Continued from Part 1
With the X-axis DRO installed, I turned my attention to the Y.
The difficulty here was that there weren’t any pre-existing holes or dovetail slots to take advantage of, so it was an entirely custom installation.
The other complication was that the base of the mill flared out to a wider footprint, so the only surface to mount the DRO’s rail on was at an angle relative to the surface on the sliding table itself.
There was a flat space just under the lead screw that looked like a promising location to mount the measurement unit’s bracket, so I drilled and tapped a 1/4-20 hole in the center of it (approximately).
Just then my daughter woke up from her nap, so I put things on hold until the next day.
Since I knew I would be modifying brackets, I started working on the rail so that I would have precise references to work from.
I drilled and tapped a hole near the back of the mill first. I placed it so that the mounting bracket would sit just under the line where the base began top taper outwards, this way I could use the same line near the front to visually confirm the straightness of the rail.
In order to avoid obstructing the full range of motion along the Y axis, I had to modify a couple of the mounting brackets and attach them to the front of the mill, instead of the side. The modification was essentially to attach two brackets together (using one of the spare brackets from the X-axis), so that I could reach the front of the base and still keep the rail parallel to the table.
Now that I had the rail mounted, I could get a feel for what sort of bracket I would need to fabricate to hold the measuring unit to the sliding table.
With the installation complete, I turned my attention to re-mounting the vice on my table.
Because of the location of the travel locks and the dovetail slot, The X-axis measuring unit sits about a millimeter above the surface of the table.
I always keep my milling vice installed on the table, so I needed a way to avoid the top of the measuring unit.
So there you have it. $60 and 4 hours later, I have DRO on all 3 axis of my milling machine.
I’ll let you know at some later point in time if it lives up to expectations.