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What's new

A DRO and ER25 collet chuck for the Van Norman #12 mill.


Mar 2, 2010
pacific northwest
First time posting pictures, so forgive errors! (if a mod. can rotate that thumbnail I would appreciate it-beyond me)

Shown is the Dro Pro's 3 axis readout on the Van Norman #12 mill. Easily the most valuable improvement I have done to it. No problems with accuracy or reliability, I did need to shade the lens to keep reflections off, and also put a gray tint cover over the LED screen to add contrast. I plan to add a DRO to the ram also. Because of the location of the X axis scale, Y axis travel on the table is cut by about 1 1/4" - this can be gained back by advancing the ram, so it would be good to have a readout there.
A note on installing the scales- on the table it is a machined surface, easy, but on the rough castings, it was easier to use a piece of 1/2" x 2" aluminum to get a rough straight and square, then attach the scales to that surface for the final installation.

Also, on the mill table, a shopmade ER25 collet chuck with a VN5 taper. Super handy!
A Maritool ER16 x 1/2" straight shank-this is a real timesaver as a pilot drill or CS or whatever can be ready to slide into the ER25 with a 1/2" collet.
A shopmade VN 12 spindle lock spanner
And a shopmade VN square shank wrench for the ram.

This pic shows a Maritool 1" straight shank ER25 collet chuck next to the shop made VN ER 25 chuck:


I got the straight shank because I was doing some file work very close to the three jaw on the lathe and realized a straight shank collet chuck would have kept the file a lot farther away from the lathe chuck jaws.

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Rick Hand

Hot Rolled
Jun 11, 2004
That looks great. I think a collet chuck like that would be the way to go. Maybe iI will tackle that one of these days. I also need to make a spanner wrench. I think I looked those up and there isn't one listed for that size.
Thanks for sharing>