How to fit DRO to a lathe

Following on from our post about installing DRO to a milling machine, we wanted to share some pointers on how to do something similar with a lathe. We’ve shared some example images below to help show how to fit DRO, these show where we’ve mounted the glass optical digital readout scales to a Warco WM 250V. Also shown in these examples is a WM 290V – the same principles will apply to machines in a range of different sizes.

Cross slide DRO on lathe
Showing the scale for the cross travel. This is after we have drilled and tapped the necessary holes and mounted it into position.
DRO lathe cross travel
Another view of the cross travel scale fitted to the lathe.
Warco WM 290V
A view from the front with scales fitted. Here a WM 290V is shown (note the milling attachment at the rear).
Glass optical scale - view from rear on Warco lathe
View from the back of the lathe showing the longitudinal scale. Note we’ve removed the machine’s rear splash guard for better fitting access.
DRO scale - view from back of lathe
Another view from the back, showing the scale mounted after drilling and tapping in the appropriate places.
Warco WM290V DRO
And here’s another example of that same axis with the splash guard refitted – here on a WM 290V lathe. Note on this lathe there’s a milling attachment in place; the narrow section design of the scales means with that even with the milling column mounted, movement is still unrestricted.
Warco WM250 Lathe with DRO
Finally, there is the mounting of the counter. Positioning of this is less critical than the scales, so you are free to locate it wherever is most convenient. We’ve gone with the headstock end as it makes the most sense for readability, shown in this example on a WM 250. Supplied general purpose fitment bracket is intended for modification depending on your specific application.
DRO Warco WM 250V
The end result of a fully configured WM 250V with 2 axis DRO. The visible cables would usually be tucked neatly out of view – we have them on the swarf tray here for convenience as this is a display model.
DRO manual
Warco DRO systems come with the above installation manual, illustrated throughout with step by steps. 

With any luck, with the manual to hand alongside these example images, you should be well equipped for completing the satisfying job of your own installation. Anything we missed, or something you’re still not sure about? Let us know in the comments below!

See also:

2 thoughts on “How to fit DRO to a lathe”

  1. is the 100mm optical scale ( recommended ) for the 250v lathe crosslide the correct size ??

  2. Hello
    I’m looking to fit a DRO to my WM-180 and was interested in these pictures. How ever this set up seem to be able to indicate the location of the tool tip in the Y-axis but only the location of the saddle in the X-axis. Is there a way to show the position of the tool tip in the X-axis?


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