Digital Read- Out


Digital Read- Out

Postby modelmaker87 » Thu Aug 07, 2008 12:05 am

Hi Guys,

Several weeks ago I posted a message asking on P4T a question about potential new modelling lathes. At the time I was considering purchasing a new lathe due to the fact that the lathe I have owned for over 20 plus years and used a heck of a lot, abused more like, was getting a bit long in the tooth. After valauble info provided from those who responded to my post, I looked around and after a lot of thought decided to undertake a fairly extensive overhaul and rebuild the innards of my own worn out lathe. I thought if I screw up, I'm going to have to purchase a new one anyway, so give it a go. The long and short of it was that I gave it a good overhaul, replaced a couple of gears, reduced a huge amount of backlash, cleaned it and carried out other minor repairs that needed to be done. Oiled and replaced the drive belt

After I was done there was still a small amount of backlash in the saddle traverse screw. So what I decided to do was fit a digital read-out to the saddle. Not that this would eliminate the small amount of backlash that still remained, no chance, but it sure helped to move the saddle to a precise point along its length to an accuracy anywhere along the slideways to 0.0005". Yep - five tenths of a thousandths of an inch. So even though there is a very small amount of backlash that still remains I no longer have the problem of moving the saddle to a predetermined position along the slideways.

I designed my own mounting brackets at an angle so when the assembly was fitted the read-out was tilted at an incline making the read-out easier to view. It does make the brackets more difficult to machine, though. I machined these on my mill, bolted the digital read-out to the new brackets and fitted them to the lathe. I was then able to custom another bracket that connected the head of the read-out to the saddle. I'm very pleased with this attachment and it now enables me to turn to a greater degree of accuracy, or should I say, has made it incredibly easy to achieve a high degree of accuracy without the problem of backlash to move and position the saddle more than I ever could before.

I purchased the digital read-out from Micro-Mark, made in China of course, where else...? but for $54.00 bucks, 20 quid in GBP, its a steal to get a decent and reliable digital read-out on a hobby lathe. This does not include the time it took me to design, draw and make my own mounting brackets from some scrap mild steel.

These handful of images should be self explanatory to those interested.

Cheers, Tony S





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Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:31 am

Re: Digital Read- Out

Postby nigelcliffe » Thu Aug 07, 2008 7:55 am

For those in the UK, Arc Eurotrade sell cheap DRO's for attaching to machines, in a variety of lengths.

Arc also have a remote display/control unit to attach to a DRO about £30. These have big numbers, big buttons, and are very easy to use. Ideal if the DRO is buried in a difficult place to read (or under a cover to keep the swarf and abuse from hitting it).

- Nigel

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