Most full-size shop mills used by machinists are now available with a digital readout. They are also popular on lathes because they make your life as a machinist much easier. Readouts on the X- (crosslide) and Z-axes (leadscrew) can be reset to zero at any time with the push of a button. From there, as you move the 2″ diameter handwheels, you can read the table position to 3-1/2 decimal places (.0005″) on the digital readout. (Metric versions read to .01mm.) You no longer need to count handwheel revolutions or make difficult calculations when cranking in a negative number.
As long as we were designing the electronics package, we went the extra step to include an RPM readout, adding function to the package. The sensors are easy to install and require no modification of your Sherline lathe.
If you use your lathe as a mill with the vertical milling column attachment, you can purchase a 3-axis mill DRO kit. If you add a 2-axis DRO to your lathe now and later purchase a vertical milling column, you can purchase a kit to add the third DRO handwheel and sensor at that time. New lathes can be ordered with the DRO already installed.
As a cost-saving measure, an accommodation has also been made for owners of both a lathe and mill to use a single electronic display box for both machines. The input cables from the lathe can be unplugged, and the readout box transferred from the lathe to the mill and vice versa.
NOTE: You can order DRO on any new machine as a factory-installed option. The digital readout handwheels replace the standard handwheels that would normally come with the machine. If you purchase a machine with factory-installed DRO, the regular handwheels are not included. If you purchase the DRO as a separate option and install it yourself, you will have the stock handwheels left over.