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First lathe

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bsp07/08/2020 17:57:46
8 forum posts

Warco wm180 lathe is 965 without dro and 1160, factory fitted.

Would members advise the dro version .as the better option?

Thankyou

Bill

Mick B107/08/2020 18:29:57
1656 forum posts
88 photos

Matter of personal choice. You'll still have to make sure your backlash is taken up in the right direction to resist the cutting thrust, but it'll be easier to count off slide movements with less mental arithmetic, or risk of mechanical disturbance zeroing dials..

Myself, I prefer to use basic methods and dial-off the movements. It keeps me aware of how well or otherwise my head's working.

Whether the extra money's worth spending also depends on what tooling you've already got, how much you need additional stuff, and how much uncommitted cash you have.

SteveW07/08/2020 18:44:08
avatar
124 forum posts
11 photos

I would say not worth it on a lathe. On a mill very worthwhile. Depends a bit on your skill level I guess but a dro on a lathe doesn’t make it much easier to use. Using a mill is often more coordinate based so the benefit is much more apparent. Of course there is a skill in using the dro to its best advantage.

Keith Fox08/08/2020 08:56:52
32 forum posts

As pretty much a novice, I fitted a DRO to my Axminster SC4 and it gave me far more confidence and in my opinion is well worthwhile doing. It wasn’t difficult to fit, but I am so happy that I did.

Keith

Keith Fox08/08/2020 08:56:56
32 forum posts

As pretty much a novice, I fitted a DRO to my Axminster SC4 and it gave me far more confidence and in my opinion is well worthwhile doing. It wasn’t difficult to fit, but I am so happy that I did.

Keith

Chris Evans 608/08/2020 09:07:58
avatar
1724 forum posts

DRO every time, I have been using lathes for 57 years and would not be without mine. So much quicker and easier to use. Just think of a simple job, a few bolts 50mm/2" long. Face the bar/zero the readout/move the carriage 50mm and set the bed stop. No measuring or guesswork, same with turning to a shoulder or parting off. I could go on but you will love the DRO.

SillyOldDuffer08/08/2020 09:57:39
Moderator
6181 forum posts
1345 photos
Posted by Mick B1 on 07/08/2020 18:29:57:

Matter of personal choice. You'll still have to make sure your backlash is taken up in the right direction to resist the cutting thrust, but it'll be easier to count off slide movements with less mental arithmetic, or risk of mechanical disturbance zeroing dials..

Myself, I prefer to use basic methods and dial-off the movements. It keeps me aware of how well or otherwise my head's working.

Whether the extra money's worth spending also depends on what tooling you've already got, how much you need additional stuff, and how much uncommitted cash you have.

+1

Fitting a DRO to a milling machine is a no-brainer. Multiple dial turns in 3-axes and don't forget to compensate for backlash! DRO is extremely helpful.

Less so on a lathe. They only have two axes, and one of the dials doesn't move far. Backlash compensation is much easier because most lathe work concentrates on one axis at a time. So I drive my lathe differently to my mill:, I calculate how much metal must be removed, cut close to that value on the dial, and then finish off with a micrometer.

If someone gave me a DRO I'd cheerfully fit it to my lathe, but I'm not moved to buy one. As always the value of a tool depends on the individual. Keith mentions novice confidence as a benefit, and Chris with 57 years experience recommends DRO for speed and ease of use. They're both right, but the novice stage doesn't last long, and I suspect most amateur turners work slowly compared with Chris. Well I'm sure I do! In my workshop, a lathe DRO wouldn't save much time because I'm rarely in a hurry.

Of course if money is no object, buy one. But if money is short it could be better spent on something more useful. Knurling, Ball-turner, QCTP, Drill Chucks, Tap and Die fittings, micrometers, squares, calipers. Collet chuck with collet set. Carbide inserts, HSS and Grinder, Oil can, DTI and stand, spanners. The list is endless...

Dave

Martin Cargill08/08/2020 10:12:20
140 forum posts

I recently gained a single axis DRO from a machine that was being modified at work and fitted it to the saddle of my lathe. It reads down to 0.1mm. I find it a great piece of kit when machining any part to length (where your not working to the nearest thou), simply touch the tool on the end of the part, zero the display and then work away until you reach the required length - no stopping for remeasuring etc.

Martin

Mick B108/08/2020 14:01:24
1656 forum posts
88 photos
Posted by Martin Cargill on 08/08/2020 10:12:20:

I recently gained a single axis DRO from a machine that was being modified at work and fitted it to the saddle of my lathe. It reads down to 0.1mm. I find it a great piece of kit when machining any part to length (where your not working to the nearest thou), simply touch the tool on the end of the part, zero the display and then work away until you reach the required length - no stopping for remeasuring etc.

Martin

Any lathe with a dial on the saddle handwheel can do that. I do it all the time on my Warco. You might have to do a little light mental arithmetic, as the divisions represent 0,25mm. But they're a good 3mm or so wide, so you can interpolate to a coupla thou. Good for milling in the lathe, too.

ega08/08/2020 14:47:57
1781 forum posts
152 photos

I would not want to work without an adjustable saddle stop - cheap, simple and< for most purposes, effective.

Chris Evans 608/08/2020 14:54:52
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1724 forum posts

Plus 1 for the saddle stop.

Bazyle08/08/2020 17:11:48
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5391 forum posts
206 photos

The 200 spennt on the DRO would buy ally the tooling you would need for years to come. If you have already allowed extra for tooling add that to the DRO money and get a bigger lathe. You can always buy a few tools later on but you can't buy and add on inch of spindle height (well not easily) so you must put absolutely everything into the basic lathe.

Nicholas Wheeler 108/08/2020 17:48:22
360 forum posts
20 photos
Posted by Chris Evans 6 on 08/08/2020 14:54:52:

Plus 1 for the saddle stop.

Plus 2

After installing** my wm250, I fitted the QCTP off my previous minilathe. The next evening I made an adjustable carriage stop - both adjustments are tool free so that it's easy to use.

** carried it down the steps, staggered through the cellar with it and plonked it on the end of the bench where it's been ever since. Although I do swing it around on the drip tray to get in the cupboard next to the change gear cover.

mechman4808/08/2020 18:10:08
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2723 forum posts
422 photos

Wouldn't be without a DRO on the mill now I have fitted mine, as for the lathe, I use a modified 6 " / 150mm Digi Vernier for saddle travel & modified tyre depth gauge for X slide measuring both work fine for my usage.

George.

larry phelan 108/08/2020 20:40:26
804 forum posts
14 photos

Dont know how to spell D,R O, never mind how to use one !

6" rule is good enough for me [and I suspect for a good many others too, if the truth be known ]

Buy a sack full of bits and learn how to use the machine, then worry about a D,R,O, if you still feel you need one.

jimmy b08/08/2020 20:45:34
avatar
659 forum posts
38 photos

DRO every time for me.

Jim

not done it yet09/08/2020 10:06:22
4872 forum posts
18 photos

As above, for a mill the DRO is far more useful than one for my lathe. I’ve (eventually) put one on the cross slide and have one available for the long travel. I am in no hurry to fit the long travel scale.....

I will likely be making a power feed for my little mill before fitting the other scale to the lathe - and that is not a priority...

Emgee09/08/2020 10:55:27
1645 forum posts
224 photos

If I didn't have the original Colchester saddle and cross slide adjustable multiple length stops fitted on my Bantam I would find a DRO very useful so might fit one, but not top of the list with clear to read dials, even though they are inches and most of the time I work in mm.

Emgee

Pete Rimmer09/08/2020 11:13:55
772 forum posts
50 photos

Fitting a DRO will transform your use of a lathe. I don't know what type you'll get as a £200 accessory but my £300 one has made a world of difference to how I go about working on mine. It will even measure existing tapers very accurately.

Circlip09/08/2020 12:18:29
1167 forum posts

Definitely fit a DRO, you're not going to be able to do any work for Rolls Royce or NASA without. Also you must have a QC toolpost and Carbide tooling.

ReGarDs Ian

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