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DRO Location


Diamond; Mod Squad
Mar 27, 2005
Northwest Indiana, USA
It's not a big issue as long as it's done right. They run in a sort of a track that keeps them contained and looped to a fairly large minimum radius. Pretty low stress. I've never seen one fail in nearly 30 years. Big horizontal boring mills are the same. Some of those can have tens or more of feet of travel too.
Nov 19, 2007
marysville ohio
So I'm about to mount my DRO display on a knee mill (Tree 2UVR)and have a question as I am questioning myself to the location -

I always see them on the left side - Is there a reason for this? For me it seems that the right side would be best -however- they all seem to be on the left and I feel like I'm missing something... I would hope to not have one of those moments that someone walks up and go who is the blockhead that mounts this on the right because it should be on the left for this big reason....

Both of mine are on my right as I face the mill. That said why do you care what any one else has to say?


Cast Iron
Dec 14, 2017
Right side on the mill seems "right".

I haven't noticed z axis scale error on my old BP mill. It is worn and I did have to adjust knee gibs when I got it. DIY "certified" with gage blocks it's better than the dial, and of course easier. And I always lock the knee! Except when I forget dammit.

Mounted dro on carriage on my 12x30 lathe. I make a habit of not reaching over moving chuck as much as possible. It's a 10EE so that helps. Rounded headstock equals no shit-stacking area. Don't want to be that guy that drops something into spinning chuck. Seen it happen.

Reader heads mounted to lathe saddle so scale cables are stationary with respect to saddle. Only have to deal with power cable moving. Same on mori seiki ms-1250.


Oct 18, 2005
Connect your DRO to the internet, and install a readout app on your phone, put your phone anywhere you want.
Or link your phone to some google glasses, for a Heads up display.


Oct 29, 2010
Dewees Texas
At first I thought the OP was asking were to put the Y axis scale/encoder. Both my machines have the mounting bosses on the right.

The only down side for putting the read out on the right I can think of is most power feeds are on the right and the handle has a clutch on that side. For accurately turning the handle one without the clutch would be best and that handle is on the left. Pinch point with the handle and power feed gear box makes changing the right handle to solid a mistake. If I had time I might make an extension for the right side to get the handle further out and eliminate the safety clutch and pinch point.