Digital readout for the mill/drill and lathe

(all these images are clickable)

The lathe and mill/drill now proudly sport this digital readout from Shooting Star Technology. In early 2000, the lathe DRO was priced at $600US and the mill unit (with 3 axes) at $750. The nice folks at Shooting Star gave me a $100 discount when I bought both at once.

Shooting Star's customer service is the best. They responded to my emails promptly and I received the DRO packages only four days after they'd received my check. They offer a 60-day money-back return policy - which would be important if you couldn't fit the DRO to your machine.

Strappe's overall grade for Shooting Star Technology: A+.

Click on any of these pictures for a larger view.

The mill/drill with DRO. You can see the X-axis (at the front of the table) and the Z-axis (in front of the head).

If you look carefully you'll see the steel guard above the X-axis rack at the front of the table. The ends of the X-axis rack were mounted with T-nuts inserted in the slot at the front of the table intended for stops.

Also note that the Z-axis is mounted differently, the readout head is fixed and the rack moves. Because of this, the Z-axis rack can be fastened only at the bottom end. This isn't a problem, since it's vertical. You wouldn't want to do this with horizontal racks, the sag would cause premature wear of the bushing in the head.

z-axisA closeup of the Z-axis mounting. The plate is mounted directly to the plastic housing - it's quite sturdy, there's no need for further bracing. The rack is mounted at its lower end to the quill housing, while the upper end is free.

Y-axisY-axis installation. Attached to the cross slide, behind and below the left end of the table, is the readout head which mounts with this bracket to the left rear of the cross slide. The rack mounts on standoffs to the base.

The gear is for the X-axis motor drive.

lathe x-axisThe X-axis head for the lathe is mounted on the rear of the apron. There's just too much hardware on the front side for DRO mounting. Here's a closeup of the mounting bracket.

Y-axis of latheThe Y-axis on the lathe, mounted to the right side of the cross slide.

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