Monday, October 29, 2012

3 axis mTECH DRO 3M on Hardinge Lathe from Nathan - Israel

 Thanks for the photos and the detail information on the installation on his lathe with 3 axis.
Below is his story:
 We have lately purchased two 3M systems from you.
One was installed on a lathe (with the 3rd axis on the tailstock!) and is working very well. It took few days of custom machining because of the machine structure.

Picture SANY1371 shows the installation on Z1 axis (we used X). The machine had a T slot in the back, so mounting the slide was easy, but for the sensor we used a combination of the parts you provided.

Picture SANY1373 shows the slide on Y. We had to construct a healthy beam to hold the slide as far as possible to the right and back, away from the turning area, to minimize spray and chips.  

Picture SANY1375 shows the installation from the back side, with the parts made to move the sensor. The parts are held the cross slide extension (it had copy attachment once). Lots of milling, drilling and threading, but it ends up very stable.

Adding the scale to the TAILSTOCK was completely another story. The tailstock body casting has no straight faces anywhere. We added an aluminum block using 2 M8 bolts + 6 mm dowel pins, curving the piece back to follow the casting shape. Then we machined the piece have a vertical face and horizontal face to attach the slide to, see picture SANY1380.
For the sensor we milled a part to attach to the quill as seen in picture SANY1383. 3 parts were involved in getting the quill motion to the sensor.

This job involved not only taking the tailstock apart, but also making the internal screw LONGER so it will extract the conical parts inserted into the quill when it is brought all the way back. We had to do it since the part we added on the quill prevented it from being pulled back enough to extract the cone.

The DRO was mounted above the lathe control panel as seen in picture SANY1376. It is convenient since the left hand is often on the panel and on/off switch anyway.

All in all the work took 5 days, one man and a milling machine.
We were very impressed with the overall attention to details you put into the kit. Everything was there, brackets, screws and washers of all kinds, cable ties, shims, and most impressive is the clear plastic cover on the DRO to keep the unit clean.
We looked at your blog, saw many examples from other users, and that gave us confidence to order and install the system.

So far this is the story of the first unit.

For the second system ,is installed on an old CMM machine with its original electronic / optics dead. We use true 3 axes here, as the CMM bridge is moved by hand and the location is visible.

Many thanks.

Company Website:
RobotWorks website:

Saturday, August 25, 2012

1762 -Myford Super 7 lathe - from Ed Dee- UK- TDS-2i - F5- 170mm, E5- 470m

Thanks to Ed for his photos of his installation of the TDS-2i DRO system on hi Myford Super 7 Lathe.
Below is his email on the installation
Thank you for the speedy despatch of my order (1762) - which arrived last week and has successfully been fitted to my Myford Super 7 lathe.
As you do not seem to have many pictures of a myford installation I enclose some of my setup - mainly for the cross slide - which is the interesting one (the saddle scale is just bolted on to the taper turning mount - which on my lathe isn't used).  Please feel free to pass them on should anyone else be interested.
I mounted the cross slide scale behind the saddle  as there were disadvantages is mounting it in front or behind of the cross slide (vulnerability to chuck damage + loss of use of travelling steady if mounted in front; interfering with gib-strip adjustment and saddle lock and restricting tail stock if mounted behind).  The only fittings used other than those supplied was a fabricated hanger for the cross slide reader and a section of a scale cover left over from the installation on my mill.  The smaller JCXF5 scale and cover were ideal for this application.
Ed Dee"



Wednesday, February 8, 2012

1557-Milling / Drill machine Excel tools, model PDM-30, Andy, UK. TDS-3i, 170mm-220mm-520mm

Thanks to Andy from UK for the generous photos.


This is a  Drill/MillExcel tools, model PDM-30. This is very similar to machines from Chester tools, Warco, King Canada.


It is using :

TDS-3i DRO with scales travel - 170mm, 220mm, 520mm

Below is an unedited email from Andy:



Hi Scott,


Used the DRO today and it has revolutionised my milling machine, so easy to be accurate now!


As promised some details of how I fitted the scales:






My milling machine is a medium size mill/drill from Excel tools, model PDM-30. This is very similar to machines from Chester tools, Warco, King Canada, etc..


Fitting the X scale was easy, and only needed a couple of 5mm spaces to bring the scale in-line with the reader head.



The Y axis was a bit more involved and required a 4mm back plate to attach the scale to the saddle.  Also the side of the bed is angled so I had to mill the end of one of the supplied brackets to get the reader head to mount square.


The Z scale was also mounted on a 4mm back plate, spaced 30mm off the quill casting,


and the reader head was mounted to another modified bracket screwed to the turret.


Celebrating the finished job with a cuppa!



Monday, January 30, 2012

1535-Mill Lathe Combo machine- from Mark H. - USA- TDS-3i - 170mm, 370mm, 750mm

Thanks to Mark from USA for the nice photos and detail comments.

It is using :
TDS-3i DRO with scales travel - 170mm, 370mm, 750mm

Original unedited email From Mark:

I am new to machining and recently picked up a used 3 in 1 lathe/mill combo.
I realized early on that the stock dials were not very accurate due to the
loose clearances in the machine. Sometimes I would turn the handwheel as
much as half a revolution before the cross slide moved. I did a little
research and decided a DRO would be a very handy thing to have. It would
measure the movement of the sllides accurately even if the dials would not.

I spent several weeks surfing the web and looking at all the options,
features, and specs of the various DRO's. I decided to go with a kit from
the DRO Store. Several other sellers were comparable in price, but didn't
have the size scales I'd need in stock, or were very slow to respond to my
emails with useful information. Scott at the DRO Store had everything in
stock, answered my emails quickly, answered all my questions, and even sent
me additional information from the user's manual. He really made it easy
for me to decide on his kit.

One of my major concerns, aside from cost and availability, was would it be
easy to operate? The DRO Store has videos posted on youtube covering all the
major functions for their DRO's. That was a big factor for me in getting the
kit from the DRO Store. Even if you are a newbie the videos make it easy to
understand how to work it. Anytime you're not sure about something....just
watch the video. They're free on youtube.....other sellers charge extra for
tutorial videos.

I ordered my kit and it arrived in short order. It took less than a week
even with a national holiday in Singapore. The kit came complete as
described in the ad with everything needed to install it. An assortment of
mounting brackets, lots of extra screws and washers, and even clips and zip
ties were included.

The installation was pretty straight forward. I took my time with the
install and made sure I did it correctly the first time. The universal
brackets that came with the kit would've worked fine, but I decided to build
custom mounts. I also added a cable carrier and tray to keep the cabling
nice and tidy. The X and Y axis was quite simple, but the Z axis was a
little more challenging. In the end I am very happy with the way it turned
out. All axis move smoothly and operate perfectly! They measure within .0005
so they register even the slightest movement. They read accurately and are
perfectly linear in their jumpy display.

For the display panel I also made a custom mount to fit my needs. It's
mounted at the corner of my table on a fixed arm. All the cables are ran
through the mounting arm for extra protection. It really made for a nice
clean install. It is easy to read from any position, the LED's are clear and
bright, and navigating the various functions is actually pretty easy with a
little practice.

I can honestly say that I am very pleased with the kit, the service, and
support I've recieved from Scott and the DRO Store. If you're looking for a
DRO for your machine that is easy to install, user friendly, and won't cost
a fortune then you need to take a look at these kits!

Sincerely, Mark H. USA