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DRO on planer- any recommendations?

stoneaxe

Stainless
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Location
pacific northwest
The old cheap dro's on my planers have gone bad. I am looking for some replacements that will be reliable. The Wixey type has bad reviews- sounds and looks just like what I took off.

These folks have a unit- https://www.proscale.com/products/i...rking-cabinets/incremental-planer-sander-kit/
Anyone using this?

Curious what else may be out there. Going on a 13" delta floor model.

Somewhat frustrating I can buy a rock solid digital caliper from Mit. for $180, yet the woodworking stuff is seems like crap. I would buy a Bridgeport quill unit, but it is essential I can program in a number, not just a zero point- as the planer cannot be set to zero accurately.

Any suggestions?
Thanks, stoneaxe.
 
That's the same company the OP linked to with the single axis $400!!!! read-out.

I keep meaning to bolt a $39.95 digital caliper to the side of my widebelt but never seem to get around to it.
That system works for me because i put one on one of the mills quill axis. OTOH on a planer or sander it would be less convenient to zero out.
If i ever get focused and intentional, will probably just buy one of the generic import single scales for under $100.
So interested as well in what people have come up with.

smt
 
That's the same company the OP linked to with the single axis $400!!!! read-out.

I keep meaning to bolt a $39.95 digital caliper to the side of my widebelt but never seem to get around to it.
That system works for me because i put one on one of the mills quill axis. OTOH on a planer or sander it would be less convenient to zero out.
If i ever get focused and intentional, will probably just buy one of the generic import single scales for under $100.
So interested as well in what people have come up with.

smt
Yeah, I don't get the cost- Maybe I should buy a mill readout and stick it in the middle of the shop- I could put the X scale on planer 1, the Y scale on planer 2, and the x scale on the widebelt.....
I would love to find a reliable middle ground- !
 
Not much help, but I had a Wixey on my planer for awhile. Worked great, except the battery life was poor. Wasn’t very durable though, its just bent up aluminum attached with double sided tape. After wacking it a few times with boards it got bent and then came off. Never bothered trying to fix it.
 
I’ve got a pro scale unit I bought several years ago on my Whitney 30” planer. These are high quality units, you won’t be disappointed. I got mine a few years ago for less than $300, but everything has increased in price since then. I also have one on my northfield shaper, came from the factory with it, that’s where I was first exposed to the pro scale units.

Matt
 
With the Pro scale or the Shars, how do you set the zero point on a planer? I wouldn't want to have to bring the planer down to zero thickness and there doesn't appear to be a keypad to enter a value.
 
With the Pro scale or the Shars, how do you set the zero point on a planer? I wouldn't want to have to bring the planer down to zero thickness and there doesn't appear to be a keypad to enter a value.
Exactly-- many of the scales for things like machine tool quills, etc have no ability to set a numerical value - just the ability to set a zero point. The Wixey, the proscale, and this particular shars unit can have a value put in. It is not a key pad, it is a function of holding a button down, IIRC. THe Travers unit I was using had + - keys.
 
How about modifying a Mitutoyo to use as a DRO?

Perhaps use some special tips so the caliper itself doesn't get mangled.
People do it, but the thing reads vertical so the numbers are hard to read. (outside of the fact a mounting system has to be devised.0
I sent back the shars ones, very pia to enter a setting, and just poorly made.
 
I sent back the shars ones, very pia to enter a setting, and just poorly made.
I hate those little tiny buttons :(

But it still seems like you should be able to use an actual dro. Yes, you can't set a position to a number instead of a zero, but how about using the datum plane offset feature ? or in some other way tricking the stubborn little bastard ? Blind people like big glowing numbers and buttons made for a human finger ....


A possible caveman solution : put the scale on a slide. Set your position where you want it, move scale up, zero it. Now move scale down the amount you want and lock. Reading is the amount you wanted.
 
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To go brand new wouldn't be cost effective I suppose. Newall, Mitutoyo and I'm sure others do offer single axis dro's, and have for many years. Most of the programing or number preset entry's are still the same as on any 2 or more axii dro's. Finding a used one might be tough, but certainly not impossible if you know what your looking for. http://www.newall.com/products/?name=NMS100+Digital+Readout&catid=1&prid=230

Ok is that level of accuracy and repeatability even needed for a planer? Obviously not, but to maybe save a lot of sanding or scraping, that much better repeatability might be pretty handy. Fwiw, one of the major problems with those digital caliper bar type scales and displays is there not exactly well sealed against wood dust, At least not at a real cheap price there not. I suspect that's part of the high failure rate on some of them. Proper dro glass scales are much the same. But the magnetic scales are just about immune to that dust. To me, that Proscale unit sure seems vastly overpriced for what it really is.
 
I have a three axis DRO on the mill, it is an old mill and I did not want to sped a lot of money on the DRO. So I bought an Indian made unit from DRO pros and it has worked just fine. Magnetic scales. But they have nothing like a simple single axis position unit.
 








 
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