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DRO Installation on Wholesale Tool ZX45

Discussion in 'A BEGINNER'S FORUM (Learn How To Machine Here!)' started by TXShelbyman, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. TXShelbyman

    TXShelbyman United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I am installing a DRO on a Rong Fu clone. The X axis was pretty straight forward so I wont post any pictures of it. The Y axis proved to be a bit more challenging. Below is my installation:
    [​IMG]
    I spaced it away from the machine, not for clearance, but to get enough meat to screw the scale to securely. There just wasn't enough there in the 1/8" angle. I used the angle on the side of the machine, because the machine base has a curve in the back and I wasn't going to try to fit spacers. I learned a lot about my mill by having to machine so many parts to make this work. I do have to mill another 1/4 inch off the top of the spacer attached to the scale reader so I can get the chip guard on. The kit came off eBay and for the money it is great. My only complaint is they don't give you any room for error on locating the scale. I am going to have to mill some adjustment in one of the lower brackets as I am running out of scale in the rear. I need another 3/16" so it doesn't hit the back end of the scale. If they would have made the scale 1/2" longer I would not have this issue. (or I guess I could have fitted it a little better, although I thought 3/16' was pretty good for my first try at this) They don't leave you any room for placement error.

    Next step is the Z axis. This will also be a bit of a challenge as I want to mount the scale to the side of the mill head and attach the reader to move with the quill. Haven't figured out exactly how I'm going to do it yet, but that is part of the fun.
     
  2. killswitch505

    killswitch505 United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Sweet I'd like to see the set up on the x if you have time. I'd like to install a dro on mine sometime soon
     
  3. Cheeseking

    Cheeseking United States Active User Active Member

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    Nice job. . You will love it. Amazing how much planning and fabrication goes into installing these puppies. Like you said tho its all part of the fun doing it.
     
  4. TXShelbyman

    TXShelbyman United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Here is a picture of the Y axis with the chip guard in place.
    [​IMG]
    I did realize why the scale is a bit short and it wasn't the sellers fault. I think when I measured the movement of the Y axis the carriage was hitting the screw on the dial scale stopping it from making full movement. If you are doing an installation you may want to watch for that. After I removed the screw I got about another 1" of movement. Luckily I put the X axis scale on the back which took up most of that space so it really didn't affect it much. I think I did lose about 1/4" because of the scale being too short. I will probably put a stop on it in the short term. I am planning on putting a DRO on my lathe, so when I order it I may specify the correct scale for my mill on that kit and then just swap it, provided my cross feed on my lathe is not too long.

    Here is a couple of shots of the X axis.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    If I had to do the X axis again I think I would put some magnetic tape on the scale to temporarily hold the scale while I position it. I did not do this and ended up with the scale not exactly centered. I was about an 1/8" off center. They cut the scale so close I run out of scale on the left side. I've heard of people using double sided sticky tape to temporarily hold the scale but I would think you would not be able to adjust the scale if you stuck if off center. I don't lose much but I do lose a little. Also make sure when doing the install to leave enough room at the top for the chip shield to mount above the scale and also clear your vice.

    The picture below is how I plan on mounting the Z axis. Right now it is just hanging by one screw. I am waiting on some aluminum to come in that I will need for building the part that will attach to the quill. I will post more pictures when I get farther along.
    [​IMG]
    I noticed when I unscrewed the control box it stuck to the machine. I had to pry it off. It looks like they glued paper or something on the mystery metal before they painted it. When drilling the machine on the side it appears they used filler in places which makes it hard to drill. The bit tends to walk in the filler. I had to mark it with a punch then make sure I was hitting metal and not just filler.
     

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