the extra table travel more.

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        • #5
          I mounted mine on the back side of the table, it's out of harms way and out of sight and stays clean, especially after I made a Lexan angle cover for it. You only lose about 1" of saddle travel but how often do you run your saddle in that far??? I also mounted two 1" dia round pegs 1 1/8" in length to the back of the saddle as a dead stop.

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          • #6
            On a turret mill just move your ram out.
            Travel issue gone

            Dave

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            • #7
              I agree with those who say to mount the X Axis Scale on the rear of the table. There's little loss of Y travel in re the scale if the ram is set appropriately and, as mentioned the table stops and the slot need access.

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              • #8
                I came to the same conclusion and fitted my first mill X scale to the front of the table, then when I got my second mill it had a factory fitted DRO which was mounted at the back so I changed it to the front.

                On my table I could still use the table stop slots as my table was thick enough, those with a thiner tables might be able to use a slim line scale to still be able to use the slots. I did have to make up extended power feed stops to reach out past the scale.

                I mounted a steel angle over the scale and a flat bar at the front bolted to it instead of the factory cover. This can take a beating and will protect the scale even if you happen to drop the vise or tools on it. I built this for the first mill around 6 -7 years ago and have never had a problem and the scale is still as true as the day I put it on.

                I used the steel angle idea on all 3 scales for my first mill with the standard factory covers under the angle, but haven't got around to doing it to this one. The angle was good as I taped it for grub screws as jacking screws to align the Y and Z scale and then tapped it to mount the scale itself, so only 2 holes where needed to be drilled into the mill to mount each scale.
                It saved the worry if you happen to drop a spanner or a piece of steel as you knew it couldn't hurt the scales.

                The full thread on the X scale can be found here as well as other forums. It took some time to make it all up, but once it's done you can forget about it.
                http://www.chaski.org/homemachinist/...6c6ec1ce457bca

                Dave

                Edit
                If you cant see the pictures let me know and I will post them here
                Last edited by Davo J; 02-15-2013, 05:21 PM. Reason: Added edit

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                • #9
                  my dros mounted on the back , couldnt imagine putting it on the front , the wires are out of the way , the dros out of the way . also allows the powerfeed stops to work and oilers/ grease plugs on the front .

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by small.planes View Post
                    On a turret mill just move your ram out.
                    Travel issue gone

                    Dave
                    Good point Dave!

                    Never had a ram before!

                    Opens all kinds of possibilities!
                    Last edited by jmarkwolf; 02-15-2013, 08:23 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks everyone. All good points!

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                      • #12
                        I debated where to mount my x - axis scale, front or back? Asked a lot of questions and the answers I got ran about 25/75 (front/back). I went with the back, it is in this thread
                        I like it there, now.
                        Dan.

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                        • #13
                          I put mine on the front with a 1/4" thick 6063 aluminum angle behind and over it for protection. If my mill had Y travel I could afford to lose I'd mount it on the back of the table, but I use all the Y travel with fair regularity. I think basically it's a tradeoff between Y travel and using that table's front edge T slot for travel stops or whatever. I opted for the Y travel.

                          Note: 6063 has a square internal corner and uniform thickness legs; 6061 has a radius and tapered legs. You will discover if you use it that 6063 isn't really square to great accuracy, and the legs aren't truly uniform thickness, but it's tolerable.

                          Last edited by SGW; 02-15-2013, 11:54 PM.
                          ----------
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                          • #14
                            [QUOTE=jmarkwolf;830519] Seems to me the only advantage of this is that it's out of harms way when moving heavy tooling on/off the table.
                            /QUOTE]
                            Personally, THAT is a big enough reason to do do exactly that. :-)
                            ...lew...

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                            • #15
                              I have to have access to the front of the table so the scale has to be on the rear of the table. The power feed switch and cable, table locks and T slot are all on the front of the table.

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