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Dro On A Burke?????

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Global Moderator
Staff member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
May 2, 2014
I am trying to figure a way to put a DRO on the x and y axis of my Burke mill. All the ones I find are simply too large and bulky for the small mill. Has anyone done this or know of a very small scales setup. It has to go out front and there ain't much room there.


H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Feb 1, 2015
igaging or absolute ? small footprint, reasonably cost. shameless plug. . . . .
Yes! The iGaging and Absolute scales will definitely fit into a smaller footprint. This is a necessity on smaller machines. They are lower resolution, .01 mm vs. .005mm or better for glass scales, and they lack the protective housings. Cost for the iGaging scales is about 1/3rd that of DRO Pros glass scales . There are offshore glass scale kits available at better prices but I would be concerned about support for them. The iGaging/ Absolute scales can be cut easily to whatever length you need while the glass scales usually come in increments of 50 mm. I have heard of people cutting the glass scales to size but that would involve disassembling the scale, voiding any waranty and possibly ruining the scale.

On the negative side, aside from resolution, the scales do not have any protection from coolant, lubricant, and swarf aside from the pickup head wipers; you will have to fabricate that yourself. The readouts a generally much more sophisticated, being able to do things like bolt circles, arc interpolation, linear patterns, multiple subdatum points, and center points. The iGaging readouts lack most of those functions.
With the iGaging setup you will get absolute and incremental readout, and preset capability. Yuriy (Google for website) has free app for Android devices that turns your smart phone or tablet into a readout. It is more sophisticated and he and his cohorts are continuously upgrading it. He has provided Arduino based controller software and detailed plans for building the hardware. The hardware costs can be under $40.

I have done three installs; two on mill/drills using the Grizzly DRO's and the last on a lathe using the iGaging DRO's. All installs were 3 axis. I would put the overall complexity about equal for all three. I made custom mounts in all cases with one of the design requirements being not to give up any of the OEM functionality. The only concession was to give up one of two x axis locks on my first install. I posted a detailed description of the lathe install on this website yesterday. It should give you an idea of what you have in store.


Active User
Active Member
Apr 28, 2014
Possibly use a long travel indicator for the Y? Would be analog, but still a backlash free readout.

Because mills only have one dial on the Y, (not two, that can be set apart in a way to take lash out of the equation) I made up a magnet block to hold an indicator on the Y axis way. It works like a charm.
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