View Full Version : Back plunger indicator

06-14-2010, 04:21 PM
I picked up and old Starrett back plunger dial indicator set for $2 at a garage sale. Wooden box, all attachments in the set, works as slick as new, marked US Navy on the back. What do you use a Back plunger indicator for??? Thanks for all the help in advance. Fred

06-14-2010, 05:58 PM
How do you attch it? Looks like a clamp type attachment. Fred

06-14-2010, 05:59 PM
I start off with one when I install my vice on the mill. To me it is easier than the DTI for the first corse adjustments.

06-14-2010, 06:26 PM
I never thought of that! I was thinking lathe and drawing a blank. Thanks a million. Fred

06-14-2010, 06:54 PM
The Starrett No.196 back plunger indicator is one of the more versatile indicators available. It is often overlooked and can be picked up relatively cheaply.

The older Starrett catalogs are worthwhile as reference material. Not only do they show the various instruments, there are many cuts showing the instruments in use. This page is from catalog 26, ca 1938, showing the 196 in various applications.


06-14-2010, 08:10 PM
These indicators are the absolute best thing to tram-in a bore on a valve body. Just mount it in the spindle, and spin it around.
Real handy for finding center of most bores and holes quickly as well.

06-14-2010, 08:19 PM
Thanks to all! And I thought I had wasted $2. Best regards to all Fred

06-14-2010, 08:53 PM
I make up brass spuds to fit the bores of rifle barrels that I'm working on, about .001" taper per inch, and use my back plunger indicator on the spud to indicate in barrels for threading, chambering, etc. I have a spider on the outboard end of my spindle, and just set up a steel bar clamped to the lathe and a small magnetic base for the indicator to hold to when doing that end...I indicate the 4-jaw chuck end, then the opposite end, then back to the chuck end. Takes almost no time to do.


06-14-2010, 11:10 PM
ive got one from central tool i stole for $10 off e-bay. best damn tool i ever bought. the holding attachments that came with it work good but i made some other holders for my craftsman 6" and its much more usefull than the big dial 1" DIs on that small lathe its really good for dialing in a 4-jaw after you eyeball it. i made a few more holders for my 14" and its the one i use most often now. mine only reads to .250" so you need to eyeball real close. great tool.use it and youll love it. ill give you $ 3.50 for it.

06-15-2010, 05:32 AM
It's never a waste of money when you end up with new tools!

06-15-2010, 06:58 AM
My dad has an older (wooden box) No.196 kit, and I used it for the first time last weekend. I had a friend who was getting pulsing in the front brake of his motorcycle and we used the No.196 to check the disk, found out it was the carrier.

What a nice indicator to use! It's movement seems to be perfectly damped; not too much, not too little. I was able to attach the indicator to the bike's fork leg by using the clamp to hold the rectangular bar against the brake caliper mounting bosses. With a rod screwed into the bar, I could put the tip right where I needed it, and the setup was solid.

My friend wants one now, so I was looking on Ebay. A complete kit goes from a low of abut $40 up to nearly new list price. For what they are, all seem to be a bargain.