Crazy idea?

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Mr Ron
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Crazy idea?

Post by Mr Ron » Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:38 pm

I was thinking if anyone has thought of adapting the inexpensive digital vernier calipers to DRO's. The inexpensive ones come in 4", 6",8" and 12" sizes. The 12" size goes for around $40 and the 6" around $15. My idea would be to make a clamp to hold the fixed part of the caliper while the movable head would follow the moving part of the machine. I think such would be possible on a drill press, the Z-axis of a mill, the cross slide or tailstock quill of a lathe. Dial indicators have been used, so why wouldn't a digital instrument work? What do you think?
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

stevec
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Location: N.S. Canada

Re: Crazy idea?

Post by stevec » Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:54 pm

Ron, here's a pic of one I mounted on my old Mill/Drill.
Worked fine only for the tilting of my head to read it.
They make digital scales that read correctly for a vertical installation
but they aren't as cheap as the cheapo digital calipers.
PC030001.JPG

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Richard_W
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Location: Molalla, Oregon

Re: Crazy idea?

Post by Richard_W » Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:08 pm

They actually make them in different lengths for that application.

vertical

http://www.ebay.com/itm/6-150mm-VERT-DI ... 483962f2e2

http://www.ebay.com/itm/32-800mm-VERT-D ... 4834d24776


Horizontal.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/6-150mm-HORZ-DI ... 483962f64f

http://www.ebay.com/itm/24-600mm-HORZ-D ... 4834d25457


either v or h.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/24-Digital-Read ... 43ab93146d

It's just a matter of finding the correct length for what you want to do. They make a nice one for the quill on a bridgeport type mill, but I don't recall who makes it off hand. I bought one for a mill/drill Z axis, but haven't installed it. May sell the machine with out it.

Richard W.

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wlw-19958
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Location: Lewes, DE

Re: Crazy idea?

Post by wlw-19958 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:32 pm

Hi There,

There was a "kit" that used those type of scales for a DRO set-up which I put on my mill.

Image

Image

Image

Image

They were pretty good. Lots of features too. Not like glass scales but still does what I need.
I haven't rigged up the Z-axis yet but maybe after Christmas is over and the bills are paid.

The DRO read-out box is a Shuma-Tech 350 that isn't available anymore. I don't think the
550 is available either but hopefully, there will be another run someday. Here is a link to
the Yahoo group devoted to them:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shumatech/

Good Luck!
-Blue Chips-
Webb

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RichD
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Re: Crazy idea?

Post by RichD » Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:15 am

I have chopped digital calipers for DRO's for mill and lathe.
These pics show a saddle DRO made from a Mitutoyo 6" on a South Bend 9A.
A special bracket was fab'd and a bed clamp to lock the display
at the desired position.
I originally tried a cheap no name digi-cal from HF and found the display to
update way too slow and the too soon auto-off feature agrivating.
However it is just fine adapted to a mill quill where downfeed is quite slow.
For lathe saddle use for turning to shoulders a Mitutoyo is fast and always on.
It's unfortunate that digi-cals are not available reading to 0.0001 or 2 for use on
the crossfeed. 0.005 is just too course to be worthwhile.
Instead I fit a 10ths reading DTI as needed.
RichD
Attachments
Rd-9a-dro-1.jpg
Rd-9a-dro-2.jpg
Rd-9a-dro-3.jpg
Happy Rails !
RichD
Colorado Midland Ry Ten Wheeler U/C
Kerr Stuart Wren NG 0-4-0 U/C
www.csppry.org
Imagination is your best tool.

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Frank Ford
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Re: Crazy idea?

Post by Frank Ford » Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:35 am

My regular mill has full 4-axis DRO, but sometimes I use a tool where I wish I had DRO for a single job. Here's how I use my caliper on the Grizzly Wood Mill. I made up some magnetic adapters to stick a caliper in place for quick use as a DRO - takes only moments to get it set, and less time than that to take it off again. And, if I should exceed the range of the caliper, the magnet simply slides or lets go altogether, so there's no harm done.
Attachments
magdrocaliper.jpg
Cheers,

Frank Ford

stevec
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Re: Crazy idea?

Post by stevec » Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:39 am

Rich, I liked the pics of the "digi-vern" adaptation but what I really loved was the look of your South Bend lathe bed. Wow! did you do the scraping yourself?

chief
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Re: Crazy idea?

Post by chief » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:36 pm

Webb and all

Just wanted to say that if anyone is interested in the Shumatec DRO's they are still available as kits from;

http://www.wildhorse-innovations.com/

They don't call them Shumatec's but both the 350 and 550 kits are available. They also sell a low cost digitizing probe that works very well for only $120. Usual disclaimer, only connection is as a customer.

Terry

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wlw-19958
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Location: Lewes, DE

Re: Crazy idea?

Post by wlw-19958 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:31 pm

Hi There,

Chief, Thanks for posting that.

They DO have the 350 but I don't see 550 "complete" kit or a circuit board kit. They have
everything else. I understand that 550 circuit boards were sold out and Scott isn't going to
have any more made up.

Back when I got mine, Scott Shuma (the designer or this unit) sold them directly and all you got was a circuit
board, a face plate or mask and list of part numbers to order from Mouser and DigiKey and a set of
instructions. You had to machine the case, order the parts and do all the work (the "fun" of it). I also
elected to add sockets for all the IC's just in case I needed to replace any (instead of directly soldering
them to the board). I also wanted green LED's but they were sold out at the time of my order so I went
with amber.

It was a lot of fun and it reminded me of the old Heathkit days.

Good Luck!
-Blue Chips-
Webb

chief
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Re: Crazy idea?

Post by chief » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:18 pm

Webb,

I'm in the same boat as you :P
Got my board and faceplate from the Shumatec website quite a long time ago, before Scott was involved in his car crash. It is a very nice unit and at the time there was nothing else available in the price range that was as good. I also socketed my chips, but I went with the orange LEDs.

Terry

snowman70
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Re: Crazy idea?

Post by snowman70 » Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:52 am

I've still got one of the old shumatech boards if someone were interested in assembling it.

It was probably one of the last batches ever made. Just never got around to assembling it.

probably let it go for $20 shipped

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wlw-19958
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Re: Crazy idea?

Post by wlw-19958 » Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:39 pm

Hi There,

I might be interested. What is it: the 350 DRO, 550 DRO or the 550 DPU?

Good Luck!
-Blue Chips-
Webb

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