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Thread: DRO for Radial Arm Saw/Chop Saw

  1. #1
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    DRO for Radial Arm Saw/Chop Saw

    I already use a DRO that I installed on the table saw and really like it for a bunch of reasons.

    Most of my crosscut work is done on a RAS. Yes, it does hold it's position. The issue is both accuracy and repeatibility. Right now I eyeball a scale on top of the fence. On a good day I can set it within about .010 of what I want, with a light shining on it. For the most part that is ok. The issue occurs when I need to come back much later (after the stop has been moved) and repeat a cut. Hit or miss at best. That is not the case on the TS with the DRO.

    Ok, so now everyone knows WHY I want to mount one on the RAS.

    Here is the one I ordered from Amazon:

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01G4FQKNK...ding=UTF8&th=1

    I have mounted similar ones on my mini mill so I understand about alignment, etc.

    What I am looking for is any good ideas about mounting it on the RAS, what some of you folks may have done. I hate reinventing the wheel if I do not need to.

    BTW, I do not do angle cuts on the RAS by swinging the overarm. It is always in the 90 degree position, so there is no worry about cutting the scale in half.

    The RAS is permanently mounted in a bench so I do not use replaceable table boards and all that. The fence is permanently mounted.

    If you have done this and have some pics, please share!

    Thanks, Ted

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Reischl View Post
    The device you linked to has a maximum travel of 24 inches. That limits the length of material you are going to be able to measure pretty severely. For me, that would not be adequate.

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    These guys sell a setup for this type of thing. http://www.jadawley.com/
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mann View Post
    The device you linked to has a maximum travel of 24 inches. That limits the length of material you are going to be able to measure pretty severely. For me, that would not be adequate.
    The intended purpose for me is not for long pieces.

    I can still use the secondary stop for longer work using the plastic tape measure in the t -track like I always have.

    What I have found is smaller pieces usually means better accuracy required. I can still do repeatable cuts out to 8' with the secondary stop.

    Currently the fence has T-track with two stops on it. It also has a slot that uses the incra measuring tapes. That is going to stay in place. What I am planning so far on doing is replace the inboard stop to suit the DRO. Right now I am thinking I will mill up a block of aluminum to run in the t track with the usual flip up stop. But it will extend past the back of the fence to carry the sensor for the DRO.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Holcombe View Post
    These guys sell a setup for this type of thing. http://www.jadawley.com/
    I bet they would love to sell more of those at those prices!

    Seriously, that sort of thing is for someone who does not want to spend the time making their own and money is not an issue.

    Definitely a well made system, but it is not what I need.

    What I am looking for is mounting methods for what I have purchased. Like I said, I can figure it out myself, but there are probably other folks who have done this before and I am curious to see some of their ideas.

    At the simplest level it is pretty easy. Machine a block that runs in t track, make sure it sticks out the back far enough to carry the sensor. Drill a hole to allow locking to the t track. Mount the scale on some blocks behind the fence.

    Not much to it, but some of the folks may have neat ways to handle dust, allow adjustment for the scale, etc.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mann View Post
    The device you linked to has a maximum travel of 24 inches. That limits the length of material you are going to be able to measure pretty severely. For me, that would not be adequate.
    A fairly simple solution is to mount the DRO so that it measures 4'-6' from the blade. Then keep 2' and a 4' spacers (or 2 two foot ones). It's what I do with a much simpler system.

    I have a 36" section of all-thread that's 1/2-20. On that I mounted a shop made flip stop and a Morton Quill Stop. The MQS is normally used on milling machine quills. One rotation of the quill stop is .050" and the stop is graduated in thousandths although I don't use them. Much more useful is the button release built into the side of the quill stop that lets me move it around quickly.

    But I digress. I have my flip stop mounted about 2' from the blade and then I have a 2' piece of plywood. I jazzed it up by mounting magnets in my flip stop and magnets in my spacer so they stay together. the magnets have the added virtue of sticking to the end of my tape measure.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Feeley View Post
    A fairly simple solution is to mount the DRO so that it measures 4'-6' from the blade. Then keep 2' and a 4' spacers (or 2 two foot ones). It's what I do with a much simpler system.

    I have a 36" section of all-thread that's 1/2-20. On that I mounted a shop made flip stop and a Morton Quill Stop. The MQS is normally used on milling machine quills. One rotation of the quill stop is .050" and the stop is graduated in thousandths although I don't use them. Much more useful is the button release built into the side of the quill stop that lets me move it around quickly.

    But I digress. I have my flip stop mounted about 2' from the blade and then I have a 2' piece of plywood. I jazzed it up by mounting magnets in my flip stop and magnets in my spacer so they stay together. the magnets have the added virtue of sticking to the end of my tape measure.
    Thanks Roger. But as I mentioned above I am not concerned with measurements out past about 24 inches. Those will be handled by the outboard stop that already exists. I do not want to be using spacers all the time so that every once in a great while I can use the DRO for longer pieces.

    I think a lot of folks are missing what I am asking about. I am NOT trying to figure out how to use a 24 inch DRO to work with lumber longer than 24 inches. What I am asking for is ideas on mounting the hardware, dust prevention, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Reischl View Post
    I bet they would love to sell more of those at those prices!

    Seriously, that sort of thing is for someone who does not want to spend the time making their own and money is not an issue.

    Definitely a well made system, but it is not what I need.

    What I am looking for is mounting methods for what I have purchased. Like I said, I can figure it out myself, but there are probably other folks who have done this before and I am curious to see some of their ideas.

    At the simplest level it is pretty easy. Machine a block that runs in t track, make sure it sticks out the back far enough to carry the sensor. Drill a hole to allow locking to the t track. Mount the scale on some blocks behind the fence.

    Not much to it, but some of the folks may have neat ways to handle dust, allow adjustment for the scale, etc.
    You've obviously never shopped for 8' long glass scales I saw this and immediately thought the prices weren't bad at all.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Holcombe View Post
    You've obviously never shopped for 8' long glass scales I saw this and immediately thought the prices weren't bad at all.
    Nope Brian, I have shopped for glass scales. Way back when I designed 4X8 laser cutters for the steel rule die folks.

    C'mon, gimme a break. A 4 foot long aluminum extrusion, another 5 inch long aluminum extrusion, a few knobs, screws, washers and they had to drill and tap a couple of holes all for what you think is a great deal at $377????

    Have you shopped aluminum extrusions? 8 feet of 1.5X1.5 8020 extrusion for $40. They got maybe $35 in materials. So then have to chop it to length, drill and tap a few holes and that is worth $340??? Like I said, they would love to sell lots more of those systems. Don't get me wrong, I think they have a nice setup, just is not worth what they are asking. BTW, there is no glass scale in their GlideStop system. And the price I quoted above does not have a DRO, etc. Just a sticky backed measuring tape.

  10. #10
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    Good luck with your project.
    Last edited by Brian Holcombe; 06-11-2019 at 4:28 PM.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Holcombe View Post
    Then you know as well as I do how much a DRO with glass scales can cost when they get long. I thought this is pretty modest by comparison and it uses a magnetic tape, so going out beyond 8í is possible.

    Custom heavy extrusions are expensive, they donít have the same economy of scale as 8020 does.
    I keep getting the feeling we are talking about two different things? You keep writing about glass scales and magnetic tape. Their standard 4' glide stop fence does not use either of those, just a sticky backed tape and a magnified hairline. I could not even find a price for their "digital package". I am not going to search further for their "digital package" when their manual package prices start at $377.

    But thanks for the information, at least I know I am not building something that I could have purchased for a few bucks more.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Holcombe View Post
    These guys sell a setup for this type of thing. http://www.jadawley.com/
    Interesting fence.
    Well it may not for everybody I could see in a production environment that it would be a time saver.
    Thanks for the link.

  13. #13
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    I don't think there is any issue with dust in the DRO. I have a DRO mounted under my router table and it's worked fine for years.

    FWIW, I use one spacer and it's no bother at all. My home brew flip stop is 3/4" plywood with two magnets. My 2' spacer is also 3/4" plywood with mating magnets in one end. Works like a champ. For anything longer than 4', I measure.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Delyster View Post
    Interesting fence.
    Well it may not for everybody I could see in a production environment that it would be a time saver.
    Thanks for the link.
    Absolutely Mike. I would never recommend that a production shop start building tooling it could just buy outright. It doesn't make sense. In a lot of shops if you tell a guy to build a piece of tooling it will wind up costing more than just buying one. Labor, fiddling around building something they are not familiar with, etc, etc.

  15. #15
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    Ted,

    When you get it done, I would appreciate your showing it. I am in the same situation, and could use some inspiration.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

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