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Modifying the dials on a mill/drill

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mickri

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#1
On my Excel mill/drill the dials on the X and Y axis are locked to their shafts by pins and are not adjustable. The dials are long enough so that there is plenty of room to cut the dials to make them adjustable and put in a set screw to lock the now movable portion of the dial to the shaft. My concern is that dial will now be shorter in length by the width of the cut. It appears that the dial is designed to be a very close fit to the table to control run out. Think that I could make a precision washer to compensate for the width of the cut. I don't know if this would work or cause other problems.
The other thing that I could do is make a sleeve to fit over the existing dial. My problem with this is that I don't have a dividing head to accurately mark the sleeve.
Are there other solutions?
Looking for suggestions.
Chuck
 

ch2co

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#2
How about using DRO's on each axis? There's quite a few "how to" instructions on this site and Youtube. I've added them to both my mini mill and lathe and never looked back. I forget that I even have any of those funny little round dial things things with the lines on them, they are rendered worthless with the direct readouts.

another Chuck

CHuck the grumpy old guy
 

mickri

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#3
Maybe I didn't look in the right places because the DRO's that I have seen for sale were prohibitively expensive. Where did you buy yours and what was the cost? I'm another grumpy old fart who joined the ranks of the independently poor (ie retired) a few years back. I have to watch my pennies and I budget for everything. And I don't want to dip into my savings.
That being said I would love to have a DRO and a power feed for that matter.
Chuck
 

ch2co

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#4
My DRO's came with the lathe and minimill that I bought from a fellow that was essentially emptying out his garage shop. All of the units on the mill are hard mounted and the three on the lathe are snapped on magnetically which was necessary for clearance issues with different setups. Some on this forum have bought cheap digital calipers from Harbor Freight and modified them to fit drill presses, lathe compounds, and tailstock quills. Here's a couple of pictures of how some of my units are setup and a couple of shots from eBay of available units. You don't need the fancy readouts and super high resolution systems.

CHuck the grumpy old guy

e and minimill that I bought from a fellow that was essentially emptying out his garage shop. All of the units on the mill are hard mounted and the three on the lathe are snapped on magnetically which was necessary for clearance issues with different setups. Some on this forum have bought cheap digital calipers from Harbor Freight and modified them to fit drill presses, lathe compounds, and tailstock quills. Here's a couple of pictures of how some of my units are setup and a couple of
shots from eBay of available units. You don't need the fancy readouts and super high resolution systems.

CHuck the grumpy old guy

IMG_7821.jpg IMG_7823.jpg

Screen Shot 2017-01-15 at 10.35.53 AM.jpg Screen Shot 2017-01-15 at 10.35.16 AM.jpg
 

mickri

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#5
Thanks Chuck
I'll do some searching for DIY DRO's.
Chuck
 

kwoodhands

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#6
Thanks Chuck
I'll do some searching for DIY DRO's.
Chuck
You can buy digital scales from Grizzly, I Imaging etc. relatively inexpensive. I paid about $30.00 for 12" scales and about $45.00 for 24" scales. They are accurate enough for home shop machinists. The scales read in millimeters, inches and fractions. Pick one with a push of a button. The readout display is mounted with either magnets on the back or a holder that's provided. The scales read to 4 places, eg. .0005 .
You can cut the slide bar to fit your machine if necessary. They technically not a DRO , but a Digital scale.
I buy my scales from LA shop, they have a website.
mike
 
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