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DRO for LMS Mill

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TjTurner

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#1
Evening All...

I'm looking for suggestions for a good DRO for a LMS mill. I'm sure this was covered earlier, but my search keeps coming up with ni results and an html error. I may have to switch browsers.

Anyway, I do a lot of lutherie, and I bought an LMS mill in order to make very precise (precise in the guitar world...+/- 0.001") cuts to my nuts and saddles. (And because I've always wanted a small mill to do some metal projects on...and teach my son what little I know.) But a DRO would greatly enhance my ability to make accurate cuts. I'm not sure the igauging solutions are exactly what I'm looking for...so I don't mind investing in something that would be worthwhile. Although I'm not sure I want to double the price of my machine either!

Thanks!

Tj
 

brav65

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#2
I just got a DRO Pros 3axis for my mill. It is a quality product with lots of support. A 2axis will run you $500+. LMS offers a small screw mount DRO here http://littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=2222&category=-1536942993. The precision is not the same as DRO Pros but it may suit you needs. TheDROstore on ebay has a two axis DRO for $299. I am extremely new to all of this, but my suggestion would be to set a budget for all your accessories including tooling then decide which direction to go in. Congrats on the new lathe and good luck.
 

wrmiller

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#3
+1 on the DroPros. I put the 3-axis setup (300M?) on mine as I didn't think the iGauging was going to be accurate enough. Bought mine from LMS and considered it money well spent as the 20 tpi screws on the LMS mill allows very accurate positioning and repeatability. I was constantly using the tenths digit. :)
 

coolidge

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#4
Add me to the DroPros fan club, very happy with my DRO on my lathe.
 

Fabrickator

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#5
I have IGauging DROs and they work great. Although, of the 5 units that I've purchased for the lathe and mill, a couple of them don't have auto-shutoff (maybe older models?). Here is a link to a thread with all of the mods on my LMS Mini Mill, including DRO model #s and mounting brkt templates.

I think that I bought them through Grizzly.

http://www.hobby-machinist.com/showthread.php/22202-My-LMS-Mini-Mill
 

TjTurner

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#7
Thanks all!

I am leaning toward the DRO Pro, just because that would do it for good. It's pricey, so I guess I'll be saving up. Maybe I'm missing something though...it seems the cheapest price I can find is around $1100 on LMS or direct through DRO Pro. Are you guys finding it cheaper somewhere else?

Thanks!

Tj
 

brav65

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#8
Thanks all!

I am leaning toward the DRO Pro, just because that would do it for good. It's pricey, so I guess I'll be saving up. Maybe I'm missing something though...it seems the cheapest price I can find is around $1100 on LMS or direct through DRO Pro. Are you guys finding it cheaper somewhere else?

Thanks!

Tj

I think you will be very happy with the DRO Pros. This is the unit I bought http://www.dropros.com/DRO_PROS_Milling_Machine_Digital_Readout#DRO_PROS_3M . I am just about done installing mine. The small mills require some creativity to install due to the small space available. I wanted to make sure that I could remove everything and install and adjust with as little effort as possible. The readout is very well made aluminum housing and the kit comes with a great deal of support including a DVD and install and operations manual. There are a number of nice features check out the link. I spoke with Dan and he answered a couple of questions and was really nice. Good Luck!
 

Shopdawg

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Oct 30, 2014
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#10
I have the DRO Pro EL-400 machine specific with magnetic scales. It works great with a lot of bells and whistles I'm still learning to use.
The one thing I find irritating is the display reads to the tenth of a thousandth (0.0001) I can't crank my G3617 to that tolerance. So I spend way too much time "chasing zeros".. :nuts:
 

okent

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Oct 14, 2012
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#11
I'm in the same boat as the original poster. I've about decided to go with DROPros but trying to decide between glass versus magnetic scales. I have a 3990 so space is an issue with larger scales.
I like the idea of a 3 axis but is there any opinion either way?
Any advantage with going with LMS versus directly to DROPros? I'm going to order the 20tpi setup as well.
Thanks
 

coolidge

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#12
I have the DROPRos magnetic scales on my lathe, here are the pro's and con's imo...

Pro's - Small and thin, about 1x.375 cross section. You can cut them to the exact size you need with any kind of metal cutting blade, hacksaw, chop saw, band saw. Impervious to coolant, chips, etc. Accurate, I'm holding within a few tenths on my lathe. I love the quality of the EL400, the display is really nice and cast aluminum not plastic.

Con's - The scale is flexible, pay NO attention to the leveling screws crap the scale needs to be mounted to a flat rigid surface. The scale will deform significantly (twist, bow) if the mounting surface is not flat. That's the catch, if say on the Z axis your mill column doesn't have a flat surface then you will have to mount the scale to some aluminum bar then mount that to the column so you just lost the small form factor advantage. On a mill mounting to the table which will be machined flat should not be a problem. I didn't machine the aluminum bar I mounted my lathe scale to e.g. it doesn't have to be absolutely flat, just flat within say .010. I did mount it to a thick ass bar, like 3/4 inch thick but keep in mind this was my lathe Z axis scale which was about 40 inches long. Also I found the chip covers for the kit pretty much useless, they are overly large. You could mill to size but frankly its probably easier just to purchase something closer to the correct size.
 
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