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How I mounted up my inexpensive IGaging DROs, to my lathe using 3M VHB mounting tape.

Discussion in 'MACHINE ACCESSORIES (Tables, Vises, Indexers)' started by xalky, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. xalky

    xalky United States Global Moderator Staff Member Director

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    There are a lot of reasons for not wanting to drill screw and tap your cheap DROs to the lathe. My reasons were that I didn't want to drill and tap holes because moving the lathe away from the wall to get to the back side seemed like way too much work to install $70 worth of DROs that may not even pan out to be good enough. If I was installing a DRO that was pricier, I would do it "the right way". If these inexpensive DROs turn out to be quite impressive over the long haul then I'll endeavor to mount them up more permanently.
    :allgood:

    Here's some photos of how the IGaging DROs are mounted up to my lathe and the process I'm using. I'm using 3M VHB (very High Bond) Tape. You can get it on amazon or Ebay. I went on the 3M site for surface preparation and temperature recommendations. Ideal temps are 68-degrees Fahrenheit. The surface must be thoroughly cleaned and degreased. I first cleaned it with purple power, you can use some other spray cleaner. Then i followed that with automotive wax and grease remover. The final step is to wipe it with isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol). I'm not sure, but I think you can use denatured alcohol too. I used isopropyl because thats what it said to use in the directions.

    The tape is temperature and pressure sensitive. I only keep my shop heated to around 60 degrees, so its a little too cool. So what i did was warm up the area where the bonding is to take place with a heat gun. Don't use a torch or you can cause all kinds of tempering and burning issues. Even with the heat gun, you have to be careful not to overheat any of the areas. Especially don't overheat the painted areas, as you can burn and strip the paint. I am also clamping all the bonding surfaces and periodically heating up the areas around them to activate the adhesive and to give the adhesive a good chance to ooze into all the micro-pores. I didn't sand the the surfaces but, i read that it can be beneficial to do so. I also read somewhere that if the surface is powder coated that there is a special tape for that surface. Apparently this stuff doesn't like to stick to powder coat.

    So far this thing has been clamped up for about 10 hrs overnight. I'm gonna give it a full 24 hrs because of the shop temperature, heating the areas periodically with the heat gun, just to be sure it's not gonna come apart.

    I was able to use the existing brackets that came with the DROs by doing a little creative reworking of the brackets.

    Every lathe is a little different, some of the older lathes don't have too many flat and square surfaces to mount things to, so if you have one of those, this tape method may not work at all. On my SB9 I 'd be able to mount on the back side, no problem. But the cross slide is a different story, I'd have to lay the scale flat next to the cross slide. No matter what lathe you're mounting to, you're going to have to get a little creative making or reworking the brackets.

    Anther method that might work is to use an epoxy putty such as PC7 to mount them up.

    [​IMG]
    This is a picture of the lathe with the clamps on it clamping down all the mounting points.

    [​IMG]

    The cross slide clamped up.

    [​IMG]

    The back side clamped up.

    [​IMG]

    A closeup of the back side mounted to the carriage.

    Marcel
     
  2. Ray C

    Ray C United States Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I think this is an excellent idea and option. I'm just not a big fan of drilling and tapping into free-standing equipment. Maybe a mag-base drill to make the holes would be helpful but I have my doubts about how well that would work out...

    I do not have DRO on my lathe but think it would be nice. I've always wondered if the sensors are too bulky and at least these iGaging things seem fairly slender. Been mulling-over getting a set for a long time -well aware that accurracy and precision is not as good as a real DRO. Also was thinking of gluing some tabs or fixtures to the lathe so the iGaging scales could be easily removed if the need arises.

    Good ideas here Marcel -thanks for stoking up the ideas.


    Ray
     
  3. GK1918

    GK1918 United States Active User Active Member

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    Exactly I epoxied mine. Older machines are kind of 'roundy' some mills like mine have no real space for a hand drill. So I contoured wood
    to the shape and epoxied it. I only used lacquer thinner C clamped over nite. been there all last past summer & aint fell off yet. There isnt a lot of load on these I feel no reason to drill and tap if boats are epoxied with no screws, and thats stress.


    whoops, I lost my ability to post pictures, which dont surprize me with this wonderful world of junk that last 2months. a new printer wow 3 weeks junk!
    But my house phone installed in 1942, same one, works perfectly! how come?
     
  4. xalky

    xalky United States Global Moderator Staff Member Director

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    Here's the completed setup. I bent up a piece of siding aluminum on my siding break for the chip guard on the cross feed- it's mounted with the VHB tape, simple. I also bent that piece of galvanized for the displays. The display mount is also mounted to the back wall with double sided tape, I used a cushier piece of tape for that to take up the pores in the block wall.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Marcel
     
  5. davidh

    davidh United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I never even considered the super tape. great idea. I also mentioned somewhere that sugru cojld be used too, and it will accept a screw so it can be taken apart if necessary. it just seems great that in my lifetime I have witnessed so many helpful things come to be. . . . . . .
     
  6. cascao

    cascao Active User Active Member

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    I screwed my iGaging in a way that if I remove the DRO I can build one taper attachment to same holes.
     
  7. Ray C

    Ray C United States Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Well, I just ordered a set of these scales from the fellow here on this site. I'm sure they'll be fine for my purposes. When they arrive, I'll do my best to make simple brackets so they can be removed very easily. The long scale will probably be mounted in the front as not to interfere with the taper attachment. I have no expectation of precision much better than roughly 1-3 thou from these units and for the Z direction, will probably make a temporary fixture that attactes to the apron and possibly the frame of the bench. We'll see what I come up with when I cross that bridge...

    Ray
     
  8. cascao

    cascao Active User Active Member

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    Nice idea. Liked the concept

    And you can always use rare earth magnets too.
     
  9. kevinpg

    kevinpg United States Active User Active Member

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    would rare earth magnets affect the scale performance?
     
  10. davidh

    davidh United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    now that's an interesting question. . . . . . . I will try to find an answer but, the read heads have a couple magnets on their back sides and are packaged and shipped pretty close to the scales and read heads when I get them. so im thinking that it makes no difference. I have drilled the ends for fastening and also used a self tapping screw in the end of another with no affect.

    I working on a "plug and play" larger battery attachment and its nearly figured out. trying to do it without soldering required.
     
  11. SEK_22Hornet

    SEK_22Hornet United States Active User Active Member

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    Just a couple quick comments - Rubbing alcohol may contain Glycerin, which may affect adhesion - look for 90% or higher to reduce the amount of Glycerin. Also, you can find the VHB tape in small quantities at auto parts stores - I've even bought it in the tire and lube section of Walmart. they call it trim tape or something like that.
     
  12. darkzero

    darkzero Global Moderator Staff Member Active Member

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    Rubbing alcohol & isopropyl are not considersd to be the same. Well the main ingredient in rubbing alcohol is isopropyl but they were meant for different applications. Never knew or heard that rubbing alcohol had glycerin in it though but it would make sense. Isopropyl from the drug store is 91%, rubbing alcohol is 70%. I commonly use 99% isopropyl but for electronics. I thought the other ingredient was just water. I also use a lot of denatured alcohol for cleaning & I think it would be better to use than rubbing alcohol.

    Is this 3M VHB stuff removeable or is it considered to be a permanent adhesion & is it very thick? I already installed a DROs on my lathe & mill (glass type) but I'm interested in it for a different application. I wonder how it would hold up to exposure to cutting fluids &oils?
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013
  13. HarryG

    HarryG United States Active User Active Member

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    3M has a lot of info on their VHB products. There are quite a few different types available.
    You can start here: http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/Adhesives/Tapes/Brands/3M-VHB-Tape/
     
  14. mtwheatley

    mtwheatley United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I've mounted iGaging sales to two axes of my SX2 mill using rare earth magnets. I placed the ends of the scales next to existing bolts in the mill so they will not shift either way. Works fine ... the magnets do not affect performance at all.
     
  15. Splat

    Splat Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I must admit, I watched 3m's video on this tape and was impressed. But it's tape. There's not wiggle/stretch when any pressure is applied against the item the tape is holding? I'm a nut & bolt, meat & potatoes kind of guy so I'd really like to know how this holds up after extended use.
     
  16. JimDawson

    JimDawson Global Moderator Staff Member Director

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    I have been using 3M VHB tape for years under some pretty harsh conditions and it seems to hold up very well. For mounting scales it seems to work fine with no creep.

    Below is a picture of my Y axis mag scale, it has been installed for about 8 months and it is continuously soaked in way oil and sometimes cutting oil. Seems to be holding up just fine. There are some solvents that don't agree with it, and Xylene seems the be the best solvent for removal.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. fixit

    fixit United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Will all of those clamps get in the way of using the lathe ? [​IMG] sorry

    fixit
     
  18. Pops

    Pops United States Active User Active Member

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    These DRO's are really great. I'm in the processes of adding them to my Summit mill. I'll try and post some pictures as progress goes along.
     
  19. Splat

    Splat Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    You going to use tape to mount yours, Pops?
     
  20. Pops

    Pops United States Active User Active Member

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    No, Splat.
    I used 6-32 screws to secure mine. I have a used milling machine that already has several holes in it from a previous owner. Will try to add pictures if I can figure it out. Have been a member of this forum for a while but haven't done much posting.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Real easy to install. They can be cut to length too. Just have to make sure everything is lined up and nice and square so there is no binding. Will probably add them to my lathe as soon as I get the mill done. Have a Craftsman 12" lathe. It had a 54" bed but I'm in the process of putting two beds together to make it twice as long. Have some gun barrels to work on.
     
  21. joebiplane

    joebiplane United States Active User Active Member

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  22. David Kirtley

    David Kirtley United States Active User Active Member

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    Yes. They make a horrible mess. I had one on my old lathe bed and used magnets to hook it up to the saddle. They attracted every chip that came off the lathe and made a big ball. As far as the readings on the scale, it didn't bother it at all.
    I have not bothered to install it again yet.
     
  23. xalky

    xalky United States Global Moderator Staff Member Director

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    I tried it with a 110v transformer.....It didn't work. I could get the display to display, but it was giberish. I think these need a really clean DC source, the wall adaptors just aint clean enough. I believe DavidH tried it too and had the same results.
     
  24. hvontres

    hvontres Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    What battery voltage do these use? I have a whole bunch of 3.3V fixed regulators that I could set up to go after a 5-18V wall wart that should give pretty clean power. Let me know if anyone is interested and I can throw together a quick proto board. If it works, I might be able to set up a group buy of PCB's to make this even slicker :)
     
  25. Winegrower

    Winegrower United States Iron Registered Member

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    I installed the iGaging DROs to my 10" Logan lathe. It was no problem drilling and tapping the few holes it took to mount, but what was harder was finding the best locations for the scales. It took two tries to get it to not interfere with certain workpieces. I still may not have it just right, so it's possible I might have to remove the X axis for some job in the future.

    I mounted a bracket on the carriage and attached the DRO displays to that, so they move along with the toolpost. Seems most natural to me rather than looking up on the wall.

    If you have not run a lathe with DROs I found it made an incredible difference in ease and precision (i.e., fun)...basically takes backlash out of the equation.
     
  26. GK1918

    GK1918 United States Active User Active Member

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    08-02-14 update ; Has not fell off yet and same batteries. And yes I have forgot to turn them off sooo......still working fine thanks Davidh

    even put one on the shaper old eyes dont work as well as a dro does
     
  27. clivel

    clivel Canada Steel Registered Member

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    Hi Winegrower,
    Is there any chance you could post a few pics of your setup?
    I am looking for ideas to place scales on my 10" Logan.
    Thanks,
    Clive
     
  28. davidh

    davidh United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    i bought a handful of battery holders with little on / off switch installed that take two triple a batterys. then i made a little disc with wires on it to take the place of one of the batterys in the dro, and to be hooked to this little battery holder. according to the calculations made, these two batterys should last a couple years if you left the scales on...............
    i'd be happy to share the information or even sell some of them, just because i really don't need all that i have. . . . . . . email me.
     
  29. jocat54

    jocat54 Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Maybe some pictures, sounds easy enough to do though, but like they say a picture is worth a thousand words, or something like that.:))
     
  30. calstar

    calstar United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Ditto!

    Brian
     

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