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Anyone fitted a DRO to Sieg SC4?

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jimmy b08/12/2018 07:18:05
422 forum posts
27 photos

I'm giving some thought to fitting a DRO to my SC4.

I have been using a modified tyre tread depth gauge for the cross slide and a modified digital caliper on the carriage. This is fine for single tool use, but starts to get a bit involved if you are using more than one tool and a rear toolpost.

I have looked at the Chinese ones on Ebay, but they are a bit on the bulky side.

Has anyone fitted anything else or had thoughts on this?

Thank you, Jim

Phil Francis 108/12/2018 21:39:56
13 forum posts
2 photos

I’ve successfully fitted the EMS-I one to a SC3. They clame to have the smallest magnetic reading head. **LINK**t Not cheap though. Phil

Martin M26/12/2018 19:36:18
2 forum posts

Jim, are you aware of the Sieg handwheel DROs? Just found a retrofit kit from Toolarena:

I had those on my SC2 and found them to be quite OK. I don't have an SC4 yet, I just sold my SC2 and think about getting one... a bit afraid of the thing being to noisy. Maybe you can give me an advice - is the main noise coming from the power feed gear (which I can modify if all else fails) or the spindle reverse gear (where mods are difficult)?

- Martin

Yngvar F27/12/2018 10:17:22
46 forum posts
48 photos

I mounted a chineese dro to the sc4 but soon removed it. As you said, just too bulky and got in the way.

Wouldn’t be without dro on the mill, but on the lathe I do not miss it.

Nick Hulme31/12/2018 01:47:20
599 forum posts
30 photos

If you want a DRO on a machine you should use linear scales, anything else fails to eliminate backlash.
If a DRO gets in the way on your lathe you have fitted it incorrectly or bought the wrong DRO, or both.
If you've tried a functional DRO (as opposed to semi-functional scales) on a lathe and can do without it then you have more time than projects to fit in before you die. :D

Martin M31/12/2018 10:25:22
2 forum posts

I guess there is no doubt linear scales are superior.

However, I truly had no idea how to mount any of those on my tiny SC2. So given that restriction, the question might be: Is it preferable to have no DRO at all or have the handwheel DROs, with all limitations.

I had the original Sieg handweel DROs on my SC2 and the main problems of those were not that they ignore the backlash (if you are aware of that, you use them accordingly). What I disliked much more was that the plastic housings are built flimsily and break quickly and that they shut off after some time, forgetting the current measure.

I agree the handwheel DROs are kind of a last resort, but if nothing else fits on the SC4, I am not sure I would stick with counting revolutions on the 1mm/turn handwheels.

- Martin

Ady131/12/2018 19:09:16
3442 forum posts
513 photos

A laser DRO surely can't be far away now

Line up an emitter/receiver sensor at each end and a wire from each to the DRO output

Neil could probably do an Arduino version for us

Terry Howlett 111/01/2019 19:39:01
6 forum posts

Hi Jim,

Did you get any further with this? I'm considering buying an SC4 (my first proper lathe) but would really want to fit proper linear scaled DRO's.



jimmy b12/01/2019 04:33:37
422 forum posts
27 photos

I've still not progressed with this project!

I'm using a modded tyre tread depth gauge on the cross slide and a modded caliper on the saddle.

Every time I revisit this, its the cross slide that stops it!


mgnbuk12/01/2019 10:30:35
458 forum posts
10 photos

A laser DRO surely can't be far away now

Laser measuring systems suitable for machine tools have been available for years - Renishaw make them (and probably others). You could comprehensively outfit a complete ME workshop for less then the cost of a single axis installation (without counter / console) though. Probably don't need nanometer resolution in the home workshop either.

While I dare say that lower resolution electronics could be made at a lower cost, chances are that the main expense lies with the optics required (beam splitter & reflector).

Nigel B

JasonB12/01/2019 12:31:26
14308 forum posts
1380 photos

Jimmy have you looked at EMSi's offerings that can be buried within the cross slide and even the top slide. Not sure if there is enough meat in the SC4 but worth a thought

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