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gfphoto
07-11-2009, 05:09 PM
Here are some modifications to an HF magnetic base (http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=5645) I got a few weeks ago.

For ten bucks it's a pretty amazing value. However...

One of the plastic knob/nuts broke off so I suspended the remaining piece with the sleeve with the metric? threads in epoxy and after it hardened turned it to make a nice round knob - one that can be easily turned from any direction in sometimes limited space, and easier to grab with oily fingers.

Earlier I replaced the bolt and small piece of knurled rod that held the indicator with a scrap yard quick release, I think from a scooter - much easier to tighten now and stays put. The original would loosen and the indicator would drop just as I was getting the rest in place and tightened.

Also replaced the stock arm (with fine adjust) with a plain longer aluminum rod and added a 4-40 screw at the end so the rod won't fall out when everything's loose. The fine adjust worked okay but didn't seem to be really necessary.

http://www.gfphoto.com/tool/Lathe/HF-dial-indicator-base-mods-s.jpg

The magnet is pretty strong and can hold the rig firmly on a curved vertical surface.

I hope this is useful - I'd like to give back something as I learn here everyday.

Gary

danlb
07-11-2009, 06:13 PM
Nice. I like the quick release. I have the same problem with the black plastic knobs fracturing.

The fine adjust comes in handy when indicating things in a chuck with independent jaws. You can measure opposite sides and then use the fine adjustment to set it to zero 1/2 way between the two measurements. Then it's just a matter of getting both sides to adjust to zero.

With the electronic dial indicator you can zero it at any point too. :)

Dan

gfphoto
07-11-2009, 08:52 PM
Nice. I like the quick release. I have the same problem with the black plastic knobs fracturing.

The fine adjust comes in handy when indicating things in a chuck with independent jaws. You can measure opposite sides and then use the fine adjustment to set it to zero 1/2 way between the two measurements. Then it's just a matter of getting both sides to adjust to zero.

With the electronic dial indicator you can zero it at any point too. :)

Dan


Thanks Dan,

I keep finding uses for the quick releases.

Thanks for the tip about the fine adjust. I have the piece and can swap if need be.

I do wish the digital indicator had a wire or something to zero because I find pressing the button can move it off a bit. Not much, maybe .0005" but still...

Gary