Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Mill DRO - having extra scale(s) for Z axis

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Mill DRO - having extra scale(s) for Z axis

    I installed a Mitutoyo DRO to my current small table Bridgeport. It met my then requirement of available used (cheap) and able to monitor X & Y axis position. https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...act=mrc&uact=8 Features it really does not have. For Z-axis, I have mounted an import digital caliper to the quill.

    I have assembled and am debugging a new to me Bridgeport with a standard size table and I am looking into installing a DRO before selling off the small table mill. I expect to buy a unit from DROPros or similar supplier. I am trying to decide if I want to spend extra for a scale on the knee and possible a scale on the quill (my understanding is that these two scales input the Z-axis display).

    Any of you splurged for a z-axis scale? One or two scales? Any of you regret not adding a 3rd or 4th scale to your mill when you bought a DRO? Any features that some newer DROs have that you find indispensable (new is relative to my antique Mitutoyo)? Other lessons learned with respect to buying a DRO?
    Metro Detroit

  • #2
    Z DRO

    Ten years ago I mounted a modified HF digital caliper to my round ram Bridgeport mill.
    It has been a very helpful accessory. I cut the jaws off and made a mount and link to the quill stud.

    RichD, Canton, GA

    Comment


    • #3
      When I put the X & Y scales on my mill I went the extra for the knee and quill. No regrets. Had to get a coupler box to connect them to. I can set it to read a couple different ways, meaning track opposed etc. You really need both knee and quill. If I didn't put them both on I would have regretted it without a doubt.

      JL..................
      Last edited by JoeLee; 08-29-2019, 09:11 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        I may add a Z scale to my knee at some point.

        Comment


        • #5
          Shortly after I bought my Craftes mill I installed a 3 axis DRO Pros on it. The mill came with a cheap DRO on the quill that didn't work very well and you had to keep feeding batteries to.
          It was a bit of work designing and fabricating mounts but I am happen I went that way. It had worked perfectly and I gained all the features of the larger DRO. Picture shows the quill mounting.

          Larry - west coast of Canada

          Comment


          • #6
            In time your going to find out that it's a must to have a scale on the knee. I can't count how many times I had to lower the knee to change tooling and didn't want to loose my setting.

            JL..............

            Comment


            • #7
              JoeLee:

              Please explain about the "coupler box". I am presuming that the quill scale and the knee scale read in opposite directions so that raising the knee or lowering the quill would change the z-axis display in the same direction. Correct? I assumed the summation of the two z-axis scales occurred in the DRO display. If so, what does the coupler do?




              Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
              When I put the X & Y scales on my mill I went the extra for the knee and quill. No regrets. Had to get a coupler box to connect them to. I can set it to read a couple different ways, meaning track opposed etc. You really need both knee and quill. If I didn't put them both on I would have regretted it without a doubt.

              JL..................
              Metro Detroit

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
                In time your going to find out that it's a must to have a scale on the knee. I can't count how many times I had to lower the knee to change tooling and didn't want to loose my setting.

                JL..............
                That has not been my experience. If I change tooling, the setting is lost anyway (since position relative to the tooling is what's important in Z axis). I installed a 3 axis DRO on my Bridgeport clone but haven't bothered to mount the Z axis; the knee dial does what I need and I've never had a use for the Z axis.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Can you get a readout with X, Y and two Z axis readouts on it? Having a quill dro is useful when drilling, I have just ordered a short digital calliper style one except the scale is horizontal when the dro axis is vertical. https://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/Catal...100mm-to-300mm

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi oldmart,

                    Which one did you order and have you installed it yet? A picture of this would be great, as I've come to the realization that even just the quill having a readout would make life a whole lot easier. using the ruler does not always work. Probably need to get one!!

                    TX
                    Mr fixit for the family
                    Chris

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
                      In time your going to find out that it's a must to have a scale on the knee. I can't count how many times I had to lower the knee to change tooling and didn't want to loose my setting.

                      JL..............
                      A dial indicator on a mag base works very well for knee position. Zero your knee crank dial for backup.

                      I don't see a need for Z axis readout in my milling experience. X and Y readout for sure but not Z.

                      Use the quill stop and an adjustable parallel to set accurate Z depth on your quill.

                      I'm talking about Bridgeport type machine.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yes, one can get two scales for quill and knee that do vertical axis summing. Looking at DROPROs website, the only units that have this feature are the ones with magnetic scales. I was considering glass scales (have glass scales on my lathe and (I am guessing the Mitutoyo DRO on my mill)) to keep the cost down since I have never had an issue with scale contamination. http://www.dropros.com/Electronica_M...xis_Mill_Kits:

                        It looks like a DRO kit with 4 (magnetic) scales will push the price to about $1500. Though at that price point the DRO also has a touch probe port which might be nice for transferring a datum / reference feature from design to part (I am guessing similar to a CNC?). I really have not done any shopping for price vs features - I have limited my self to some quick views of the DROPRO web pages. There my be other systems out there that offer 4 axis with scale summing with glass scales to reduce the cost somewhat. At $1500 one is fast approaching a professional 2-axis DRO price.

                        I have less than $600 in the replacement Bridgeport that I am debugging. **If** I can sell my small table Bridgeport for somewhere in the $1750 range, I end up with a little over $1000 without having to dig into my play money for the DRO. My original plan was for a 3 axis - third scale on the knee with the caliper (from my small table mill that I will sell) moved over to quill on the larger table mill. That should be somewhere in the $500 to $700 depending on whose system I buy.


                        Originally posted by old mart View Post
                        Can you get a readout with X, Y and two Z axis readouts on it? Having a quill dro is useful when drilling, I have just ordered a short digital calliper style one except the scale is horizontal when the dro axis is vertical. https://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/Catal...100mm-to-300mm
                        Metro Detroit

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by aribert View Post
                          I installed a Mitutoyo DRO to my current small table Bridgeport. It met my then requirement of available used (cheap) and able to monitor X & Y axis position. https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...act=mrc&uact=8 Features it really does not have. For Z-axis, I have mounted an import digital caliper to the quill.

                          I have assembled and am debugging a new to me Bridgeport with a standard size table and I am looking into installing a DRO before selling off the small table mill. I expect to buy a unit from DROPros or similar supplier. I am trying to decide if I want to spend extra for a scale on the knee and possible a scale on the quill (my understanding is that these two scales input the Z-axis display).

                          Any of you splurged for a z-axis scale? One or two scales? Any of you regret not adding a 3rd or 4th scale to your mill when you bought a DRO? Any features that some newer DROs have that you find indispensable (new is relative to my antique Mitutoyo)? Other lessons learned with respect to buying a DRO?
                          A scale on the knee can be optional. It would be nice to have, but I've found it isn't absolutely necessary, mostly because if you'll be putting a scale on the quill, you'd have your precise measurement of drill/etc depth on the quill.

                          On mine, I ended up getting a three-axis DRO, with the third axis on the knee. Then I added a Bridgeport-specific scale that isn't part of the DRO to the quill. There are several units like this out there, this is Mitty's unit:

                          https://ecatalog.mitutoyo.com/Quill-...lls-C1299.aspx

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I did the same thing on my mill which has a dovetail column. The dovetail column gives much the same utility as a knee. I have had the mill for around 10 years and, so far, I have not needed a readout on the column for any parts that I have made.



                            With 5 1/2" / 140mm of quill travel the one readout seems to cover most of the work that I do. Of course, now that I put that in print, my next project will absolutely not be possible without one on the column.

                            I believe mine is also a HF and it also gobbles up batteries. I need an AC adopter.



                            Originally posted by livesteam View Post
                            Ten years ago I mounted a modified HF digital caliper to my round ram Bridgeport mill.
                            It has been a very helpful accessory. I cut the jaws off and made a mount and link to the quill stud.

                            Paul A.
                            SE Texas

                            And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                            You will find that it has discrete steps.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
                              I did the same thing on my mill which has a dovetail column. The dovetail column gives much the same utility as a knee. I have had the mill for around 10 years and, so far, I have not needed a readout on the column for any parts that I have made.



                              With 5 1/2" / 140mm of quill travel the one readout seems to cover most of the work that I do. Of course, now that I put that in print, my next project will absolutely not be possible without one on the column.

                              I believe mine is also a HF and it also gobbles up batteries. I need an AC adopter.
                              I chose the caliper that drained the battery the fastest. I loop a piece of masking tape to make it double sided and place the battery on the tape when not needed. I get great battery life, except when I forget to remove the battery.

                              Sent from my 5049W using Tapatalk
                              Metro Detroit

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X