Author Topic: Fitting a DRO to a Weiss WMD30LV mill.  (Read 8637 times)

Offline elciego

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Fitting a DRO to a Weiss WMD30LV mill.
« on: July 03, 2016, 04:39:33 PM »
Hi all,

Finally go to install a DRO to my milling machine.  The linear scales were a gift for Christmas of last year.  Stared by building the electronic interface to work with the TouchDRO tablet app from Yuriy’s toys.  Made a PCB for the voltage level shifters and MSP430 microcontroller, sorry forgot to take photos.

The rear panel was cut on the CNC router.

The board was built up.

Fitted in a case.

It was bench tested.

Have opted to mount the X-axis scale at the rear of the table.  At the rear I am losing 20mm of Y travel but the scale is out of the way and I can still use the X travel stops at the front.
The scale support bracket was dialed in both vertically and horizontally.

A strip was cut from a piece of 3/8” ally plate.

And a spacer made for the read head.  Had to make an additional shim piece from 2mm flat.

Then had to remove the bed and saddle to drill and tap the mounting hole for the read head.

The spacers bolted to the saddle.

All fitted.

For the Y-axis, with the moving saddle on top had to design a couple of brackets to get things working and the scale protected.  Because the mounting surfaces on the mill are not flat or square the brackets were designed to have jacking screws at the corners.

A couple of pieces of 10mm ally plate were milled square and to size.

Holes were located and drilled.

Excess material was roughly marked out and cut off with a hacksaw.

The square surfaces were milled.

The brackets were then located with dowels through the side holes and the angled faces milled.

The finished brackets.

Another piece of ally was milled square and to size.

After drilling and tapping holes in the ends the three pieces were bolted together.

Mounting holes were drilled and tapped in the saddle and the bracket assembly fitted.

With a piece of ally plate bolted to the assembly the jacking screws were used to dial it in square and parallel to the axis travel.

A view of the assembly in place.

A couple of pieces of 10mm ally plate were milled square and to size and holes were drilled and taped to form the brackets for the scale support.

A corner on each was milled at an angle to fit the mill base.

Mounting holes were drilled and counter bored in the support.

The front bracket was clamped to the base, the mounting holes were marked with a transfer punch and the hole drilled with the bracket still clamped to aid in drilling them square and straight.


The scale support was bolted to the front and aligned with the jacking screws.

The location of the rear bracket was determined and it was clamped to the bed, the same procedure was followed to drill the holes.

The brackets, support and scale were mounted and aligned with the axis travel.

For the Z-axis I chose to mount the scale to the column with the head facing backwards, this meant a bracket for the head that cross over the scale to reach the mill head.

Because of the shape of the column the scale support was mounted using two 8mm spacers.  Did not take many pictures of making them except one while facing a piece of ally down to 8mm thick and one after drilling holes.  The piece was then cut in half to form two spacers.

The read head side spacer after drilling and tapping all the holes.  There are taped holes at each corner for jacking screws.

The mill head spacer was made from a piece of  ” ally bar.

A piece of plate from a old computer heat sink was used to make the connecting plate between the spacers.

The spacers and plate were bolted together.

After drilling mounting holes in the mill head the bracket assembly was fitted and the scale aligned.

The interface was mounted on top of the mill’s control box.

A new bracket was made from ally angle to secure the way guard to the back of the saddle.

I have been using the DRO on a few jobs and it makes things a lot easier, no more counting turns of the hand wheels.

I will be looking for a way to mount a scale, that can connect to the system, on the quill.


Edited on 2017/07/10 to change image links.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2017, 02:42:53 PM by elciego »

Offline sshire

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Re: Fitting a DRO to a Weiss WMD30LV mill.
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2016, 05:32:27 PM »
I'm astounded! What a magnificent project. My total DRO experience with DROs has been to call DRO PROS and have them ship units. The only thing you haven't done is extract the silicon for the electronics from sand.

Offline Holt

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Re: Fitting a DRO to a Weiss WMD30LV mill.
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2016, 06:23:27 PM »
Very nice setup, the TouchDro is very nice, I have it on my lathe, I just love the versatility of the system.
One question though, why have you mounted the X axis scale on the support bracket, your table seems to be machined at the back, and if you mounted the scale directly to the table, you would loose about 10-12 mm less Y travel.

Offline elciego

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Re: Fitting a DRO to a Weiss WMD30LV mill.
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2016, 08:36:17 PM »
Hi Stan and Holt,
        Thank you for the kind comments.

     The protection cover for the scales attaches to the support and if I realy need a bit more travel the cover can be temporarily removed.


Offline yogi

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Re: Fitting a DRO to a Weiss WMD30LV mill.
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2016, 10:41:53 PM »
Very clean installation! Well done Abraham!  :ThumbsUp: :ThumbsUp: :ThumbsUp:

Offline elciego

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Re: Fitting a DRO to a Weiss WMD30LV mill.
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2016, 10:11:01 AM »
Hi Yogi,
     Thank you for the kind words.



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