The benefit of living in the modern era is that there are plenty of affordable machine tools on the market for the budding maker. However, to meet lower price points, products often forgo some of the nice-to-have features that make working easier. Of course, if you’ve got the skills to do it yourself, this needn’t be a problem, as [Zach] demonstrates.
[Zach] enjoyed using his wood lathe, but it didn’t come with a digital readout. Thankfully, retrofitting one was an easy, straightforward project. After a little research, a Hall effect sensor was chosen to detect the rotational speed of the lathe. The spindle was thus fitted with several magnets to trigger the sensor, allowing for higher resolution than just using a single device. An Arduino Nano was then used to monitor the output of the Hall effect sensor, displaying the rotational speed on a set of 7-segment displays. The project was then given its own custom PCB, and a nice 3D printed enclosure to fit it to the body of the lathe.
It’s a project that shows how easy it is to add functionality to basic machine tools using maker components. It also serves to demonstrate the value in giving a project a proper enclosure, to enable it to survive in a workshop environment. We’ve seen other hacky DRO mods before, too. Video after the break.