Jump to content

Milling Machine Counter


Recommended Posts


I've not got a DRO on the knee of my mill - i know you fit them, as well as cheapy basic things.

But what i'm looking for is a basic "clicker" counter that i can clamp near the handle. But i want it to count as it goes up and subtract as it goes down.

We've been doing some boring lately that's involved moving the knee down 50 turns just to be able to get into the work piece to measure it. We've got a DTI attached so we know where we are but it's easy to loose count when moving the work up / down.

Something like this :

I do need to make one for the dividing head because that's really easy to loose count on where you're up to !

My machine is an Ajax, which is 99% the same as a bridgeport.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

In a previous life, we used a lot of these:


For counting revolutions of an adjusting handle (up & down).

If you used the DD52 type where it counts quarter turns, you could use a four pronged 'star' wheel, moved by a peg on the handle. Each turn of the handle would turn the counter 1/4 of a turn.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think bail counters only count up once the needle has gone down and up but don't count back down again?

We use the same as Simon linked for positioning screws on machines at work. You can't zero ours though, I don't know if you would want to be able to do that so you know where you started?

A search of honk Kong ebay listing would see a lower price I'm sure

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dad's hobby is flying model aircraft, some of which are powered by elastic bands.

When he 'fuels' a plane for flight he uses a special device for winding the band a known number of turns.

One of his mates showed him how to make a digital counter by hacking a tiny keying calculator from the Pound shop to be triggered by a Hall effect sensor. So to use this he enters something like 1++ into the calculator and winds the handle. Each turn of the winder effectively presses the = key, and the total increases by 1 per turn. This could also work for counting down.

Ok its not the best solution, but costs next to nothing.

I'm sure Si could advise on how to build such a device.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How many turns do you have to count?

Another option, since you have a mill and an indexing head would be to make a toothed wheel which is moved around by the handle and just write numbers on the wheel?

A much cheaper option http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1Pcs-4-Digit-0-56-Red-LED-Digital-Counter-Meter-DC12V-0-9999-Up-Down-Totalizer-/141802273136?hash=item210412f970:g:BTEAAOSwVFlUIled


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some good ideas here, thanks.

Agreed - it's when someone walks in and asks you a question mid way through counting.

Have you any kind of reference position? IE the top face of the job? One of the things I do is to know where my zero position is, I can then wind the handle without needing to count until I'm somewhere near the position, I then know that its the nearest zero to that position?

Does that make any sense?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...

Important Information

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience. By using our website you agree to our Cookie Policy