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Thread: Added a Digital Readout (DRO) to my old Rockwell 4-post thickness planer.

  1. #16
    Finally ordered a ProScale DRO for my old SCM planer. Ive been hemming and hawing about the cost since I bought the planer a year and half ago. $375 with tax and shipping is worth it to me for the accuracy and long term reliability that I have heard time and again to expect from ProScale.

    They have a $70 off promo going until the end of this month. Of course tax and shipping is close to $50, but every little bit helps.
    Still waters run deep.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    Port Hope, Ontario
    Posts
    84
    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Mitchell View Post
    Finally ordered a ProScale DRO for my old SCM planer. Ive been hemming and hawing about the cost since I bought the planer a year and half ago. $375 with tax and shipping is worth it to me for the accuracy and long term reliability that I have heard time and again to expect from ProScale.

    They have a $70 off promo going until the end of this month. Of course tax and shipping is close to $50, but every little bit helps.
    A couple of years from now you will thank yourself for going with the ProScale. I am located in Canada so the Proscale costs gets really expensive with current high "international" shipping costs and broker costs coming across the border, while the Wixey is available with free shipping from Amazon Canada, and a few other Canadian sellers. So my "hemming and hawing" ended up with the Wixey, which I am not unhappy with.

  3. #18
    Not to hijack, but I installed my Pro Scale DRO today on my 20” SCM planer and am very happy so far. Thought I’d share a few photos if anyone is considering this unit.

    I drilled and tapped (3) 10/32 holes (1 in the side of the table and 2 on the side of the planer) and used double stick tape for the readout mount in case I want to move it after using it for a bit.

    You can barely see in the first photo what the OEM (metric) scale measurement looks like. I actually would use the anti kick back fingers barely catching the board as an initial reference point when starting then check with a Precision square as I went and then kept a set of Mitutoyo digital calipers handy for the last couple of passes, which is ultimately precise but a bit of a pain, not exactly quick and easy, and not easily repeatable.

    This is already worth the price for me after one milling session.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Phillip Mitchell; 11-03-2021 at 5:49 PM.
    Still waters run deep.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    Port Hope, Ontario
    Posts
    84
    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Mitchell View Post
    Not to hijack, but I installed my Pro Scale DRO today on my 20 SCM planer and am very happy so far. Thought Id share a few photos if anyone is considering this unit.

    I drilled and tapped (3) 10/32 holes (1 in the side of the table and 2 on the side of the planer) and used double stick tape for the readout mount in case I want to move it after using it for a bit.

    You can barely see in the first photo what the OEM (metric) scale measurement looks like. I actually would use the anti kick back fingers barely catching the board as an initial reference point when starting then check with a Precision square as I went and then kept a set of Mitutoyo digital calipers handy for the last couple of passes, which is ultimately precise but a bit of a pain, not exactly quick and easy, and not easily repeatable.

    This is already worth the price for me after one milling session.
    Nice work. I understand the ProScale has 0.001" resolution, versus the 0.005" resolution of the Wixey, and the ProScale looks to be a more rugged design etc. Of course it costs quite a bit more than the Wixey, which is how I settled on the Wixey. Curious about your description of what I think is the calibration process. What it did was run a board through the planer, measure board thickness with digital callipers, and then dialled that measurement into the DRO. I imagine the ProScale can be calibrated the same way ?

  5. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Woodward View Post
    Nice work. I understand the ProScale has 0.001" resolution, versus the 0.005" resolution of the Wixey, and the ProScale looks to be a more rugged design etc. Of course it costs quite a bit more than the Wixey, which is how I settled on the Wixey. Curious about your description of what I think is the calibration process. What it did was run a board through the planer, measure board thickness with digital callipers, and then dialled that measurement into the DRO. I imagine the ProScale can be calibrated the same way ?
    Same calibration process. I ran a board through that measured 1.000” with calipers and set the Datum point to that and locked it. Easy peasy. The only slightly odd bit was realizing that my planer body is tapered along the height. The travel of the stick (screwed to the planer bed) is plumb, so I had to do a bit of extrapolation and shim the encoder that attaches to the taper machine body so that the stick traveling through the encoder remained plumb. No big deal really and a function of the planer itself and not any particular DRO.

    I would love to put one of these on my shaper one day. I’m sure there’s a way or different model that can attach to a spindle casting. Eliminating a round of test cuts with every shaper operation would be nice at some point.
    Still waters run deep.

  6. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Mitchell View Post
    I would love to put one of these on my shaper one day. I’m sure there’s a way or different model that can attach to a spindle casting. Eliminating a round of test cuts with every shaper operation would be nice at some point.
    Just make sure you go with an incremental head so you can work in incremental mode from zero setpoint on whichever cutter your using or if your working off the table, top of the material, or a feature in the part. The DRO on the shaper is invaluable in my opinion.

  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Mitchell View Post
    I would love to put one of these on my shaper one day. I’m sure there’s a way or different model that can attach to a spindle casting. Eliminating a round of test cuts with every shaper operation would be nice at some point.
    A height gauge is a useful substitute. I have this one which is ok. https://www.amazon.com/iGaging-Digit...&qsid=132-4598

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