Digital Readout on Mitre Station

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Established Member
4 Feb 2014
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This is purely an idea at this point but as i'm starting to think about the design for my mitre station and having seen DRO's on a few on Youtube without much detail i thought I would ask if any of you have done it or seen it. I have used them in the distant past on metal lathes and milling machines.

What i'm thinking is to add a DRO onto a mitre station. Just on the right as that is how i cut currently. So far i'm just bouncing ideas round my head but have decided rightly or wrongly that I will use the following:

2040 Aluminium extrusion for the fence(s) connected to fence dogs on an MFT style top (single row with possibly the occasional hole for clamping) with a flag stop.

From what i can see the issue with the DRO is the limited length of the linear actuators. 970mm appears to be the limit. I did find one in the UK for not bad money (~£100) with the readout but have lost the link. At this moment most of my cuts will be less than 1M. Another Idea would be to use another length of rail and swap them round if anything needed to be bigger.

Most of the ones on the purveyor of finest Chinesium's site are dual or tri-axis, i have thought about using the dual and possibly setting up one either side so it could be used for right\left cuts.

As it's based on the 2040 extrusion and rail dogs i could possibly use it on my track saw station,

Any thoughts on this? I'm not in a production environment, just making stuff at home. Still just a thought at this stage but whilst in the planning could design to incorporate it, not add it at a later date. I have 2 x 1M of 2040 extrusion currently. Not looking to spend a fortune on something, but I have a background in Electrical\electronic engineering so it's more a challenge.

Dust isn't a significant issue due to extraction but the linear rails are reasonably well IP rated (IP54)


Personally I just wouldn't bother.
If you want entirely adequate 1/10th mm repeatability anywhere upto 1 metre, just a steel rule and a ruler stop.
Or get a pair of high quality flip stops to go in your extrusion and pair them with story sticks if you are doing batch work.

Above 1m, you drop down to somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2mm absolute accuracy using a tape of some type but use the flip stops for entirely adequate repeatibility.

And this is from the guy who has more than his fair share of micron resolution measuring gear.

I like the way digital positioning has been added to high end panel saw fences, rise and fall and angles but these are £££ and very accurate saws. Part of the benefit is being able to dial between setups quickly when you are breaking down sheet for batches of different products. It suits an industrial environment.

Unless you are replicating this sort of production against the clock, i suspect the exercise just isn't worth it. Cheap dro's are not very robust and wood dust is going to find its way everywhere. I've seen a wixey type dro fitted to a PT thicknessing table and it didn't inspire me with confidence !

Keep your handheld digital vernier safe in a box and when needed use them to transfer or verify smaller dimensions.

My 2p worth but I'd love to see the photos if you go ahead and build it 👍
Great for a project to fill the coming winter nights.

Great for a conversation piece.

Great for a click bait utube video.

But for real world I suspect it would soon be neglected in favour of a tape measure.

My idea for a project, conversation piece, clickbait utube video, would be to set up a cnc type stepper motor with saw stop attached. So I could type in the required length hit enter and away I go.
Thanks :)

I have come to the conclusion that whilst it could be done, the cost\effort vs gain it's not worth doing lol. Having looked further into it the cost of the DRO, linear rails etc. Is far more than i initially thought, every bit needs adding individually so starts to become expensive.

Stick to my rule stops and tapes with the flag stops. Measure twice etc.


I would say that a decent shadow line would be a better option on a mitre saw and as @Sideways has said, stops are definately the best way for repeatability on a mitre saw or otherwise.
I have fitted a Wixey DRO to my PT for thicknessing and no, it isn't super accurate, but it is accurate enoughfor cabinetmaking and makes it much easier to dial inthe thickness I want to within a tenth or two of a mm. Given that I will always clean up with a handplane to remove planer marks, I don't see the need for anything finer. No problem with dust so far after a couple of years.

Wixey DRO-5.jpg

Wixey DRO-2.jpg
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