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DRO for Vertical Mill or Lathe - Info & experiences

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SSage

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#31
I've been thinking about a 2 axis dro for my 12x36 lathe. I have PM machines, so I have been debating on an eBay special verses the PM 2 axis $399 kit. Is there an advantage to these mentioned above? I have a PM branded DRO on my mill, but I just don't have anything to compare it to. Its worked fine for me though. I guess the lathe version comes with all the mounting hardware? I wish PM had them preinstalled on the 1236's when I bought mine, I love the Mill with the 3 axis that came ready to go.
 

tjb

Terry
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#32
Mine should be here tomorrow. Dan (middle-road) already received his 3-axis but has not yet installed it. Bob Korves received his some time back. I don't think he's installed his yet either, but he knows others who have installed already and are satisfied.

I ordered a 2-axis DRO for my 13x40 lathe - $179.84 delivered. If it shows up tomorrow, it will be exactly three weeks from the day I ordered. But they tell you that up front.

Follow this thread and also 'Accuremote or igaging'. You'll get all the info you need as well as comparisons to some other options that are out there. Bob gives all the contact information about 12 posts down on the 'Accuremote...' thread.

Regards,
Terry
 

middle.road

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#33
Oops. Not St. Louis. Louisville. No idea why it's there, either. It's shipping UPS.

Hope mine arrives in same condition as yours. You satisfied so far?

Regards,
Terry
UPS has it's main air terminal in Louisville KY.

For the price - heck yeah. I have a spreadsheet going back three years and the cost has come down quite a bit.
The kit is a tad shy of mounting brackets and there wasn't one supplied for the display head but heck we've got material and time.
Looking at all the other kits out there that appears to be the norm.
At ~$100.00 / axis you can't really complain.
I would like to find more detailed information/drawings for mounting the scales. I sent Wilson a message.
So far I've only found the one drawing in the listing showing mounting dimensions. I scrounged around for more but have come up empty.
I would love to see some other's picts of their installs.

Going to try to install today. Couldn't get any traction in the shop yesterday. I had an old bracket from an Accu-Trak system for the 'Y'-Axis.
Managed to find it after it's been bouncing around the shop for years, and then promptly mis-placed it. Haven't seen it since Friday. The gremlins grabbed it and hid it real good. The leftover from the Mitutoyo is a bit 'light', but I'll probably end up reusing it.
Weather today is cruddy, rain and snowing, although the sun is attempting to punch through..
 

tjb

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#34
UPS has it's main air terminal in Louisville KY.

For the price - heck yeah. I have a spreadsheet going back three years and the cost has come down quite a bit.
The kit is a tad shy of mounting brackets and there wasn't one supplied for the display head but heck we've got material and time.
Looking at all the other kits out there that appears to be the norm.
At ~$100.00 / axis you can't really complain.
I would like to find more detailed information/drawings for mounting the scales. I sent Wilson a message.
So far I've only found the one drawing in the listing showing mounting dimensions. I scrounged around for more but have come up empty.
I would love to see some other's picts of their installs.

Going to try to install today. Couldn't get any traction in the shop yesterday. I had an old bracket from an Accu-Trak system for the 'Y'-Axis.
Managed to find it after it's been bouncing around the shop for years, and then promptly mis-placed it. Haven't seen it since Friday. The gremlins grabbed it and hid it real good. The leftover from the Mitutoyo is a bit 'light', but I'll probably end up reusing it.
Weather today is cruddy, rain and snowing, although the sun is attempting to punch through..
If you locate any info that might be helpful for mounting, I sure would appreciate your sharing. I'll do the same if I come up with anything. Anxious to hear how your installation goes. Good luck.

P.S.: I'm pretty sure I know where your bracket is. Showed up over the weekend in my shop. Had no idea what it was or where it came from. Thanks for the heads up.

Regards
 

tjb

Terry
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#35
UPS has it's main air terminal in Louisville KY.

For the price - heck yeah. I have a spreadsheet going back three years and the cost has come down quite a bit.
The kit is a tad shy of mounting brackets and there wasn't one supplied for the display head but heck we've got material and time.
Looking at all the other kits out there that appears to be the norm.
At ~$100.00 / axis you can't really complain.
I would like to find more detailed information/drawings for mounting the scales. I sent Wilson a message.
So far I've only found the one drawing in the listing showing mounting dimensions. I scrounged around for more but have come up empty.
I would love to see some other's picts of their installs.

Going to try to install today. Couldn't get any traction in the shop yesterday. I had an old bracket from an Accu-Trak system for the 'Y'-Axis.
Managed to find it after it's been bouncing around the shop for years, and then promptly mis-placed it. Haven't seen it since Friday. The gremlins grabbed it and hid it real good. The leftover from the Mitutoyo is a bit 'light', but I'll probably end up reusing it.
Weather today is cruddy, rain and snowing, although the sun is attempting to punch through..
Delivery update: Left Nome at 4:20 PM. No wait. That was Nashville.
 

middle.road

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#36
Man, we lost a few posts drat-it-all.
I'll start off re-posting what I can remember.
Here's a sketch of dimensions that are missing.
Bottom side of the read head, the (4)-threaded M4 holes, and the hole pattern for the Display Head Panel.
The Display Head mounting surface has an angle of 65° on it.

I've got my 'Y'-Axis installed, and started on the 'X' but there is a bow of over .020" on the rail when I clamped it to the table.

Siton_DRO_DIMS_001.jpg
 

middle.road

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#38
Whoa. What are you going to do? (Shim, maybe?)
Not sure yet. The 'bow' is 'away' from the table. Finally heading into the shop on this beautiful day an am going to ponder it.

1521164323323.png
 
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middle.road

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#39
Here's a pict of it. Doesn't really show up unless you squint. Not sure what to do about this...
 

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ttabbal

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#40
Interesting. I'm going to be joining you first time DRO installers. I took advantage of the 20% eBay coupon last week and my DRO is getting here Monday. From Hong Kong. Thought for sure I'd be waiting a bit. Hopefully my scales are straight. Not sure what to do about that.
 

JimDawson

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#41
Not sure yet. The bow is 'bow' is 'away' from the table. Finally heading into the shop on this beautiful day an am going to ponder it.
Wow. That is an interesting problem. Two possibilities: 1) Flip it over and clamp it down to your table on the ends, maybe with a shim in the center, I would try without the shim first. Then take a heat gun and warm it up, maybe this would straighten it out or bow it slightly in the other direction. Or, 2) send it back and get another one.

The problem with #1 is that I don't know how the glass scale is held in the housing and how much heat it would take.
 

middle.road

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#42
Back on the 'X'-Axis this afternoon.
*NOT* happy.
Check your end cap screws gang. They were loose on one end and barely snug on the other. 'Y' & 'Z' scales are tight.
And they are cast pieces. both of mine are different. Notice the 'missed' drill points in pict.
Also had to de-burr it.
I'm attempting to square it up now. Break out the feeler gages and shim stock. Is it 5 o'clock somewhere?
Also they are NOT double wipers. I thought they were... Also mine on the 'X are short.

siton_endcap_02.jpg
 
Last edited:

tjb

Terry
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#43
Back on the 'X'-Axis this afternoon.
*NOT* happy.
Check your end cap screws gang. They were loose on one end and barely snug on the other. 'Y' & 'Z' scales are tight.
And they are cast pieces. both of mine are different. Notice the 'missed' drill points in pict.
Also had to de-burr it.
I'm attempting to square it up now. Break out the feeler gages and shim stock. Is it 5 o'clock somewhere?
Also they are NOT double wipers. I thought they were... Also mine on the 'X are short.

View attachment 262452
Dan,

Couple of questions:
1. a. Will the mismatched end caps result in an operational issue?
b. Also, could that in any way be contributing to the bow?
2. What do you mean by 'double wipers'?
3. What's the consequence of them being short?

I'm still days away from beginning my installation. Need to finish a project before I can get some stuff out of the way. Opening the package everything looked good, but I've obviously not yet examined the material in fine detail. I plugged both axes into the board, and everything appears to work as it should. Hope I can say the same after further examination.

Sorry to hear you're having trouble. Hopefully, it turns out to be nothing more than a temporary nuisance.

Regards,
Terry
 

Bob Korves

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#44
Man, we lost a few posts drat-it-all.
I'll start off re-posting what I can remember.
Here's a sketch of dimensions that are missing.
Bottom side of the read head, the (4)-threaded M4 holes, and the hole pattern for the Display Head Panel.
The Display Head mounting surface has an angle of 65° on it.

I've got my 'Y'-Axis installed, and started on the 'X' but there is a bow of over .020" on the rail when I clamped it to the table.

View attachment 262280
Dan, I went to a buddy's house today that has one of these DROs on his mill. The "missing bracket" is actually 2 right angle half brackets with 3 holes each, painted black. They are in one of the plastic bags with a bunch of other hardware
 

middle.road

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#45
Dan, I went to a buddy's house today that has one of these DROs on his mill. The "missing bracket" is actually 2 right angle half brackets with 3 holes each, painted black. They are in one of the plastic bags with a bunch of other hardware
Been a hectic couple of days. I've been snatching shop time where I can and haven't had time to post.
Yep-yep. Wilson sent a photo finally Friday night / Saturday morning. Shows an Easson, but the mount is the same.
And here's a pict of the two halves in my kit. I can't quite figure out how it's going to work with the one bracket having an ear that is 'angled'.
I've also attached a copy of the pict sent from Wilson.
1521398428813.png
 

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middle.road

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#46
Dan,

Couple of questions:
1. a. Will the mismatched end caps result in an operational issue?
b. Also, could that in any way be contributing to the bow?
2. What do you mean by 'double wipers'?
3. What's the consequence of them being short?

I'm still days away from beginning my installation. Need to finish a project before I can get some stuff out of the way. Opening the package everything looked good, but I've obviously not yet examined the material in fine detail. I plugged both axes into the board, and everything appears to work as it should. Hope I can say the same after further examination.

Sorry to hear you're having trouble. Hopefully, it turns out to be nothing more than a temporary nuisance.

Regards,
Terry
I reworked both of the end caps. De-burred them and on the one I had to redrill the holes. I used a #36 drill. Crappy quality.
Then I grabbed feeler gages and some blocks and trued it up on the top of the table, using .030" as my offset to the rail on the mounting surface side.
And the 'Bow' is gone. Thank goodness.
Double wipers. There's slots for two sets of wipers, this set only has one and on mine they were cut and assembled too short, by about .30".
That could allow chips and swarf to get into the rail. That'll mess up your day for sure.
I searched for awhile but couldn't find any pictures of the double wiper arrangement.
I'll be contacting Wilson to get at least one pair of replacements and to also find out if I can purchase additional wiper material to add a second wiper set.

I managed to get the 'X' mount machined last night. Going to try to find some shop time this afternoon and begin drilling and tapping holes to mount it. Then on the to 'Z'.

1521398958532.png 1521398982778.png
 

Bob Korves

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#47
I can't quite figure out how it's going to work with the one bracket having an ear that is 'angled'.
The angled bracket is not correct. Contact quality assurance... ;)
 

middle.road

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#48
The angled bracket is not correct. Contact quality assurance... ;)
I called, the number has been disconnected... :frown:
Wish I had the 3D Printer running, I could do up a neat mount. Meanwhile I'll be fabbing one from whatever is on hand.
'X' and 'Y' are mounted and functioning. Was able to use the existing holes from the Mitutoyo scales, except for two #10-32's on the table.
I need to go back and retake 'Dimensioning 101'. When I figured out the length for the 'X' I wanted to make doubly sure that I didn't get it too short like the Mitutoyo was and end up messing up the scale. I calc'd for 1.5" extra.
Well the ends of the scale came out right on the drain holes. Don't it figure?
Going to route the cables and mount the head - hopefully today. And retake some picts of the install thus far.
Went through my picts this morning that I took last night and they suck.
 

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Bob Korves

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#49
I called, the number has been disconnected... :frown:
Wish I had the 3D Printer running, I could do up a neat mount. Meanwhile I'll be fabbing one from whatever is on hand.
'X' and 'Y' are mounted and functioning. Was able to use the existing holes from the Mitutoyo scales, except for two #10-32's on the table.
I need to go back and retake 'Dimensioning 101'. When I figured out the length for the 'X' I wanted to make doubly sure that I didn't get it too short like the Mitutoyo was and end up messing up the scale. I calc'd for 1.5" extra.
Well the ends of the scale came out right on the drain holes. Don't it figure?
Going to route the cables and mount the head - hopefully today. And retake some picts of the install thus far.
Went through my picts this morning that I took last night and they suck.
Something seems strange, Dan. I don't remember what mill you have. On my Millrite, the table is 32" and the travel is 21.5". The table ends almost reach the saddle at maximum travel. Still, the X scale will not come close to reaching the end caps, by several inches. I ordered the X scale 1"+ longer than the travel. When I saw your mounting it scared me, so I just went out and checked the scale travel I got and double checked the table travel. It is correct. Did you measure the travel correctly? Did Wilson actually send you the scale you ordered? Whatever, it looks like it is going to work for you, and what I am seeing may just be the differences between our mills. And what is the reason for the drains at the front of the table? Seems like they would constantly be in the way if using them to drain to a coolant sump. All the ones I have seen are on the back of the table. I wonder if someone has switched the end caps at some point in the mill's life?
Edit: Oops, your mill does not have end caps, that explains it. Still, why in front?
 

middle.road

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#50
It's a 9x48 Bridgeport with 36" Travel. I did mount it on the backside.
The Mitutoyo setup had an 'X' scale for a 32" travel machine. See my old post here for background.
The Tapped hole to the left under the pink towel is for the previous Mitu.

Question: can you post a picture of your display head mounting brackets? I'd like to include it in my message to Wilson. Thanks.
 

Bob Korves

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#51
1521518917446.png Here ya' go!
 

middle.road

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#54
Finally installed. Well, two-thirds installed. 'X', 'Y', & the Display. The 'Z' is going to take a bit of thought and planning.
Fab'd a mount for the Display. Need to go back today and install the chip guard that I forgot to install on the 'X' scale.
I think the aluminum angle on the 'Y' mount works well as a chip guard, per BobK's idea in another thread.
Looks like I also need to go back and adjust the read head on the 'Y'. Also need to add a 6" arm extension to the Display arm.
 

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mksj

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#55
It may be easier to fabricate some new brackets out of aluminum or angle metal. Most of the DRO/scale installs I have done, I have machined new brackets and hardware. The lack of double seals on the scales and an open section is a bit concerning over the long hall, but with a good scale cover it should be ok unless you are in a dusty environment or run coolant. I do recall a few postings that the more inexpensive glass scales had a single seal and they did not seal very well, this eventually did lead to contamination issue. Interesting that the DROPros show the contamination with the single seal version vs. the double.
http://www.dropros.com/DRO_PROS_Milling_Machine_Digital_Readout.htm

The problem will most likely be getting the seals that fit the particular scale, from my read of the seals is they are manufacturer specific size wise. Hopefully the seller can get you some new ones, otherwise the three vendors below might be worth a try, they service some of the more common name brand DRO manufacturers products.
http://www.auto-met.com/Default.htm
http://www.atechauthority.com/
http://www.dropros.com

I have had and installed some of the Easson products as well as a few other DRO manufactures, and never had an issue with the Easson glass scales which are doubled lipped. It is hard to beat the lower priced DRO's but Easson sells a 3 axis ES-8A for $435 and the ES-12B for $470 via Aliexpress and they are very good midpriced DROs if one has a bit more change. I have the older ES-12 on my lathe, has worked great for many years.
 

middle.road

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#56
Looking through and viewing a plethora of images and drawings for dimensions, it looks like to me that most of the 'budget' scales are built on the the same extrusion design. There are slots in the one I purchased for another set of wipers. Now to find a cheap source.
The wipers look good on the 'Y' & the 'Z'. The 'X' perhaps was assembled at 'end of shift'?
The Easson 12, and 12C LCD displays looks nice.
The Easson's scales and their dimensions are identical to the ones I've got. Accessory kits look the same also on some offerings.

You have to wonder if they get assembled on a different line or at a different facility. The mounting accessories look to be identical also.
The 'Sino' brand appears to have a heftier read head design.
 

Bob Korves

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#57
I think the aluminum angle on the 'Y' mount works well as a chip guard, per BobK's idea in another thread.
My idea is to use 1 x 1 x 1/8" aluminum channel.
 

middle.road

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#58
My idea is to use 1 x 1 x 1/8" 1.25" x 1.25" x 1/8" aluminum channel.
Design Review Meeting, 3:10pm EDT
Didn't you get the same scales as I have? I don't think 1x1 will work. or I'm missing the obvious.:grin:
Quick layout sketch. Which technically do not believe their 21.5mm dimension. My end caps measured .866"/22mm.

edited: revised said channel dimensions per post #59 :cool:
 
Last edited:

Bob Korves

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#59
Design Review Meeting, 3:10pm EDT
Didn't you get the same scales as I have? I don't think 1x1 will work. or I'm missing the obvious.:grin:
Quick layout sketch. Which technically do not believe their 21.5mm dimension. My end caps measured .866"/22mm.

View attachment 262900
I am sorry, Dan. It was 1 1/4" that I was hoping to use. 1" inside dimensions. I did get the "slim" scale for the X axis, it is a little less tall, but the same width as the standard scales (no extra cost). The end caps of the slim scales are about 21 x 29 mm. Also considering attaching the scale to the outer flange of the channel, and the channel separately to the table. Open side of the channel facing down. It will probably require some rubber or other flexible material added to the outside leg of the channel to adequately keep the chips and oil out of the scale. I do think it would give the scale a lot more protection. I am putting the X scale at the front of the table, not the rear.

Edit: The factory scale guards are pretty flimsy.
 

middle.road

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#60
1-1/4" make sense. :big grin:
Those are scale guards? :eek:
I thought they were (3) pcs of sheet metal to add to the stock bin.
Although I may end up using one for the 'Z'.
 
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