Questions about new DRO

Discussion on all milling machines vertical & horizontal, including but not limited to Bridgeports, Hardinge, South Bend, Clausing, Van Norman, including imports.

Moderators: Harold_V, GlennW

Mr Ron
Posts: 1514
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:36 pm
Location: Vancleave, Mississippi

Re: Questions about new DRO

Post by Mr Ron » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:57 pm

Received the DRO kit today 07-10-2018 and watched the video on my computer and will begin the installation tomorrow. Everything looks good and very well made. The box it came in was well packed and arrived with no damage via UPS. It looks like I will have to use a right angle drill to drill the holes for the X-axis read head. I have one, but need to get a new battery for it. The installation description on the DVD was well documented, so I don't at this time see any big hurdles. The only thing I don't like is the use of metric fasteners. I don't have any metric drills or taps, so I will go to the closest size imperial. The fasteners supplied are 4 mm and 6 mm. I can substitute 8-32 for the 4 mm and 12-24 for the 6 mm. I'll keep you posted as to my progress.
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

Mr Ron
Posts: 1514
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:36 pm
Location: Vancleave, Mississippi

Re: Questions about new DRO

Post by Mr Ron » Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:27 pm

I was hoping to be able to use my right angle drill to drill the holes for the X-axis read head, but found out the drill bit the dust. There is not enough room to get a regular drill in there between the table and the column, so I'm thinking about removing the table along with the Y-axis saddle. That would make it easy to install the scales and read head. My mill is the typical 6x26 knee mill. How much of a job is it to remove it? I'm thinking I would have to withdraw the Y-axis screw and then the saddle with table attached will just slide out. Does this sound right?
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

pete
Posts: 1425
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:04 am

Re: Questions about new DRO

Post by pete » Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:53 pm

I can't say for sure about the 6" x 26" since I don't own one, but there all pretty simple. Just in case I bagged and tagged the parts for each end of the table so they all went back into the same place. After you get the feed screw out then pull the gib and the table should slde right off. Support the feed screw with one hand and try to keep it roughly centered while rotating the screw out of the nut since that reduces any stress and extra wear on the bronze nut. If? there's no dowels positioning the X axis feed screw bearing hanger then during reassembly leave the bearing hanger bolts slightly loose, run the table in as far as it will go then tighten the bolts. That aligns the bearing hanger C/L with the feed nuts C/L. Don't lose any keys that are or should be at each end of the feed screw.

User avatar
WesHowe
Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:52 am
Location: Huntsville, Texas

Re: Questions about new DRO

Post by WesHowe » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:26 pm

I had the same issue drilling between the column and the table you experienced. In addition, the back oiler for the ways was right where the X scale was set to be installed. I solved both of these by using some 1/4" thick aluminum flat stock. I place a square about 2 inches on a side on the bed, and then drilled and tapped holes in that to mount the scale ends to. That left a 1/4" gap between the scale and the table, allowing me to create and alternative right angle oiler where I could oil the ways from the edge of the table.

For the read head, I attached a length of the bar stock from points I could drill unimpeded, then drilled and tapped holes to screw the read head to in the middle of it. Yes, I lost 1/4" more Y travel that way, but I know me, and if I had to take the DRO scale off every time the ways needed oil, something would wear out eventually.

This is the oiler I made, it presses into the hole that held the ball oiler, the top hole carries the oil down, and can be closed off with a set screw.
oiler3.jpg
You can see this in-between the scale and the bed on the assembled scale.
mill3.jpg

User avatar
NP317
Posts: 1218
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:57 pm
Location: Northern Oregon

Re: Questions about new DRO

Post by NP317 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:25 pm

Good creative solution.
~RN

Mr Ron
Posts: 1514
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:36 pm
Location: Vancleave, Mississippi

Re: Questions about new DRO

Post by Mr Ron » Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:46 pm

Thanks WesHowe for the tip. I never considered there may be oil points on the BACK of the table. I only knew about the ones on the front, but the rear needs them too; right! I wonder how many others are aware of this. It's tips like this that make this forum so valuable. I always thought I could conquer any task on my own. I usually can, but I realize I don't know everything and there are others in this world who can fill in the blanks. Keep coming up with tips and ideas.
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

Mr Ron
Posts: 1514
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:36 pm
Location: Vancleave, Mississippi

Re: Questions about new DRO

Post by Mr Ron » Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:28 pm

I was thinking about removing the table for better access for drilling holes, but then I realized I might have to modify/machine some parts for the fitting of the scales/encoder. I think I may have to find a right angle drill. The least expensive Rt angle drill I can find is an air tool Rt angle drill at Harbor Freight. Fortunately I have an air compressor large enough to handle the air demand.
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

Inspector
Posts: 551
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:25 am
Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Re: Questions about new DRO

Post by Inspector » Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:36 pm

I was wondering if a structural epoxy would be enough to hold a bracket to the machine rather than drilling it? JB Weld, Devcon, Metalset, etc. I would be tempted to make a plate with tapped holes for the bracket and assemble everything to ensure alignment and bond to the machine (paint removed where bonding). Once the epoxy set the assembly could be removed if needed, leaving the bonded plates on the machine. No special tools needed, no chance of messing up the holes or mis-locating and no need for trying to work with stubby screwdrivers or Allen wrenches in and awkward location.

kroll
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:10 am

Re: Questions about new DRO

Post by kroll » Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:56 pm

Jaxin,guys other than DRO pros what DRO did ya'll go with and who did ya'll purchase them from?I also have a BP that is in pieces which I want to mount a DRO on it.I just can't pull the trigger on what DRO pros sells cause I'm just one of those occasional user,weekend wannabe machinist.Is there a big difference between glass scales and magnetic scales other than cutting one shorter is easier?

User avatar
WesHowe
Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:52 am
Location: Huntsville, Texas

Re: Questions about new DRO

Post by WesHowe » Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:25 pm

Inspector wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:36 pm
I was wondering if a structural epoxy would be enough to hold a bracket to the machine rather than drilling it?
I would think so, because I once mounted a DRO scale with magnets, and it worked. It was, as you would guess, not 100% reliable if it got bumped, and I was not very proud of it, but it did work, because there is really very little pressure caused by normal use when properly mounted. The reader head MUST move freely or the scale will not work and could get broken.

There were little metric screw holes, not sure if they were 4mm or 5mm to hold the scale ends. I used some flathead screws to mount the aluminum plate, and then got the scale into the proper position (using clamps and an indicator for runout) and transfer punched all the mounting screw holes, removed the plates, drill, tapped and reassembled.

The plate holding the read head is maybe 9 to 12 inches long, screwed right into the base with socket cap screws, but there I could drill straight in, outside the area shadowed by the column. I did the same transfer screw technique to mark the mount holes for the reader head, did a partial disassembly to get a nice drill/tap job and put it all back together, and it has stayed that way. The aluminum ("Aluminium") plate was pretty cheap, I forget the real price, but I think I found it at Home Depot.

- Wes

Mr Ron
Posts: 1514
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:36 pm
Location: Vancleave, Mississippi

Re: Questions about new DRO

Post by Mr Ron » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:29 am

I have been postponing installation of the DRO since July 10th, mainly because of the summer heat and a lazy attitude. Actually I'm glad I did because I have a new perspective after reading these replies. Age has made me more patient and not rushing into anything until I feel I have all the necessary information to minimize any possible mistakes. Take it slow is my now motto. What used to take me an hour to do now takes me easily 3 and 4 times more. I can remember getting a package and ripping into it as quickly as possible. Now, a package can sit unopened for days, even weeks before opening. I guess age makes you slow down.
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

Mr Ron
Posts: 1514
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:36 pm
Location: Vancleave, Mississippi

Re: Questions about new DRO

Post by Mr Ron » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:33 am

kroll wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:56 pm
Jaxin,guys other than DRO pros what DRO did ya'll go with and who did ya'll purchase them from?I also have a BP that is in pieces which I want to mount a DRO on it.I just can't pull the trigger on what DRO pros sells cause I'm just one of those occasional user,weekend wannabe machinist.Is there a big difference between glass scales and magnetic scales other than cutting one shorter is easier?
Visit www.dropros.com for all you need to know about glass vs magnetic scales.
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

Post Reply