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Sherline + Igauging Linear Dro; Possible?

karim

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#1
I'm looking into DRO options for my Sherline setup... There are some things I don't like about the OEM solution. Has anyone successfully installed iGauging DROs on Sherline machines?

On the lathe, the lead-screw looks relatively easy, but I'm having trouble seeing how I might get the reading head set up on the cross-slide.

On the mill (2000), again, I think I can fit the Y axis pretty easily, but X & Z look a little more problematic.

Am I crazy to consider this? Anyone know of DROs that have a smaller installation footprint than iGauging that might work better on a small machine?
 

kvt

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#2
I have been wandering the same thing on my 4400 lathe and 5400 mill. The problem with the sherline DRO from what I can see is backlash as it takes into account the amount of turn in the hand wheel, not the movement of the axis etc. thus if you have a few thou backlash as most sherline have it does not take that into account. where a DRO would let you see how much something moves no mater how much the hand wheel has moved. At least that is what I see so I may be wrong. I just have not figured how to mount part of it.
 

karim

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#3
Yeah, that's my main dislike of the Sherline DRO—it reads hand wheel revolutions, not linear movement.

I purchased an iGauging DRO so that I'd have something to physical to test against. Here's what I've found:
  • I also have the 4400 Lathe. I think I can easily fabricate brackets to mount the DRO rail on the back of the lathe, and secure the reader to the bottom of the carriage.
  • Out of the box, I don't see a way to mount the iG DRO to the cross-slide/carriage. I had hoped I could mount it under the leadscrew, but the reader head is too large to fit between the leadscrew and the base of the lathe.
  • On the 2000-series mill, I'm pretty sure I can fab brackets for the Y-axis by mounting the rail along the base of the mill, with a long bracket to connect the reader head to the table carriage.
  • Z-axis may be doable, but might involve some very complicated brackets to mount the DRO rail to the back of the Z-axis, and the reader head to the headstock mount
  • The X-axis will be much more difficult, because the clearance between the Y-axis screw and the top of the table is less than the thickness of the reader head, so even mounted horizontally, the reader head would protrude above the table.
I'm traveling for work at the moment, but when I get home, I'm going to disassemble the reader head enclosure and see if there's any way to repackage it in a slimmer profile.
 

kvt

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#4
I would also check out you Tube as for some reason I think I have seen one with them on it and you may get some Ideas from them. I want to do this but right now I'm cash poor and unable to purchase much for things like that. But if figured out I may go ahead and start working towards it. Ithe z axis on the 5400 would be a bit simpler I think, But the x axis I agree would be a pain. the only way I could think about it is put is make a bracket and put it even with the cross slide, for the y axis. on the back side THen make mounts for the other to the base. It does not mater if it is centered on the y or not as long as you have full travel on it. The lathe I do not know a way without taking up room needed on the side of the cross slide. which would limit the tail stock setup. The way I suggested for the Mill would not realy work as it would be sticking to far out he back of the lathe and be in the way more. It would also not have a way to support it properly.
 

karim

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#5
When I get back home this weekend I'll post some more findings, and if I make any progress, I'll let you know.
 

davidh

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#6
someone on this site did real neat cross feed install on a 12" craftsman / atlas. maybe he will chime in here and show what he did. . .
 

kvt

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#7
Was looking at some searches and although they do not mount the same type they do show some mounts for different stuff. see attached doc. Hope this helps.
 

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karim

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#8
Those look pretty close to what I was thinking.

I'm back home and after a closer look at both Lathe and Mill, it looks possible.

I'm going to start with the 4400 lathe, as it looks like the simpler job. My goals are to:
  1. Not limit machine travel/function
  2. Avoid permanent modifications as much as possible
  3. Be easily removable (wholly or partially) for machine maintenance
  4. Consider swarf/oil accumulation areas in placement of rails/head/wires
Gonna order DROs for X & Z for the lathe and start working on brackets based on the DRO I have. Will post progress as I go.
 
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karim

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#9
Ordered DROs for the lathe last night. I wish I could buy the reader heads and the tracks separately... The 4400 Z-axis has an absolute travel of 15 1/2", so I'm forced to choose between 12" and limiting the measurable travel, or getting the 24" track and wasting almost half of the track.

Also disassembled the reader head of the one sample I already have. Looks like if you need a smaller footprint, a smaller casing could be fabbed around the reader circuitry. I think I can get by without that level of mods. One thing that might interest others about these DROs... there is actually a standard micro USB male cable end and socket inside the reader-head. The cable just plugs into a socket on the circuit board, and the plastic casing covers it up.
 
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karim

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#10
In the words of my 3 y.o. son the other day, "And so it begins".

Moved my lathe to my primary workbench so I can get at all sides.

I started the brackets by making paper templates. You can see here the templates for the two brackets that will hold the lead-screw track. Note that these brackets will attach on the same screws that mount the lathe to the base. Easy win there.

lathe-1.jpg
lathe-2.jpg

To get a better handle on the positioning for the reader heads, I removed the tailstock, lead-screw hand wheel, and cross-slide, and disassembled the carriage.
lathe-3.jpg

Unfortunately, it looks like I'll have to drill a couple of mounting holes here to mount a bracket. After some sketching, I've come up with a bracket design that I think will work. I'll have one bracket that attaches both reader heads (Z & X) to the carriage. The Z head will move with the carriage on the Z-axis. The X head will be fixed to the carriage, with its track fixed to both ends of the cross-slide. This gives a more compact fixture, as I don't have to account for the length of the reader head on the end of the cross-slide, and the cross slide track can pass under the lead-screw. The bracket connecting the far end of the cross slide to the track will be a little funky, but not too bad.
lathe-4.jpg

Here's the template taped to the carriage. The X-head will mount under the horizontal part, and the Z-head will mount across the vertical part. The pop-up at the end of the X mount (where my fingers are holding up the paper) will be an attachment point for a piece of flashing that will cover the two reader heads to prevent swarf/oil accumulation.
lathe-5.jpg

Here's me cutting out the main bracket on my baby band saw.
lathe-6.jpg

The three brackets rough-cut and blued for marking. Next is drilling, filing & bending.
lathe-7.jpg
 
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karim

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#11
After some clearances testing, I'm redesigning the main bracket. Will post pics soon.
 

karim

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#12
So here's the redesigned main bracket template:

lathe-8.jpg

This adjustment lowers the reader head position for the cross-slide. Also, the additional little finger on the left is another mount point for the flashing to protect the reader heads.

Here's the mostly finished bracket:
lathe-9.jpg

I really wish I had a bending brake, but this is the best I can manage with the hand-tools I have. The lower plate that will hold the Z-axis reader head doesn't have mounting holes drilled yet... Once I get the track mounted, I'll drill those positions.
 

davidh

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#13
more than often then these igaging dro's and their mountings get way overboard. i know my first ones were a major operation with more concern than than wiring a 220V machine with the power still on...... yikes. . . that qualifies me as a "dumbass"
after doing a few of them, i figured out its a very forgiving task. I've used SUGRU to mount one, a self tapping metal screw into a nylon spacer for another, they are very light weight and forgiving. . . others have used wood and epoxy, whatever it takes to get them straight and secure. . . and i still have a few of them left for anyone thats interested. . . .
 

karim

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#14
more than often then these igaging dro's and their mountings get way overboard...
Oh certainly, I know this is a bit silly, but I figure I have the luxury of taking my time and I like the problem-solving aspect. Also, I know myself well enough that I'd wind up feeling more than a bit disappointed in the long run if I didn't consider the aesthetics as well as the functionality.
 

davidh

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#15
i did the exact same kind of build when i put mine together. . . .
 

karim

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#16
Update: Clearance & tolerances of the two track positions aren't quite what I'd like, so I've redesigned the brackets a bit more. The DROs I ordered still haven't arrived, so I'm a bit stuck until they arrive. Will post new pics when I have them mounted.
 

karim

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#17
OK! DROs arrived yesterday afternoon.

Here's the updated z-axis bracket:

lathe-10.jpg

Mill set up for drilling the carriage and cross-slide for mounting points:

lathe-11.jpg
lathe-12.jpg

Tapping:

lathe-13.jpg

Installed from the back (still need to form and attach the flashing to protect the reader heads from swarf/oil):

lathe-14.jpg

And front:

lathe-15.jpg

And finally, the read-outs mounted using a length of OpenBeam and alum bracket:

lathe-16.jpg
lathe-17.jpg

Still to-do:
  • flashing to protect the reader heads
  • cable management
  • cleaning up the workbench (Just look at that mess!!)
  • on to the mill!
 

kvt

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#20
Ok, Came back this afternoon ad they were there. So whatever worked it all out.
That looks nice. I may have to think about doing mine. Sure would be easier to do things within tolerances
 

karim

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#21
Cables Managed:
lathe-18.jpg

I had a couple of false-starts with the flashing/cover using aluminum sheet. Finally decided to switch up to plastic. This gives two benefits: A) I can easily see if something jams up the tracks and B) I can see where to drill the darn screw-holes :)
lathe-19.jpg
Actually used the lid of an empty screw box.

And here she is, complete, with axes labels.
lathe-20.jpg


I'm very happy with how this turned out. Learned a bunch from this process, so I suspect the mill will be a little easier in some respects.

FYI, once I get the shop cleaned up, I'm happy to measure & draw-up the brackets I fabbed before I start in on the mill. If nothing else, gives you a starting-point... Let me know.
 

kvt

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#22
I will take a set of plans, if you do them. NOt sure when I will get it done willhave to save up my mad money for a while.
 

karim

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#23
I decided to add some mustaches to the set-up ;)

lathe-21.jpg
lathe-23.jpg
 

kvt

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#25
I would go for a little bit narrower brush, prob a bit more bristle I have also wandered about a way to may waywipers for the sherline to keep it from getting in where we do not want it.
 

TonyL

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#26
Hi guys. I am thinking about buying a Sherline to turn and threadt 304L and 303 stainless. Are these lathes capable of that..or is this really outside of models enevelope? Thank you for reading.
 

karim

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#27
Hopefully this posts... I've been having a lot of trouble with the forums in the last few days:

I've personally cut 303 on my sherline lathe, and it's perfectly capable of it with the right tooling, but I generally try to avoid the harder metals because the other tooling in my shop (my baby band saw, etc) isn't up to the challenge of managing that material. The main constraint on the sherline envelope is size, and with 303, I wouldn't want to push that very far... Also keep in mind that the threading attachment for the Sherline is a manual-crank-type, so the cutting power is all in your left-arm ;)

In either case, you'll be taking lots of light cuts on stainless—you probably won't be able to hog it out like on a larger machine.

In Other News, I managed to get all 3 DROs installed on my mill. On vacation right now, but will try to post pics when I get back.
 

TonyL

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#28
Thank you. Enjoy your vacation, and congratulations on the DROs!
 

karim

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#29
Finally back home and up and running, and my HM account is working again. Yay!

Will post pictures and a write-up tomorrow of my DRO installation on my 2000-series mill.

Also, for anyone who downloaded the drawings I did for the 4400 lathe, I have some revisions to the drawings that I'll upload tomorrow as well.
 

karim

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#30
OK... so here are pics from my DRO conversion for my Sherline 2000 mill:

Brackets for mounting the Y-axis track:
mill-1.jpg

For the X-axis, the track has to mount to the cross-slide. On the hand-wheel side, we can use the 10-32 stop-screw to hold the end of the bracket. But to get full-travel on the left-hand side, we need a bracket to mount to the table. In this pic, I'm using my milling vice mounted to my lathe cross-slide with a headstock riser to drill out the mounting holes in the table:
mill-2.jpg

The next few pics show the assembly of the transducer head brackets which will attach to the X/Y saddle. Note the large hole in the first picture below... this allows for access to the gib-adjustment set screw without removing the brackets:
mill-3.jpg
mill-4.jpg
mill-5.jpg
mill-6.jpg
mill-7.jpg

X & Y transducers mounted:
mill-8.jpg
mill-9.jpg

Tapping holes in the Z-axis assembly for the top bracket:
mill-10.jpg

Top bracket:
mill-11.jpg

Z-axis track and transducer mounted:
mill-12.jpg

After some experimentation, I realized I don't need a bottom bracket for the Z-axis since the track mostly just hangs straight down. Not having a bottom bracket allows me to keep the ram knuckle clear of attachments, preserving the full range of motion.

Cable-keeping, & dangling DRO track:
mill-14.jpg

I removed and modified the arm from a cheap micro-magnetic base to mount the displays with a custom rig built from some OpenBeam extrusions. This allows me to re-orient the DRO displays vs. any orientation of the mill spindle:
mill-13.jpg
 
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