I am considering, very seriously, buying of a DRO. I would like to
know if you find the need to use use the Z axis readout, or you think
that it is not important. The sort of device I am thinking about,
after advice received here, is something like ebay item
I have a 2 axis DRO on my mill, and if I had it to do over, I'd go with
a 3 axis model. I'd put the Z axis on the knee on my mill. As it is,
I am usually looking at the DRO readout for X and Y, then I have to
look down at the dial on Z crank. It would be nice to have all the
readouts in one place and not have to look down where it is harder to
read. Heck, as long as I'm at it, why not put a second Z axis readout on
the quill, too?
I am very happy with my Shooting Star DRO, but it would be nice to have
glass scales, for about the same price, as long as reliability is not
OK, I agree with you on the Z axis for the knee. As for the quill, all
it takes is placing a sliding readout with its own scale, since it is
easily visible right on front of the operator.
Thanks. I think that since I am spending money anyway, I should get a
3 axis DRO.
I'd definitely go with the 3 axis, in for a dime in for a dollar. Put
the z scale on the knee, you'll use it for milling to size, where the
quill is usually, or should be, retracted anyway. For drilling,
c'boring, etc with the quill the stop provided is usually quite
adequate. As you point out there are several digital caliper type scale
setups available for quill installation.
I've dealt with that seller, Linear Measuring Systems, and found them to
be very helpfull. I bought some Jenix scales from them to work with an
existing Sargon display, the Jenix scales are quite nicely made and very
reasonable. Tim at LMS was very patient and provided excellent technical
advice. I'm just a satisfied customer.
Third axis is nice to have. Lock the quill, and forget about it. No
dickin' around with resettable dials, or hoping that the table moved a
thou or three when you wanted two.
If you are going to the trouble and cost, might as well get good!
Looking at the ebay DRO, it has two axiis and a quill readout. Kinda a
gyppo setup. Get one with the Z axis on the knee. You can always stick
one of those cheapo digital caliper units on the quill if you feel the need.
Better to have the ability to accurately measure along the full travel
of the knee.
Thanks Paul. I will go with three axis. I will give them a call
tomorrow to make sure that I get a system I want (Z axis to go on the
knee, not on quill, in reference to another poster), and then will do
a Buy It Now.
Before doing a Buy It Now, I will call to make sure that I get the
following system (from their ebay auction):
3 axis system on the knee:
Package Number: Uniq 9423K milling system 12" x 32" x 18" Travel
Fits 9 x 42 milling machines:
I'd vote for 3-axis as you seem to have decided judging from later posts.
Does your BP mill have a quill stop with adjusting dial? That Clausing 8530
you sold off a while back had that as a standard feature and I've it to be
quite useful, even with a 3-axis DRO on the mill.
One advantage of the Shooting Star DRO's is that it is very easy to cut the
racks to the exact size needed for your mill travels. That is somewhat
harder to do with glass scales.
Don't throw your money away needlessly. 2 axis with a DIAL indicator will do
everything you need. Imo, anybody using a caliper style digital display on
"Z" hasn't been "enlightened" to old technolgy dials. It is WAY easier to
read quill travel to a certain depth with a dial indicator without going
past your target depth.
On my Sieg X3, I have a DYI DRO - Shumatech. Had it for a number of
For more, visit shumatech.com . It is possible, for a smaller envelope
mill, to have
a complete 3 axis DRO for $200 or so.
There's a seller on Ebay that sells Meister DRO directly from
Singapore - seems to
have a ton of 100% positive feedback.
On poking in Z - you better have and use adjustable stop to make sure
don't mill/drill deeper than required. I made my own, loosely
Useable technique : to make sure the lower "nut" doesn't wander due to
I use a piece of compression spring, topped with another nut.
After setting the lower stop nut to reqd depth, I adjust the top one
to where the
spring compresses a bit. Now it pushes outward and it prevents the
You mainly just locate through holes?
We hardly use the quill on our mill at all. Just for holes or
cut-to-a-line quality machining.
All depths of cut are adjusted on the knee.
Works for us. Would not work worth a darn if there was only two axiis
It's worked great and the people were very helpful in selecting the
correct scales. Get the Z-axis. Would you get a car without A/C and P/S?
My only concern is that someday I'll have to reverse engineer the schematic.
Simon Shabtai Evan