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Cutting Glass DRO Scales-How to...With Pictures

Discussion in 'METROLOGY - MEASURE, SETUP & FIT' started by Kennyd, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. Kennyd

    Kennyd United States Active User Active Member

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    In my recent DRO thread: http://hobby-machinist.com/index.php?topic=2019.0 a comment was made stating "You cannot cut glass scales". Well, after some research I have found that indeed you can, and I did two of them today.

    Here is a simple How-To on how I did it. First let me state that it is not for the faint of heart, but there where no surprises and everything that happened was predictable.

    -First, I removed the endcap opposite the labels so they would remain intact, slid the reader head out, then I pulled out the 4 wipers.

    -I determined that the glass was glued in (some scales it's not) and that I did not want to try removing it from the scale body, so a packed a paper towel around it to give it support during the cutting process. Then I proceeded to make a test cut, and since I had to shorten it by 15 inches I had plenty of trial and error room.

    -After the test cut proved un-eventful, I cut the scale to the final length. When the blade hits the glass, it breaks in a fairly straight line, but this is NOT critical anyway since it must be trimmed back about 1/4" and the reader head is still over 2" away at it's closest point. For the trimming I just reached in and nipped at the glass with needlenose pliers since nothing else could get in there to trim the glass. Remember this is non-critical.

    -Next I filed the end of the body to remove burs, Then I taped the endcap on and used a transfer punch to mark the holes for the endcap screws.

    -Next I drilled the four holes-this was the most stressful part worrying about the bit breaking. The I proceeded to tap the four holes with a 2mm tap.

    -After all the cutting/drilling/tapping was completed, I removed the paper towel and used compressed air to clean ant debris from inside the scale body.

    -Then I slid the wipers back in and cut them with a razor blade, then re-installed the reader head.

    -The last step is to apply a small bead of silicone around the endcap and install it using a dab of Loctite on the four screws.

    All this took a little over 1 hour to complete, and things went so well I decided to cut down the compound slide also by 2" since it's going to be hanging of the rear (see other thread linked) I figured the less mass/length the better.

    IMG_1007.jpg IMG_1008.jpg IMG_1009.jpg IMG_1010.jpg IMG_1011.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2011
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  2. Kennyd

    Kennyd United States Active User Active Member

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    Four more pictures:

    IMG_1013.jpg IMG_1014.jpg IMG_1015.jpg IMG_1016.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2011
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  3. Kennyd

    Kennyd United States Active User Active Member

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    Thanks Ed, consider thy butt "covered" ;D

    The pictures worked last night before the set was offline for a while. The are not links but rather attachments uploaded to the posts. Possibly something wrong on the site after the maintenance?
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011
  4. Kennyd

    Kennyd United States Active User Active Member

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    Pictures re-loaded :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011
  5. Bobby Bailey

    Bobby Bailey Active User Active Member

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    Good write-up. Thanks,
    Bobby
     
  6. RandyM

    RandyM United States Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Yup, nice job Ken. I will have to book mark this one. Thanks for the post.
     
  7. Kennyd

    Kennyd United States Active User Active Member

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  8. tdrago

    tdrago Iron Registered Member

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    Just wanted to clarify what I read here...so you cut the glass with it in place INSIDE (still glued in place) the aluminun housing and just hacksawed the entire scale ??? Photos look like you did it with the housing/glass in the upright/vertical position so the glass was cur downward on its edge ...is that correct ?? Would have thought cutting it on the larger flat side (horizontal position) would have been less risky..... just a regular hack saw blade ??? Please fill me in..Thanks. TD


    -I determined that the glass was glued in (some scales it's not) and that I did not want to try removing it from the scale body, so a packed a paper towel around it to give it support during the cutting process. Then I proceeded to make a test cut, and since I had to shorten it by 15 inches I had plenty of trial and error room.

    -After the test cut proved un-eventful, I cut the scale to the final length. When the blade hits the glass, it breaks in a fairly straight line, but this is NOT critical anyway since it must be trimmed back about 1/4" and the reader head is still over 2" away at it's closest point. For the trimming I just reached in and nipped at the glass with needlenose pliers since nothing else could get in there to trim the glass. Remember this is non-critical.

    -Next I filed the end of the body to remove burs, Then I taped the endcap on and used a transfer punch to mark the holes for the endcap screws.
     
  9. Kennyd

    Kennyd United States Active User Active Member

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    Yes, scale is glued in, cut just like the pics showed. Just a regular metal blade in my bandsaw.
     
  10. Splat

    Splat Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I'm necroposting to say thanks for posting this. I've got a SINO DRO package I bought used. One of the scales I got with the SINO is about 5" longer than what I need for my cross slide. So with help from the info you posted here I'm going to cut it down to what I need. Wish me luck! :encourage:
     
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  11. FLguy

    FLguy H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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  12. FLguy

    FLguy H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    In an other hobby I enjoy; lapidary, I would use my diamond saw. It has gushing water to keep things cool and free of swarf. A great finish and really cuts faster than one thinks it might.
     
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