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Shop DRO taking away my fun?

Shop
LoL!

And we haven’t gotten started on debating the merits of TouchDRO vs. the far east clones, not to mention glass vs magnetic…….

Let the “help” begin. ;)

D :cool:
..... And then there is the whole shop attire situation. Now that he is joining the elite dro club, he's going to have to dress the part, with perhaps a hat toss, Mr Crispin style, upon entering the shop door...:cool:
 

CWret

Ultra Member
Premium Member
I’m kind’a newbie to a mill. My first ever mill landed here 1 1/2 years ago. Shortly after getting the mill I added a Ditron DRO - so I have little experience without a DRO, but having one is fantastic. Can’t imagine not having it. Love it.

My mill was ordered with an optional X power feed. But it was backorder and didn’t arrive for several months. The X-power feed is great. Can’t imagine not having it. Love it.

I often use the mill without using the DRO but when i do use it - it is soooooo very nice. Absolutely would not want to be without it!
I almost never use the mill without using the power X feed.

Bottom line - need vs want - (IMO) the DRO is a must have accessory that belongs on your need list. The power X feed is a great accessory I would not be without. It belongs on your want list.
 

trevj

Ultra Member
Get the DRO, and get over the angst. Like @Susquatch and at least one other (sorry for the lack of credit!) says, you will never go back. Sorta like being a dude growing up. First you are not interested in sex, then you learn about sex. Then you learn what sex with a partner is like, then you pretty much never want to have to regress! LOL! And some may flinch at the comparison, but I really do think it is apt, given what a HUGE change to the way you work becomes!

The skills of adapting and compensating for backlash and the like never get 'un-used', they just get added to, in the process. When my day job was running a CNC mill, I also had to learn new things, as far as recognizing when the backlash, etc., was getting to a point where it needed to be dealt with. Then I learned how to do just that, and carried on!

IMO, going CNC has a very similar effect on the way it changes the way you look at a project. Simply put, it opens a WHOLE wide lot of previously impossible or merely difficult operations, to making them readily available, and if you have the imagination, makes a lot of things that were otherwise impossible, a reasonable choice! Or it makes the routine making of SETS of identical parts, a job that you only had to do once, then repeat the program as required. Worth looking at what you get the enjoyment out of, the process, the Skill, or the end results.
 

Dan Dubeau

Ultra Member
All I got from that analogy Trev is that once you get used to a readout, going back to dials increases your chances of F*&%ng yourself again....:D

I get the CNC comparison. Once I got on running the CNC's at work I never wanted to go back to cranking a manual mill again. It changed everything, including the way I design stuff because it opens up some many possibilities. Curves and rads, are trivial, and no longer a cursing event dragging out a rotary table.

Funny though, since getting my excello finally powered up and usable at home, I have actually taken a liking to cranking handles on a mill again. I'm sure it'll wear off eventually again, but it was a surprising feeling......
 
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trevj

Ultra Member
Not about what you do to yourself, by down-grading the capabilities, more about ones personal feelings about having to step back! LOL!

If ya gotta, you start to understand the loss of options pretty quickly!

I have not yet got a DRO equipped machine in my working collection of tooling (got an equipped lathe, and a CNC mill, in storage), but am still a fan of both, for the reasons stated, in that the additional capabilities that come from having the gear available, are far greater than any thoughts of supposedly lost skills ever will be!
 

PaulL

Technologist at Large
Premium Member
Though that's exactly what a fellow has to do at least once. I love my little self-made timber trame hut. A couple of summers in the woods building it that I wouldn't trade for all the dimensioned lumber in the world.
And I should add: I'm never going to do it again!
Which is how I feel about running my mill without the DRO.
 

Dabbler

ersatz engineer
I learned machine shop in High School, but 10 years later I got the home machining bug by using my friend's Hartford mill with a Sony DRO on it. A few years later I bought a mill without a DRO. U used it nearly 20 years that way. I much prefer using a mill with a DRO.

more accurate
harder to make calculation mistakes and eliminates the 'one turn too many/to few mistakes...
the DRO tells you where the cutter IS, not where the dials say it is. That is the most important feature...

I have 3 vertical mills and one of them doesn't have a DRO... yet...
 

Mcgyver

Ultra Member
I learned machine shop in High School, but 10 years later I got the home machining bug by using my friend's Hartford mill with a Sony DRO on it. A few years later I bought a mill without a DRO. U used it nearly 20 years that way. I much prefer using a mill with a DRO.

more accurate
harder to make calculation mistakes and eliminates the 'one turn too many/to few mistakes...
the DRO tells you where the cutter IS, not where the dials say it is. That is the most important feature...

I have 3 vertical mills and one of them doesn't have a DRO... yet...

I agree its preferable, but never saw it as the must have so many do. I have DRO's on two mills and the surface grinder. It was one of the later things I added to the shop with most else viewed is more mission critical - i.e. as nice as the DRO is convenience wise, I could accomplish every without. Never bothered with the lathe (yet?). I haven't seen a way to do so on the crosslide without it getting in the way and imo a bolt on attachment (when needed) with a Mit tenths/micron digital indicator does the trick and is probablyu more accurate.
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
I haven't seen a way to do so on the crosslide without it getting in the way

Have you looked at putting a short strip of magnetic tape INSIDE the cross-slide? That way it doesn't interfere with anything.

I agree that it isn't essential but I do love the convenience.
 

Mcgyver

Ultra Member
John I haven't really looked at anything, hasn't been a priority, but the ones I remember seeing end up outside on the right or left. When I do need something better than the dials, I really need accuracy (like for expensive bearing fits) so not sure what sort of sub thou accuracy you can expect with most of the ones that would be in my snack bracket. I did splurge and put a Newall on the mill, but have zero interest in spending that on the lathe. (Truth is I have next to zero interest in doing anything with it, the Mit indicator so far does the trick)
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
John I haven't really looked at anything, hasn't been a priority, but the ones I remember seeing end up outside on the right or left. When I do need something better than the dials, I really need accuracy (like for expensive bearing fits) so not sure what sort of sub thou accuracy you can expect with most of the ones that would be in my snack bracket. I did splurge and put a Newall on the mill, but have zero interest in spending that on the lathe. (Truth is I have next to zero interest in doing anything with it, the Mit indicator so far does the trick)

I hear you. It was easy to see the benefits on a mill. Not so easy on a lathe. My mindset was like yours until I put one on my mill, and realized the value. To be honest, I'm still second guessing it for the same reasons you give. But it's too late now. I have the DRO. It will get installed after the motor change. Time will tell if I should have done it or not.
 

Dabbler

ersatz engineer
I also have DRO units on my mills but none on my lathes. I don't think DROs are necessary, but they make the work more accurate on mills.
-- I see youtubers use their DROs on their lathes, but it doesn't seem as necessary. Perhaps one day I'll try it - Believe it or not, my big lathe does not have a dial on the hand wheel to move the apron (!!).
 

Darren

Ultra Member
Premium Member
My 1660 doesn't have a dial on the carriage handwheel either. Its getting a Ditron DRO soon. I just have to get another scale as i ordered it for a different machine.
 
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