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Thread: Radial Arm Saw Digital Read Out Installed

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Leland, NC
    Posts
    449

    Radial Arm Saw Digital Read Out Installed

    I posted about installing a DRO on the RAS in another thread. That one went a bit off track as is usual. While it was doing that the DRO came in (iGaging 24 inch, about $59). Here are some pics of the installation:

    C1.jpg

    C3.jpg

    It all went pretty smoothly. Used the mini mill to make flip up aluminum stop. Got it right with virtually no play. Only real issue I had with the DRO itself was I could not get one of the screws that attach the S bracket to start. Itty bitty tiny things. Finally figured out that if I held the unit upside down the little nut thing would engage the screw.

    As you can see there is a sacrificial stop block. Makes it easy to get it set up plus I needed some "reach". I also made an aluminum one while I was at it.

    The DRO comes with a cheesy plastic stand that wants to be mounted to a wall. So I made up a new one out of some scrap plywood. The DRO has a magnet on the back so I cut a small piece of steel angle that is screwed to the plywood. Works great! I can actually push the buttons without the whole thing wobbling around.

    Took it for a few test runs. It is quite sensitive, maybe too sensitive. Sort of thinking about putting a fine adjustment on it but that would cause some play so maybe not. Going to work with it a while and see if it is really an issue or not.

    All in all I like it. I cut a 5 inch test piece. Then moved the stop around and moved it back to the original setting of 5.000. Measuring with a dial calipers the two pieces were within .002 of each other. Exactly what I wanted. I was never concerned about cutting things to exact length, what is more important to me is being able to repeat a cut later if I need to.

    My shop is becoming a digital world! The mini mill has readouts on all three axis, so I have a mill/drill that is extremely accurate, the table saw uses a digital fence (have had that for at least 6 years and love it) and then there is the CNC router. Don't know if I can stand all this accuracy!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
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    8,056
    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Reischl View Post
    ...Don't know if I can stand all this accuracy!
    Rats, now you'll have to make something!

    After seeing some pictures here, I bought this book: Making Mechanical Marvels in Wood https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1626548862 Precision there is a plus.

    I bought everything to install a 3-axis DRO on my small mill but just haven't done it yet. I hope you don't start posting a bunch of pictures of cool things you've made or I might get inspired and drop everything else...

    JKJ

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Leland, NC
    Posts
    449
    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    Rats, now you'll have to make something!

    After seeing some pictures here, I bought this book: Making Mechanical Marvels in Wood https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1626548862 Precision there is a plus.

    I bought everything to install a 3-axis DRO on my small mill but just haven't done it yet. I hope you don't start posting a bunch of pictures of cool things you've made or I might get inspired and drop everything else...

    JKJ
    Not to worry Mr. Jordan!

    I hear you about installing your DRO on the small mill. When I did mine it was quite a bit of fiddling around. Making the mounts is the issue because of draft on the castings.

    Maybe I am getting even stingier in my dotage if that is possible. What spurred me to doing this was the TS. Don't know about you but when I build something a bit complicated I used to make extra pieces in the early stages because I just knew I would never get the saw to the exact same setting again. Well, those days are gone with the DRO on the saw. If I goof up and need a new piece I know I can set the fence exactly where it was. So that spoiled me. Now I do not have to crosscut extra pieces on finicky work.

    It is also nice that I don't spend time with a tape measure much anymore. I want a 7.5 inch piece? Great, set the stop to that value and I have one. No measuring required. I suppose a guy could justify this digital stuff solely on the idea that he won't have to keep buying the latest super duper precision gizmos for marking work with a pencil or sharp knife.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Upland CA
    Posts
    4,249
    Thanks for posting that Ted. Nice job on the flip stop, too.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

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