|Review by rawdawgs50||posted 01-10-2012 09:27 PM||8144 views||6 times favorited||5 comments|
I wanted my planer to have digitized measuring but did not want to spend a couple hundred doing this.
I recently purchased a Digital Read Out …DRO…from iGaging. I got it on amazon for $33.50 plus free shipping. When I received the unit, the lcd screen protector was cracked. The LCD protector is actually glass. I contacted iGaging and they responded very fast to my email, and after a few questions they shipped out another unit the next business day. Even though I live in Florida and they are in California both packages arrived very quickly, I think it was 2 or 3 days. Needless to say I was impressed with their customer service and the way they addressed the problem was fantastic. I told them about how I thought the unit may have been damaged and the second package was packed more secure to alleviate any future issues with shipping. This is a company that cares.
Now on to the actual product. Aside from the incident, which I will not hold against the product…every thing looked very well made. It included 4 batteries, 2 of which are spares and 4 different mountings brackets and hardware. The instructions included were really not all that helpful, although they were in color…rare these days. I found out through other sources that I was able to adjust the accuracy of the unit by pressing the SET button and taking it from 1/32, 1/64 and 1/128 of an inch. I am leaving mine at 1/64 of accuracy for the planer.
The mounting brackets were useless to me as well. Again I will not knock them on this one. With the many different ways these are going to be used it would be impossible to include the “right” bracket. I would hover like to see the addition of just some bar stock the same thickness for you to bend and drill for a universal fit.
The unit works as advertised and that means very well. I feel that I really got my $$$ worth with this product and will now consider other iGaging products. Keep in mind this is not an out of the box and bolt on kit. There is a little bit of tooling involved, but nothing you can not handle if you want this type of accuracy. I would bet that people who want this accuracy are probably all good with tools.
Also you will probably need to take a trip to the hardware store and spend a few more bucks on the misc pieces. Mine was for a planer, there are many different applicable applications.
I easily spent 3-4 hours cutting grinding and test fitting different methods attachment with wood and steel and mocking up with clamps on the planer before I settled on the final design. With the info I am sharing, you can easily have this up in running in an hour and have that accuracy you always wanted on the machine.
This is how I did it:
Video only shows the set up and overview. The process on how to get there is below.
This is the extra pieces needed to put it on the planer. There are other pieces used as well but these are most likely what you do not have laying around the shop…besides the wood of course…...The bolts are 10-24 allen headed. The small ones are 3/8” long and are what bolts into the planer arm/ The other one is 5/8” and will bolt into the planer bed.
This is detail to show the thickness of steel I used for the bracket. It needs to be sturdy and really can not be any thicker than this or the provided hardware will be to short. You can probably use construction strapping which run about .042” thick
This is to show the relationship of the wood to the custom made bracket. The bracket bolts to the back of the reader which slides up and down the beam. Where I am holding the pencil is the area which will need to be rounded over. This is very important.
I pre drilled holes in the center of the wholes drilled into the metal back plate. The holes are larger than the screw threads, but not the head. This will allow alignment to make it parallel with the planer bed. Important to center to get as much adjustment as possible.
This is just a detail of how the angle bracket will fit onto the wood block. NOTE…the rounded edge does not touch the bracket at all. The top of the wood will act as a zero point on the bracket…again this is very important.
From the previous picture I traced the outline of the bracket and then scribed the screw hole onto the wood. I will use a forstner bit and chisel to create about a 1” long slot to allow for adjustment…no need to make it bigger than this.
I am not going into detail of how to tap metal. However, the picture here shows a very good mounting point with the bolts holding the measuring beam in place. KEEP THE BOLTS LOOSE while putting it all together. Once a dry run is made we can tighten them.
The angle bracket was applied with pattern tape and then a c-clamp. It is not going anywhere. Now align everything to this and raise and lower the bed. Tighten down the wood screws first on the bracket..then raise and lower again. Now tighten the beam reader screws to the planer arm. Everything should be parallel now.
Thats it. Now you can spend less time measuring each trip through the planer and get the project done faster.
Wetland Wood Works