Author Topic: Inexpensive DRO for a Taig Mill  (Read 5401 times)

Online Kim

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Inexpensive DRO for a Taig Mill
« on: January 01, 2016, 02:23:58 AM »
My wife was very good to me this year for Christmas.  I'd dropped a few hints to something I wanted for the shop, and low-and-behold, on Christmas morning, what did I find under the tree? A set of DROs for my Taig Mill!  (Yeah, my hint's had been fairly specific, including web links, qtys and pricing.  My wife gets her own copy of the Grizzly catalog now because she shops for me there!)

So I decided that this was the time to get my new Christmas DROs installed.  There are two 6" and one 12" scales.  the 12" for X, and the 6's for Y and Z.
 

As is typical for me with any project, the first several hours consist of hemming and hawing, holding things up here and there, moving them back and forth, and generally trying to figure out the best/easiest way to get the job done.  With some of these good thoughts in mind, I started by mounting the scale to the X-axis.  I ended up putting it on the back of the table since it was too in the way in the front.  It will take up about 1" of Y travel, which, though not ideal, doesn't really eat into the working envelope of the mill.  That back inch isn't really practically usable anyway. There is almost no Z clearance between the top of the table and the track for the Z-axis (about 1").  If I have a vise on the table (which I almost always do), it hits the Z-axis track preventing you from using that last inch of travel anyway. So that seemed like the least of the evils.

Here you can see the table removed and I've already drilled and tapped holes on each end of the table to mount the X scale. You're looking at the bottom of the back side of table.


Here's the X scale mounted to the table with 1/4" spacers to move the read head out past the edge of the Y-axis saddle. (Sorry about the cluttered pictures.  That's the standard state for my shop...)


And here's where I'll be mounting the Y scale.  I think I have a pretty good idea on how to get that mounted.  Still thinking about the Z axis.


It always takes longer than you think it should to do these kinds of shop maintenance jobs.  But they are so worth it once you have them done! (Or so I keep telling myself... :))

Kim
« Last Edit: July 09, 2017, 06:49:27 AM by Kim »

Offline Dave Otto

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Re: Inexpensive DRO for a Taig Mill
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2016, 02:32:27 AM »
Hey Kim,

That looks like it will be a very useful addition to your shop!

Dave

Offline b.lindsey

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Re: Inexpensive DRO for a Taig Mill
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2016, 02:39:16 AM »
Very Nice Kim. Glad to see Santa made it to your house  :whoohoo:

Bill

Offline wagnmkr

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Re: Inexpensive DRO for a Taig Mill
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2016, 11:09:16 AM »
That is looking good and it reminded me that I have the same stuff sitting in a box along with the electronic bits to do a dro conversion. Shop tool maintenance seems to always get put on the back burner.

That should make your mill more enjoyable.

Tom
I was cut out to be rich ... but ... I was sown up all wrong!

Offline Lew Hartswick

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Re: Inexpensive DRO for a Taig Mill
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2016, 03:36:36 PM »
:-)  One advantage of such a mill over a Bridgeport is the clear benefit of taking the table off to mount the scale. :-)
   ...lew...

Online Kim

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Re: Inexpensive DRO for a Taig Mill
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2016, 06:16:13 PM »
Thanks Dave, Bill, Tom and Lew,

:-)  One advantage of such a mill over a Bridgeport is the clear benefit of taking the table off to mount the scale. :-)
   ...lew...

No doubt!  I just carried the table over to the drill press to make some holes.  It was almost too easy.  Not sure I'll be able to do that for they Y or Z axis.  But it was nice for the X!

Still, I'd trade the Taig for a nice Bridgeport, if you're interested :)
Kim

Online Kim

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Re: Inexpensive DRO for a Taig Mill
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2016, 01:35:54 AM »
I spent all of today finishing up the DRO installation on my mill.  It doesn't seem like it should take so long, but it does (at least for me!).

Here's the Y-axis scale installed.  I actually mounted that scale to a one foot length of aluminum bar stock and then mounted the bar stock to the base.


The Z-axis was last, and probably the easiest.  I mounted the scale directly to the post and bent my own bracket from 22GA steel plate for the read head.


Here I've drilled and tapped holes to mount the control panel arm.  This is on the other side of the post.


Here's the control arm mounted in place:


And then I just hooked it all up. And it works! :)


For the last step, I bent a swarf shield from some steel plate and used some double sticky tape to hold it in place over the X-read head, which is right in the line of fire for swarf.  It also doubles as a 'stop' to keep me from banging the read head into the Z-column.


And here it is, in all its completed glory :).  I still get a full 5" of range on the Y-axis, even putting the X scale behind the table, so I'm pretty happy with that!


Thanks for looking!
Kim
« Last Edit: July 09, 2017, 06:49:54 AM by Kim »

Offline Dave Otto

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Re: Inexpensive DRO for a Taig Mill
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2016, 01:47:57 AM »
Looks good Kim!

You are going to enjoy it.

Be sure to check something of known dimension (1,2,3 block etc.) so you are sure it is reading correctly in all three axis before you start making important parts.
If you already did, well never mind.  :Lol:

Dave

Online Kim

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Re: Inexpensive DRO for a Taig Mill
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2016, 02:43:31 AM »
Thanks Dave,
Good point!  I was going to check it against the dials, which I've come to trust over the years.  But using a 1-2-3 block is an even better idea!  That'll be my first activity next time I'm in the shop.

Thanks,
Kim

Offline Don1966

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Re: Inexpensive DRO for a Taig Mill
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2016, 04:34:36 AM »
Cool Kim, you will enjoy using them.

Don

Offline fumopuc

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Re: Inexpensive DRO for a Taig Mill
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2016, 06:37:49 AM »
Hi Kim, I bet you never ever would like to work without a DRO in future.
Kind Regards
Achim