Digital Read Out (DRO) for Colchester lathe, and problems with Apple Mac

by John

WTF is going on with Apple?

Since Steve Jobs died, I have had nothing but difficulties with My Mac.

I upgraded to the latest operating system for my Mac, and since then I am unable to insert photographs into my Word for Mac.  And it is a real hassle trying to insert photos into this blog.   That is one reason why my posts have been less frequent lately.

There has been a couple of patches for the latest Mac OS, but still problems.  Are they competing with Microsoft to be the most user unfriendly OS?

Anyway, I have not done much on my Triple expansion steam engine.  Any spare time in the past few weeks has been spent on the Colchester lathe.  The quick change tool post from the USA has been a big success.  I have been installing a digital read out for the past few days.  Finally hooked it up today, and it works.


It is not CNC, but is the next best thing.  The imperial lead screw and imperial dials are much less relevant, when you have a DRO, which is set to metric.  And I really like setting the cross slide to diameter mode, being able to set the micrometer readings on the workpiece to match the readings on the X axis on the DRO.  Of course the Z axis readings remain set for actual movement, mm=mm.

The DRO came from China via Singapore, from thedrostore.  I have bought several DRO systems from thedrostore and they have always been relatively cheap, well packaged, fast, and with comprehensive instructions.   Thanks Scott!

The installation of cross slide scale on the Colchester was problematic, due to limited space, despite buying the “mini” scale, and I eventually positioned the scale on its side.  Said to be OK by thedrostore instructions.

I do not have space to install the Colchester in my workshop, so it is still sitting in a storage shed, on a pallet.  I am supposed to sell some other lathes, to make space for the Colchester, and to appease SWMBO.  But I have a real problem.  I just cannot part with any of my other lathes.  I obviously have a disease.  What to do?