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Tpac Tools Dro

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dennys502

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#1
Just a warning for those purchasing DRO for their lathe.
I just installed a DRO from TPAC Tools and realized the X axis scale only had 38.5 inches of travel.
My bad - I didn't notice the travel of their scales was 39 inches - I just saw the 13 x 40 and ordered that for my Clausing Colchester 13 x 40 lathe.
I actually have 41 inches of carriage travel so I will have to be careful that I do not move the carriage too far and jam the reader against the end of the case.
This is the first time I've come across someone advertising DRO for a 40" lathe with scales shorter than the travel.

The ones that were $50 - $100 more all had 40.3" of travel on their x axis.
For most people this may not be a problem but I want to have use of the full length if I need it.

Denny
 
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petertha

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#2
I don't know Colchester lathes, but I'm curious now. You say you have 41" of travel on a 13x40 lathe. So what does the '40' correspond to? My (typical Taiwan) lathe is a 14x40. In my specs it shows 40 = distance between centers & travel = 35.25". I just assumed all lathes had a similar travel : center distance reduction factor. I've never actually validated travel extend by removing the tailstock, but I suspect the right side of carriage would go clunk on the end bar that holds the leadscrew assembly. Maybe yours is different in some manner?

FWIW I went through a similar thing for DRO installation on my lathe. The chosen encoder length had more to do with accommodating the mounting hardware & of course facilitating full travel.
 

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dennys502

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The specs for the Clausing are the same -13 1/4" swing and 40" between centers. The carriage has 41.5 inches of travel with the tail stock on. I didn't look to see what it was with it off.
I'm not sure about the Chinese lathes.
I've got mine all mounted and I like the way it fits and works - just not happy about the short scale. Obviously designed for the chinese lathe and shouldn't be sold for fitting all 13 x 40's.
I did some research and found out TPAC tools on ebay is CDCO machinery in shaumberg Ill and also toolprecison on ebay.Xinan Fan is listed as the owner.
Lots of mixed reviews about CDCO.
 

petertha

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Glad you got it mounted. Hopefully the shortfall will be in a place you don't use it often. Maybe consider a bumper of some sort so you don't inadvertently whack the encoder head one day. I know various DRO scale systems vary in their mounting hardware & therefore lengths too. I have Newall & their catalog provides some installation guide sketches like attached. Even so I had to go back & forth to my machine to plan out a mounting strategy just because the castings & shape can dictate where things go & encoders come in specific, non-changeable length increments. The X-axis was pretty straight forward, but I had to think out the cross slide & compound a bit. But their mounting hardware was particularly nice to setup & adjust in any of 3 dimensions without too much fuss. The cost is more than DRO Asian options nowadays, but its installed & I love having it.
 

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dennys502

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I had to take the carriage off and machine it out so the scale would fit. While I had it off I drilled passages so the cross slide was lubed on both sides - one side you had to oil with an oil can. I don't know why they didn't do it when it was built - just a
couple of extra holes as they had already drilled some for the passages.

Carriage12.jpg Carriage13.jpg Carriage14.jpg
 

petertha

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Looks good. Hey while we're talking about all this, I (foolishly) did not get a back splash (or whatever you call the rear vertical sheet metal) for my lathe at the time. Its now on my list but was wondering - do you just lay the cables over the top of the metal on its way to DRO box & it just slides along the ridge when traversing? I was thinking maybe they could exit low like they are now, but that wont work well with slots or holes in the metal.

ps I also put encoder on Z-axis. Go big or go home. (The 3-axis was on sale same price as 2 & I didn't want one port to be lonely ha-ha)
 

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dennys502

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You are welcome - he also has Tools precision on Ebay. Its nice to have a heads up when buying online. At least it makes one aware of who they are dealing with so they look a little deeper at what they are buying - not that will help in some cases though.
 

dennys502

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Looks good. Hey while we're talking about all this, I (foolishly) did not get a back splash (or whatever you call the rear vertical sheet metal) for my lathe at the time. Its now on my list but was wondering - do you just lay the cables over the top of the metal on its way to DRO box & it just slides along the ridge when traversing? I was thinking maybe they could exit low like they are now, but that wont work well with slots or holes in the metal.

ps I also put encoder on Z-axis. Go big or go home. (The 3-axis was on sale same price as 2 & I didn't want one port to be lonely ha-ha)
I just have a cable tie holding the cables to the top of the back splash and then ran them along the back. They are positioned in the center of the travel so I don't have a lot of cable exposed.
I'm putting an Igaging readout on mine as my DRO is only X Y.
 
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