Installing a Acu-rite II DRO on Aciera F-3
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  1. #1
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    Default Installing a Acu-rite II DRO on Aciera F-3

    I have a 1950s-60s F-3 that I have been using for years, it has never had much use so it is still in good shape. About 15 to 20 years ago I bought a Acu-rite III DRO that I planned to put on it. Like many of my plans nothing happened and it has sat on the shelf in the store room all these years. I had to get it down to reach something else and thought now is a good time to mount it if I’m ever going too. This came off a Moore #1 Jig Borer so I think the scales are about the right size.

    First question, Should I even be fooling around with this? Is there something newer and easier to install out in the market these days? Easy is the key word because I really don’t enjoy messing with things like this. My shop is pretty digital free, there is nothing modern in it. But I have always thought a DRO on mill would be good. Should I get to question 2 or get rid of this thing on eBay?

    Question 2, Any suggestions about making mounts for the scales? I suspect it will be a lot of work.

    Thanks,

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    It is an Acu-rite III if that makes a difference. Plugged it in and turned it on, seems to work.

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    On my F5, which came with an acu-rite 1 dro it was mounted very simply. Just strips of ground tool steel bolted to the raw painted castings for the scales to mount to and nice purpose built brackets. Mine was non functional and it now has a newall DRO which was also very easy to mount.

    Aciera put quite a lot of effort into making sure the lip seals did not face swarf ingress, the z scale lip faced away from the table meaning the reader bracket had to be long and awkward.

    I think a DRO is essential. It speeds up my work tremendously.

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    I think a DRO makes a huge difference. The one on my Deckel FP2 is 40-year-old Heidenhain and it works great. You get 95% of the benefit from having a DRO of any type, and the last 5% from a modern one with all of the bells and whistles. The accuracy comes from the glass scales and as long as these work, they will still be accurate. So in my opinion it is definitely worth the effort to mount it, assuming that the scales are the right length (or slightly longer than needed) and have a cross-section that will fit in the mounting.

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  6. #5
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    You'll be wondering how you ever used the mill without a DRO, go ahead and mount it even with C clamps :P

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  8. #6
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    I would ask on the Aciera Groups.io [email protected] | Home, which I think the Yahoo group moved to recently. That group is very F3-centric. You can also reach out to Dr. David Samways in the UK Anglo-Swiss Tools - Anglo-Swiss Tools. Adding DRO will make you an order of magnitude more productive!

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  10. #7
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    I am in the same boat. I have had an F3 in need of a DRO for the past many years. Some time ago I compiled a set of pictures from every install someone cared to send me. Now if I can only find them.

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    Here is a site documenting an installation, but it is maddeningly incomplete. DRO | Aciera F3 Rebuild

    If I had the job, for the X scale I would try to either place a Newall Microsyn scale below the feed stops or bury it within the slide. The latter might require significant machining.

    On my F4, the X scale is mounted to a spar extending to the left of the saddle. The spar originally held the feed trip dogs and a rule for coarse positioning. The trip dogs still work, although somewhat inconveniently, but the rule disappeared before I got the machine. The F3 has no spar, but perhaps something like a spar could be added to the right of the saddle.

  12. #9
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    I have those pics just to remind me a thing or two about auctions...
    I hope they will be useful.
    regards
    Kyriakos
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails screen-shot-2019-08-03-11.48.04-.-..jpg   screen-shot-2019-08-03-11.48.20-.-..jpg   screen-shot-2019-08-03-11.48.37-.-..jpg   screen-shot-2019-08-03-11.49.13-.-..jpg   screen-shot-2019-08-03-11.49.39-.-..jpg  


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  14. #10
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    I think Microsyn is the way to go. I Dan never thought of under the table. Thanks Kyriakos!


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