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Thread: How to get the most out of a DRO on the lathe?

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    Aluminum rdfoster's Avatar
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    How to get the most out of a DRO on the lathe?

    Those of you who are experienced in using a DRO on your lathe how do you use it and what does it do for you?

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    Re: How to get the most out of a DRO on the lathe?

    This is an abosulutely awesome question. I await the answe of those with experience..

    can we get the DRO type at the beginning of the response so we can understand / account for differences? I am contemplating the igage type remote deos, just because of budget constraints.
    HF 7X10
    HF Micro (yes I said Micro) Mill
    Central Machinery 12x36 lathe

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    Aluminum rdfoster's Avatar
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    Re: How to get the most out of a DRO on the lathe?

    Daver:

    I have both the igaging on my G0619 mill and an Easson ES-8A on my PM 1236 Lathe. I have mixed feelings about the Igaging units probably because I need to mount them better and I really don't know how to get the most out of what I have. I just got the ES-8A and am learning.

    Bob

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    Administrator Tony Wells's Avatar
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    Re: How to get the most out of a DRO on the lathe?

    That's a very good question. I'm sure the responses will be as varied as the users. I say that because with DRO you get so much flexibility that you are only limited by your imagination.

    I'll start by giving one example that works (for me) in both ID and OD work. When I start cutting a diameter, I skim until I get a cleanup, if I'm close to finish size anyway, and zero the readout there. I back away, stop the machine and get a good, accurate measurement of the diameter. On my Sony, and I expect the majority of units, I can manually enter a value. So safely away in -Z-, I dial the tool back to the position I cut in.....and where I set the zero, then enter the actual cut/measured diameter value. Back to the work, another pass where I verify that it cut to what I dialed. I do it again as I approach the finish diameter. On the last couple of passes are important that the depth of cut be the same, so any pushoff is predictable. If it consistently cuts 0.0010 less than I dial, then I could look for the problem, such as tool height, or I could just dial in the extra 0.0010, and on the last pass, it should be right on target.

    Another tip is while deep in a bore, where you cannot see the back-side of the hole or the bar, one way to make sure you don't back away from the cut too far and mar the bore is to just get off the cut diameter, and pull the tool back out. And if you're facing the bottom of the bore, if you have set the bar as I described above, you don't have to guess when you face back to the center. You know when you it 0.0000 diameter. Going past will possibly chip your tool because then it would be running backwards on the facing cut.

    OK, there's mine to start. I'll let others add their tips. As I said, there are many, many things you can do with them.
    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer. A man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman. A man who works with his hands, his brain and his heart is an artist."

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    Brass
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    Re: How to get the most out of a DRO on the lathe?

    I have the igaging on the x axis of my lathe. So far, I've found it's repeatability to be not so good. It's also difficult for me to read it because of the small size and the lack of back light. I do need more light over the lathe though. I haven't tried mounting the y axis yet, because it's going to take some imagination to get it mounted. I'll need to make something different for all the brackets from the look of it.

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    Global Moderator darkzero's Avatar
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    Re: How to get the most out of a DRO on the lathe?

    The most useful function I like about the DRO is the absolute & incremental feature. You can use one tool to do an op in absolute, then switch tools & to incremental to do another op, then switch back without loosing your original reading with the first tool. The value for absolute also carries over to incremental mode which also can be very useful in many different situations

    As Tony mentioned, the ability to enter in a value of the measured part. I have a lathe specific DRO so not sure if the universal models have this as well. For the X axis I have a button to switch from radius & diameter mode. You can also set in the parameters to always read radius. In diameter mode, much like Tony described, I do a pass & measure the diameter of the workpiece, then enter that dimension in the DRO. Now the DRO is displaying the diameter of the workpiece & I can then turn down to the diameter I'm aiming for rather than using the DRO to display depth of cut. With this method, I used the dial on the cross slide for refrence on how much DOC I am taking each pass. Two easy ways to tell if you have a lathe specific DRO or universal. A lathe specific DRO with have the axes label X & Z where a universal DRO will have the axes label X & Y and will also usually have a setting in the parameters to set the DRO for mill, lathe, grinder, etc. A lathe specific DRO will not have all the mill specific functions.

    Although I don't use it much, you can set in the memory offsets for up to 99 different tools. Once you get this setup & are comfortable with it, you can swap tools without having to reindicate each tool to the work piece.

    If you have a universal DRO with mill functions, you can actually use the line hole drilling function for evenly spaced grooving.

    Your ES-8A has a feature that will display axis speed when feeding. Only displays in MM though but It's probably not useful at all on the lathe. More useful on the mill to use as a learning curve if feeding by hand.

    There's a few more that I have used a few times but I'm drawing a blank right now. It kind of just comes natural to me when the situation arises.

    And to add, when threading, I don't use the DRO when coming to the end of cutting a thread for the Z axis. I find using a dial indicator on the way for the carriage is still the best way.
    -Will-

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    Copper davidh's Avatar
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    Re: How to get the most out of a DRO on the lathe?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeWi View Post
    I have the igaging on the x axis of my lathe. So far, I've found it's repeatability to be not so good. It's also difficult for me to read it because of the small size and the lack of back light. I do need more light over the lathe though. I haven't tried mounting the y axis yet, because it's going to take some imagination to get it mounted. I'll need to make something different for all the brackets from the look of it.
    I've been contemplating the "y" on my 12" craftsman. i'd bet a fella could get really creative with cables and pulleys controlling one of the igaging ones. its going to be a challenge.

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    Brass Frank Ford's Avatar
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    Re: How to get the most out of a DRO on the lathe?

    I use the Z axis for accurate length measurements and location, and the X axis most of the time for close diameter measurements, always checked with micrometer. For the X axis to be accurate, the tool has to be dead on center, and the amount removed will vary with the depth of cut, tool and material.

    In short, I can live without DRO on the lathe. Milling without DRO would be a very different experience, you betcha.

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    Titanium Ray C's Avatar
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    Re: How to get the most out of a DRO on the lathe?

    It seems DRO would be very useful for tapers. I finally decided to get a taper attachment as I cut them frequently but usually manage to get-away with just using the compound. When doing it this way, two travel indicators are needed and DRO would probably make the setup much faster.

    Ray
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    Re: How to get the most out of a DRO on the lathe?

    the most important thing to mee is the fact i do not need my reeding glasses to see those big letters
    and that i can see any movement in a sec next thing is that i need to dial in al of my cutting tools so i can
    use them without meassuring every time when i change tool

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    Cast Iron Splat's Avatar
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    Re: How to get the most out of a DRO on the lathe?

    Any others care to chime in?
    1953 Johansson B-12 mill
    1957 South Bend Heavy 10L with Teco NEV-101-H1 vfd

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    Cast Iron drs23's Avatar
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    Re: How to get the most out of a DRO on the lathe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Splat View Post
    Any others care to chime in?
    I'm chimeless at this time. Mine won't be delivered until tomorrow.

    Really enjoyed the replies though and I'm sure I'll have some questions as well after I get it installed.

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    Re: How to get the most out of a DRO on the lathe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Splat View Post
    Any others care to chime in?
    Thanks for bumping this- I must have missed it the first time around!

    Bernie
    Bernie

    Let's help each other with similar machines! Here's what I got:
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    Sheldon 0 Mill -- with RUSNOK Model 70 Vertical Milling Head- 1955
    Sheldon 12 Inch Shaper
    Walker Turner 20 in Floor Drill Press 1100 -1950
    Hand-I-Hack Lipe Rollway Corp - 1950

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    Cast Iron Splat's Avatar
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    Re: How to get the most out of a DRO on the lathe?

    Quote Originally Posted by itsme_Bernie View Post
    Thanks for bumping this- I must have missed it the first time around! Bernie
    Same here, Bernie! I was looking for DRO info and found this thread. I don't have a DRO so can't really contribute to it but I hope others can.
    1953 Johansson B-12 mill
    1957 South Bend Heavy 10L with Teco NEV-101-H1 vfd

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    Re: How to get the most out of a DRO on the lathe?

    i dont have a dro on my lathe, but there is one on the lathe where i work, and it makes life a little easier. imo, you dont really need dro on the cross slide or compound, or tailstock. but the lathe bed dro is very nice, since otherwise you are not able to accurately position the carriage. when i convert my mini into a 7x16 i will buy an igaging scale for the carriage only. without dro, it is hard to make several things of the same length. i often part off slightly oversize, and face the parts to length and measure, recut using locked carriage and compound at 90* to feed semi accurate measure, which sucks. its nice to be able to move to the correct coordinate, and cut. i dont think the other axis benefit from dro, unless you have a very rigid machine that won't deflect much, otherwise the measurements are not very useful unless you take a bunch of spring cuts.

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    Copper davidh's Avatar
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    Re: How to get the most out of a DRO on the lathe?

    I did finally figure out a mount for my 12" atlas craftman for the "z" axis with a guard too.

    I never thought about the fact that cutting above or below center would be inaccurate as someone stated above, but it would be the same inaccuracy as when reading the dials. . .

    when Im turning anything, I still double and triple check as im going along, with a digital caliper. I just do. .. . . .
    but for the little work I actually do in my shop, its usually some radical repair for something or other.

    I do have another "boatload" of dro's and angle cubes available.

    everybody on this forum should have them, they're so reasonably priced.

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    Re: How to get the most out of a DRO on the lathe?

    I would really appreciate it if some pictures of lathe DRO installations were posted. I have a 12 x 36 and am trying to visualize a 2 axis DRO mounting that would not be in the way of carriage locks, oilers, ect. The tailstock mount is simple enough but the L-feed & X-feed baffle me.

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    Tungsten Carbide xalky's Avatar
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    Re: How to get the most out of a DRO on the lathe?

    Quote Originally Posted by epanzella View Post
    I would really appreciate it if some pictures of lathe DRO installations were posted. I have a 12 x 36 and am trying to visualize a 2 axis DRO mounting that would not be in the way of carriage locks, oilers, ect. The tailstock mount is simple enough but the L-feed & X-feed baffle me.
    Maybe a little late on this response. I'm in the process of installing my Igaging DROs on my 12x30 lathe. The L feed is getting mounted on the backside of the bed. Since theres no lead screws or anything else on that side. It'll be pretty well protected back there too. The x feed is getting mounted onto the right side of the cross feed, since that side sees less swarf. It's gonna stick up a little bit, but not enough to interfere with anything. I'm gonna use 3M VHB mounting tape to mount them. http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3...BC31gv%29&rt=d
    People are mounting gear racks for x-y tables with this stuff, so, I'm gonna give it a shot. The area has to be degreased really well and then followed up by isopropyl alcohol. I had some that I used for mounting other things around the shop and it's fantastic stuff. I just hope that there's enough surface area on the brackets for it to bond. If it works and stays, you guys will know about it. If it fails, I'll just drill and tap like every one else.

    I'll post up pictures when I'm done
    Bridgeport Milling Machine w/DRO and Powerfeed
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    The name's "Marcel".

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    Cast Iron drs23's Avatar
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    Re: How to get the most out of a DRO on the lathe?

    Quote Originally Posted by xalky View Post
    Maybe a little late on this response. I'm in the process of installing my Igaging DROs on my 12x30 lathe. The L feed is getting mounted on the backside of the bed. Since theres no lead screws or anything else on that side. It'll be pretty well protected back there too. The x feed is getting mounted onto the right side of the cross feed, since that side sees less swarf. It's gonna stick up a little bit, but not enough to interfere with anything. I'm gonna use 3M VHB mounting tape to mount them. http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3...BC31gv%29&rt=d
    People are mounting gear racks for x-y tables with this stuff, so, I'm gonna give it a shot. The area has to be degreased really well and then followed up by isopropyl alcohol. I had some that I used for mounting other things around the shop and it's fantastic stuff. I just hope that there's enough surface area on the brackets for it to bond. If it works and stays, you guys will know about it. If it fails, I'll just drill and tap like every one else.

    I'll post up pictures when I'm done
    Where did you find it? Your link leads to 9 per case. Where did you get one roll?

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    Tungsten Carbide xalky's Avatar
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    Re: How to get the most out of a DRO on the lathe?

    Try Amazon or eBay. I can't remember.

    Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk
    Bridgeport Milling Machine w/DRO and Powerfeed
    Nardini 1440s lathe
    Ikegai A20 20x40 lathe
    DoAll DH612 hydraulic surface Grinder
    Lincoln Idealarc DC250 with LN7 wire feeder, and spool gun
    Hypertherm Powermax85 with Machine and hand torch
    4x5 CNC plasma cutting table (shop made)
    Devilbiss 6.5hp 80gal 175psi 2 stage compressor
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    The name's "Marcel".

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    Re: How to get the most out of a DRO on the lathe?

    Quote Originally Posted by xalky View Post
    Maybe a little late on this response. I'm in the process of installing my Igaging DROs on my 12x30 lathe. The L feed is getting mounted on the backside of the bed. Since theres no lead screws or anything else on that side. It'll be pretty well protected back there too. The x feed is getting mounted onto the right side of the cross feed, since that side sees less swarf. It's gonna stick up a little bit, but not enough to interfere with anything. I'm gonna use 3M VHB mounting tape to mount them. http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3...BC31gv%29&rt=d
    People are mounting gear racks for x-y tables with this stuff, so, I'm gonna give it a shot. The area has to be degreased really well and then followed up by isopropyl alcohol. I had some that I used for mounting other things around the shop and it's fantastic stuff. I just hope that there's enough surface area on the brackets for it to bond. If it works and stays, you guys will know about it. If it fails, I'll just drill and tap like every one else.

    I'll post up pictures when I'm done
    Thanks

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    Copper davidh's Avatar
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    Re: How to get the most out of a DRO on the lathe?

    i'll bet even something like SUGRU would work very well for the ends of the scales. every home shop should have some (sugru.com) ?

    keep in mind that the igaging units can be drilled thru on the ends for mounting also.

    one of the guys epoxied his to an wooden block that was epoxied to his casting (after cleaning)

    they are quite tolerant.

  23. #23
    Tungsten Carbide xalky's Avatar
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    Re: How to get the most out of a DRO on the lathe?

    I started a "how to" thread over here: http://www.hobby-machinist.com/showt...796#post156796 . Check it out!

    Marcel
    Bridgeport Milling Machine w/DRO and Powerfeed
    Nardini 1440s lathe
    Ikegai A20 20x40 lathe
    DoAll DH612 hydraulic surface Grinder
    Lincoln Idealarc DC250 with LN7 wire feeder, and spool gun
    Hypertherm Powermax85 with Machine and hand torch
    4x5 CNC plasma cutting table (shop made)
    Devilbiss 6.5hp 80gal 175psi 2 stage compressor
    HF blast Cabinet modified for foot pedal operation better gun.
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    The name's "Marcel".

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    Copper davidh's Avatar
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    Re: How to get the most out of a DRO on the lathe?

    igaging on a 12 x42 craftsmanfitting scale.jpgIMG_0393 (800x600).jpgIMG_0442 (800x600).jpgIMG_0444 (800x600).jpgIMG_0449 (800x600).jpgIMG_0483 (800x600).jpgsttarting.jpgIMG_0491 (800x600).jpg
    I still get a little swarf on the crossfeed unit but not enough to hurt it. the yellow guard / mount etc is a bit of an overkill but it makes me happy

    the bracket for mounting the "x" head was a bit of a headache but I made a few at the same time. ugly but functional. ...

    the cross feed dial on my lathe is impossible for my old eyes to see. these are the economy answer for that problem. like others have said, you still need to measure as you cut the diameters, at least I do. especially down to my last cuts.

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