SwarfRat's Easy Mini Lathe DRO Project Kit

Introductory Price: $74.99 + s/h

Click HERE for a VIDEO DEMO!

Click HERE to Purchase!


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For those of you who were following this project, well, it's done!

We received a small batch of DRO kits; more should soon be on the way. (More on this in a bit.)

The kit, as seen on the left, consists of the 8" scale unit complete with battery, a second battery, a mechanical drawing of the pillowblock dimensions, instruction sheets and a sealed ball-bearing to fit the new pillowblock.


This scale unit mounts much easier than the previous one, without the need to make a special mounting bracket. 

The bend in this bracket aligns with the front of the pillowblock, and a simple thumbscrew (or capscrew if you're not concerned with tool-less mounting) keeps it in place.


On the carriage end a double-ended stud mounted under the carriage with a thumb-nut (again, a capscrew and spacer washer if you're not a big tool-less mounting fan)

holds the inboard end in alignment.

The double-ended stud has a small spacer left in the middle, which locates the end of

the unit correctly.


You can see how it works in this shot.


The unit installs in 15-20 seconds with the thumbscrew and thumbnut seen here.  (The new pillowblock and scale unit doesn't interfere with the threading dial when installed.)

In case any of you are worrying, the apron removes very easily -- just the matter of two capscrews and a couple of minutes -- for the drilling and threading of this hole.


We like this unit better than the original we tried for several reasons:

1. It automatically fires up in inch mode.

2. It reads horizontally, along the natural 

    axis of sight.

3. This one 'reads' a little faster; a big

    plus for accuracy.

It has a data port under the finned cap    at the top right which will allow connection via a cable to a remote DRO display if desired!  Remote displays are getting cheaper -- this is a nice feature to have.


Again, the only drawback to this setup is that the scale extends to the right past the end of the machine.  Make sure you have room enough for it!

If you didn't watch the video clip, you can click the box on the left and do so if you wish.

Our Beta testers have all reported back,

and everyone was 100% satisfied

with the kit and its functionality!



This is an intermediate project using the mini lathe and the mini mill.

Skills you'll need include how to square up a block, how to locate x y and z coordinates,

drill and mill holes and slots, and center stock on a 4-jaw chuck (unless you use only

the mill, in which case you'll need to know how to use a boring head.)

It's not difficult and actually is a rather pleasant project, especially considering

that at the end you should have a digital read-out on the long axis of your

lathe!  Much faster and efficient than even our quick-release dial indicator holder!

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