Advise on a DRO for VN-12, please.
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    Default Advise on a DRO for VN-12, please.

    Have any of you put a DRO on a VN 12? Is it a difficult thing to mount? Any advice on brand or size? Just thinking my old brain and eyes might find it easier then counting turns, but do not know where to start or what questions to ask, save for the obvious- is there a place to mount the scales?

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    I put a DRO on one of the larger ones, a VN28, so the experience won't be 100% useful. Used mag scales rather than glass scales, so both the scales and the reader heads were pretty thin. Mounted the X axis behind the table, which is a fairly convenient plane on the 28. Mounted the Z axis on the right side of the column, as the travel stops and rear controls are on the left side. The Y axis was a decision between two not-so-good choices. The left side has the travel stops on the knee and the saddle clamp on the saddle, while the right side has the feeds motor on the knee and the splined drive shaft for the table feed connecting the knee with the saddle. I went with the right side, but either choice requires you to hang the scales out a considerable distance to clear one thing or another. The VN12 will be different...

    Sourced scales, readers and readout from DRO Pros. I've had the Easson ES-8 DRO on my lathe for 10 years, saw no reason to go to a higher price point on a mill retrofit.

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    Thread necro here, but did put a DRO pros three axis on the VN 12. So this might be useful to someone.

    The most useful thing I did was to first attach some 1/2"x 2" flat bar to the mill to create a roughly parallel surface to mount the scales to. Then attach the scales , which have some fine alignment capability, to the flat bar. The VN castings are irregular in respect to the mill axis.
    Made the mill hugely more useful , especially for older eyes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stoneaxe View Post
    Thread necro here, but did put a DRO pros three axis on the VN 12. So this might be useful to someone.

    The most useful thing I did was to first attach some 1/2"x 2" flat bar to the mill to create a roughly parallel surface to mount the scales to. Then attach the scales , which have some fine alignment capability, to the flat bar. The VN castings are irregular in respect to the mill axis.
    Made the mill hugely more useful , especially for older eyes.
    I've been considering installing a DRO on my VN 12. Thanks for the info.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hand View Post
    I've been considering installing a DRO on my VN 12. Thanks for the info.
    The only concern I have is the x axis- I mounted it on the back side of the table and it burns about 1 1/4" of travel on the Y. I think the Mit. KA scales are thinner.
    Although the ability to slide the ram helps a lot with the restriction- I would like a readout for the ram as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stoneaxe View Post
    The only concern I have is the x axis- I mounted it on the back side of the table and it burns about 1 1/4" of travel on the Y. I think the Mit. KA scales are thinner.
    Although the ability to slide the ram helps a lot with the restriction- I would like a readout for the ram as well.
    It would be interesting to know if a scale on the ram would end up being sufficiently parallel to the saddle travel to repeat well. Or, would you end up having to re-locate features if you move the ram.

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    I always figured the ram motion on my #28A was not a precision axis, and certainly not a machining axis. The existing scale with marks at 1 inch intervals seemed about right. I can't recall a situation where I moved the ram during a single setup, but if I did, I am sure I would have to pick up features to figure out just how far the ram actually moved.

    I'm not at the shop location right now, but if memory serves, there's ample room on the right side of the ram (of a 28/38) to mount scales. On the left side (if my mental picture is correct), either the ram clamps or ram pinion shaft (or both) might get in the way.


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