I think this is being done quite regularly. Additionally, you don't
have to buy a cheap caliper, you can buy a cheap digital scale. I
believe MSC/Travers/ Emco all have something that might help.
Here's a page with some ideas:
The folks who have the smaller Chinese mills/drills/lathes are
doing some pretty fun things.
I've been trying to figure out how to extend my digital caliper.
Someone makes an extension bar for the standard six inch variety.
Anyone know about those?
I would think that there are too many "styles" of quills and spindles
to find a generic method of adapting a standard hand-held digital
caliper to your use. And in any event, the portion of the read-out
you want to "see" will not be horizontal after you install it. It
will require severe head-cocking for you to look at it. That's why
they make, for roughly the same price, a DRO for use on quills, which
will give the proper horizontal viewing. Although these may be
adaptable to many different machines, they will normally have a
bracket set supplied to allow easy install on a Bridgeport quill.
Only word or advice I have is to get one that is for the same stroke
as the machine, otherwise you have to goof around to adapt it. That
from a guy who got one with a 6" stroke instead of 5,, and had to
screw around to make it fit.
Scott Shumate produces a neat
"build-it-yourself" set of parts to construct DROs using the Chinese
scales as input devices. There is also a very extensive discussion group
on Yahoo groups that provides "mutual aid" to users of the Shumatech
Frankl> Has anyone turned a digital caliper into a cheap DRO for a drill press, can
No kidding. I build and sell multi spindle drill/ream attachments for drill
presses and Bridgeport style machines. You can't possibly imagine how many
different quill diameters, lengths, even stepped or staggared diameters
The Jet, Grizzly and some other brands that are less expensive (but readily
purchased) sometimes even change their measurements from year to year as
their suppliers change so a manufacturer of adapters would have to spend a
lot of time making sure they were the correct one for your machine (as I do)
prior to selling you something.
Now... I won't even get into what has to be done for CAT40/50 style
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