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DRO questions

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cdhknives

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#1
My eyes are really feeling the strain of reading the tiny dials, so being the electronic gadget guy I am I thought I would add a DRO to the cross slide. Mounting it looks challenging. I haven't seen any pics using the A11 milling cross slide either. So questions:
1) Does the backside of the DRO bar have to be mounted? I would have to really build a bracket way out to support it and still have full length use of the slide.
2) Any suggestions on brackets to attach to the saddle? The rounded curves may look nice but FLAT is easy to attach...
3) Is attaching the bar to the slide and the sensor to the saddle preferred?

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JPigg55

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#2
Looks like you have iGaging scales, look like them anyway.
No you don't have to mount the back of the scale bar, but you need to ensure the bar stay level or it will affect accuracy.
You'll also need to ensure the bar is parallel with the read head so the unmounted side doesn't flex the bar back and forth.
Make sure there's enough clearance that your cross slide doesn't hit your read head or wire when rotated.
 

T Bredehoft

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#3
For vertical clearance, could you mount the scale/read head horizontally? That way your compound could swing around on the side without problems.
 

roadie33

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#4
I like the looks of that A11 Cross Slide you have on the Atlas.
Was it hard getting the compound mounted? How did you mount it?
I was looking to get one for my 12 x 36 Craftsman Commercial, but wasn't sure if the compound would be to high with the QCTP to be above center height.
 

wa5cab

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#5
3) Is attaching the bar to the slide and the sensor to the saddle preferred?
I've never done one and don't know for certain, but I would think not. The bar takes up a lot of space. If you attach it to the cross slide, it will take up twice as much.
 

RJSakowski

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#6
When I have had to attach something to a curved surface, I drilled and tapped for the mount and made a fixture to hold the mount in position. Then I back-filled with epoxy. Coat the mounting screws with grease or mold release so they can be removed after the epoxy has cured. Large gaps between the mount and the frame can be filled with custom spacers. This method results in a very stable mounting surface.
 

Bob Korves

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#7
Pay attention to the scale being exposed to possible damage from the tailstock when mounted on that side. You might think about adding a hard stop to the carriage to prevent a crash. Mounting on that side also requires longer stickout of the tailstock quill, which compromises setup rigidity. The scale can be mounted on the spindle side of the cross slide, and that eliminates the crash problem and the tailstock stickout issue, but also is nearer to the cutting action and can cause more problems with swarf, stringy chips, and getting hit by the work. Regardless, it is best if you can fit some sort of protective cover to the scale and read head if at all possible. In some applications, especially when using some of the newer very slim magnetic scales with tiny heads, the scale can actually be put inside the cross slide or on the far side behind the cross slide.
 

JPigg55

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#8
I know you've already purchased scales, but you might consider either RLS or RLC series linear encoders from RLS https://www.rls.si/eng/linear
These are very small and could possibly be mounted on the underside. Not overly robust, but could be very functional with a custom made mount and protective enclosure.
 

bill stupak

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#9
I have the same exact setup, here is my solution, and as Bob has stated mounting it your way will impact with the tail stock (ask me how I know) Stu dro.jpg
 

cdhknives

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#10
I like the looks of that A11 Cross Slide you have on the Atlas.
Was it hard getting the compound mounted? How did you mount it?
I was looking to get one for my 12 x 36 Craftsman Commercial, but wasn't sure if the compound would be to high with the QCTP to be above center height.
Mine is a 10" with AXA size QCTP. I turned a mount for the compound to match the top of the cross slide, drilled and tapped a spot on the A11 slide, and mounted it. The only problem was stopping rotation as the single bolt was not enough. I also built a slotted nut similar to the one made for the QCTP so I can move it around if desired, and on that one I milled the bottom of the mount to fit the t-slots to prevent rotation...and this is the setup I use now. The biggest thing I miss is the angle scale on the standard cross slide..it sure made changing the compound angle much more convenient. I have no issues with tool height.
 

cdhknives

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#11
Bill S, you don't have issues with snagging things placed behind your lathe? I have a clamp on light but that can move...I had thought about hanging it out there but figured the overhang would be more of a problem. I had not thought of the tailstock crash issue...but I can see it especially when turning away from the spindle under leadscrew power...or when I'm in a hurry :eek:
 

bill stupak

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#12
Bill S, you don't have issues with snagging things placed behind your lathe? I have a clamp on light but that can move...I had thought about hanging it out there but figured the overhang would be more of a problem. I had not thought of the tailstock crash issue...but I can see it especially when turning away from the spindle under leadscrew power...or when I'm in a hurry :eek:
No snags, I've got one of these thingies dro2.jpg dro3.jpg dro3.jpg .
 

roadie33

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#13
Mine is a 10" with AXA size QCTP. I turned a mount for the compound to match the top of the cross slide, drilled and tapped a spot on the A11 slide, and mounted it. The only problem was stopping rotation as the single bolt was not enough. I also built a slotted nut similar to the one made for the QCTP so I can move it around if desired, and on that one I milled the bottom of the mount to fit the t-slots to prevent rotation...and this is the setup I use now. The biggest thing I miss is the angle scale on the standard cross slide..it sure made changing the compound angle much more convenient. I have no issues with tool height.
Any way you can take a pic of the mounting for it?
 

roadie33

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#15
Thank you, I never thought of doing it like that.
As for the degree markings, I use a protractor off the chuck face to set mine, mine are hard to read on the base.
 

coherent

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#16
I've installed simular DRO's on my lathe and am fairly pleased with them. Accuracy is within my needs and no dependability issues as of yet. A lot of folks make some simple cover guards for the appropriate sensors out of sheet metal or plexi which is a nice easy way to avoid damage. I use a few different sizes and lengths of the nylon or plastic wire chain on my CNC machines. The chain can get fairly pricey depending on where you purchase it. I have seen some of the import stuff on both amazon and ebay for reasonable prices... quality isn't as good but would definitely suffice for manual lathe DRO application like these.
 

mattthemuppet2

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#17
I installed one of those (or similar) to my Atlas 618, putting the scale inside the cross slide between the screw and the screw cover (someone on here did that with this Atlas 10, can't remember his name) with the reader held at the end. Scale is only attached at one end, to the screw cover, but I haven't had any problems with it. I keep chips out by attaching a piece of bike inner tube to the screw cover with a hard drive magnet.

Works well for me and setting zero without having to fish around for a screwdriver is a big plus! The cross slide DRO is an iGaging absolute and the carriage DRO is a standard iGaging unit. Very happy with both of them.
 

wa5cab

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#18
One solution to the missing compound swivel scale problem on a T-slot cross slide that I think would work on a 12" would be to acquire the original cross slide and compound swivel and slide from a 10". Machine off most of the dovetail from the bottom of the cross slide, leaving some at the zero and 180 degree areas to drop down into the mounting T-slot and prevent rotation of the scale and pintle. The 10" compound slide is an inch lower than the 12".
 

utterstan

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#19
Schor has done that and now you Matt. So I guess on the 6:18 I can do it too thanks I'll get on that right away
 

mattthemuppet2

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#20
Schor has done that and now you Matt. So I guess on the 6:18 I can do it too thanks I'll get on that right away
that's the guy, thanks for the reminder! I seem to remember needing to widen the slot that the cross slide screw runs in to make space for the scale, but I don't think it was much. I think a couple of mm at most - it only took one pass on the mill.







I shortened the scale so that it wouldn't hit the back splash.
 

bill stupak

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#21
One solution to the missing compound swivel scale problem on a T-slot cross slide that I think would work on a 12" would be to acquire the original cross slide and compound swivel and slide from a 10". Machine off most of the dovetail from the bottom of the cross slide, leaving some at the zero and 180 degree areas to drop down into the mounting T-slot and prevent rotation of the scale and pintle. The 10" compound slide is an inch lower than the 12".
compound.jpg Stu
 

wa5cab

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#22
Yes, that's sorta what I had in mind. Although this version doesn't seem to have a bar for the T-slot left underneath. Looks like it has 6 holes of an 8-hole pattern for mounting.
 

bill stupak

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#23
Yes, that's sorta what I had in mind. Although this version doesn't seem to have a bar for the T-slot left underneath. Looks like it has 6 holes of an 8-hole pattern for mounting.
Yes, I have the cross slide tapped for the piece, I wanted to spread the clamping force and not have just one bolt and because of that I didn't think I would need the bar in the slot. I generally have a solid block installed instead of the compound to increase rigidity and only rarely use the compound.

Stu
 

wa5cab

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#24
Bill,

I'm not certain whose lathe is whose in all of the photos up the thread. What lathe do you have? When you do have the compound mounted on the T-slot cross slide, what is the height of the top of the compound above the ways? I have one of the Atlas double tool cross slides which without the two tool posts is a variety of T-slot cross slide. Bit it is taller than the standard cross slide.
 

bill stupak

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#25
Bill,

I'm not certain whose lathe is whose in all of the photos up the thread. What lathe do you have? When you do have the compound mounted on the T-slot cross slide, what is the height of the top of the compound above the ways? I have one of the Atlas double tool cross slides which without the two tool posts is a variety of T-slot cross slide. Bit it is taller than the standard cross slide.
My lathe is a 12" model and the standard compound sits 2-5/8" above the cross slide. I use a Tripan tool post with the solid block which sits 2-3/16" above. In order to keep the heights relatively the same I made a new top slide for the compound which compound2.jpg tripan.jpg is 2-1/4" above. The solid block is bolted to the cross slide with 4 tapped holes. I sometimes use the compound for single point threading.
 
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