View Full Version : test indicators
03-15-2002, 04:13 PM
What makes do most people prefer and in what increments most used half thou or one tenth of a thou.
Just wondering what people have and use ?
Interapid half a thou with a 1.5" dial is what I use. Someday I will break down and buy one of their tenth indicators. They are expensive but worth it. Brown and Sharp is nice too. For most shop work you can use an indicator that reads in half thousandths. Tenth indicators are used for extremely close work (surface and cylindrical grinding setups, precision inspection, etc.) It all depends on what kind of work you are doing.
An Indicol indicator holder that fits a Bridgeport spindle nose is a very nice complement to a good test indicator. They are also expensive. There are some import versions of these around but they just don't hold up like the 'real McCoy'.
Just my two cents worth. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif
03-15-2002, 06:05 PM
I have a Mititoyo test graduated in .0005...
But my baby is the Brown and Sharpe graduated in .00005....I don't use my brown and sharpe one that much, but accuracy is awesome when needed...
just my 2 cents worth http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif
03-15-2002, 07:54 PM
Mine is 0.5 thou and anything finer on my machine would be a complete waste.
03-15-2002, 11:44 PM
I use a Starrett .ooo5" Last Word, Mitutoyo .oo1" indicator, Starrett AGD Group 4 .ooo1", .oo1", Starrett Electronic Gage Head .ooooo5" - .ooo5". Mercer .ooo5", .oo1" (way, way too many). I also have a coating thickness gage (Isoscope) for non-Ferritic metals. (it can tell you real quick why one anodized part looks better than another).
I dig the Last Word out when I want to get fancy or for use on my height gage. I use the two big Starretts on my granite plates, the Electronic Gage is rarely used - mostly when something piques my interest.
For most stuff a .oo1" is accurate enough, the odd time you may want something more accurate...
03-16-2002, 06:26 AM
My nost used indicator is a Last Word with the body clamp. If I need to use dovetail mounting I'll drag out a .060 travel Lufkin, or a .0001 Federal.
In my shop at the house I use a .001 Federal, and have a Starrett Ideal set up on a homemade adapter for use on mill.
Got a few more lurking about, I like the Starrett Last Words the best, light, low gaging pressure and I can always get them where I want to go with some help from some drill rod and clamps.
Starrett Last Words have to be the most durable test indicator made, I think one could be thrown across the shop, hit the wall, if it didn't crack the crystal it would probably still work. Had my Lufkin on mag base sitting on bench, it fell over, had to diassemble and reset a spring. We've had similar problems with B&S Best Test.
Those 2 Federals I have are good indicators, but that backwards moving dial confuses me for a while.
Worked with guys who have had real good luck with Mitutoyo.
03-16-2002, 07:58 AM
Thrud, Whoa man, you have a lot of test indicators....Thats awesome....I only have two testes...(ha ha ha)
But I also overkill on other tools...I have (2) 8" digital mititoyo calipers, (1) digital starret 6", and believe it or not I have (4) 12" dial Mititoyo calipers....now that is way too many calipers for one man......What can I say, I love tools...
03-18-2002, 07:57 AM
I use Brown and Sharpe Best Test indicators.
The .0005 is good with .03 range.
A "tenth" indicator is a pain and seldom required in a home shop.
Wouldn't touch a Starret last word anymore.
They stick right out of the box.
I've got three Starrett "Last Word" indicators: one graduated in thousandths that I use most of the time, one graduated in half-thousandths that I bought because I got a good deal on it, and one graduated in ten-thouandths that I get out on those occasions when I need that kind of sensitivity.
I've also got a Starret 1" travel indicator, graduated in thousandths, that I use on the lathe to measure carriage travel.
Most of the time thousandths graduations are good enough for me, but I do use the one graduated in ten-thousandths too.
03-18-2002, 05:16 PM
I use two Mitutoyo tenths indicators while setting a barrel up through the headstock, and a Starrett on the tailstock to measure as I headspace. Most of the time I only use a .001 Last Word that was put into service in 1952. Mike
03-19-2002, 12:11 AM
I have 5 calipers, an unused (free) B&S, Starrett #120, 6" & 8" Mitutoyo Dial, 6" Mitutoyo ABS Digital. The Starrett is the best (well, duh) quality wise, no opinion on B&S other than the price was right (bitching & whining on the internet works!)- free. The Mitutoyo's are the production units of choice - lower cost & just as accurate but they ain't a Starrett. I would rather have some retard damage a cheaper caliper than an expensive one. The Digital is used for metric (if I do not want to have to think) or if I don't feel like thinking.
I had two testes, but I failed both of them.
TIP: if your testes ever get injured and inflate to the size of softballs (pun intended) don't tell any wise ass friends - oh, the humility of it all...
03-19-2002, 07:44 AM
In that case, you really do "carry your balls in a bushal basket"?
An old saying I heared somewhare refering to someone.
03-19-2002, 03:46 PM
My personal opinion(and I say MY opinion)...is that the starrett calipers are awesome, as long as they are the dials...Their digitals suck in my opinion..
But I do think that Mititoyo makes the best calipers on the planet..Especially their digitals...
But thats my opinion...This is coming from a guy who loves to help sheep get through the fence...
03-19-2002, 03:46 PM
Baa Baa Baa Baa
An issue often forgotten when tossing around tenths and smaller units is heat.
You can't measure down there if thermal expansion is larger than the units!
You have to let it cool, and be at "measuring temp". Otherwise those half a tenth measurers are silly.
Course, if you are just trying to center something up, maybe its OK. All is then relative. The temp affect all sides evenly(hopefully). Even then, cooling at the chuck jaw contact could introduce noise to the measurement.
Nip on over to the Chaski board and mention measuring to half a tenth. Forrest Addy may explain a thing or two!
03-19-2002, 11:46 PM
When I wring gage blocks I let them sit on the plate for about ten minutes or so. It is neat to put the electronic Gage on the stack and see the numbers rise from the heat of your hand. I think I need a life...
03-20-2002, 12:27 PM
Long Island Indicator Service has an informative web page. They indicate that the movements in a .001 and .0005 indicator are the same. Only the faces are changed.
As long as one is helping the sheep through the fence, and not using that as an excuse to sneak up behind them, the sheep are probably appreciative. Mike
03-20-2002, 05:57 PM
you can have my wife, Thrud....oops you said "life" not "wife",...my mistake..
03-20-2002, 06:37 PM
I have both a .001 and a .0001 indicator for my personal use, Techloc both of them. Have those Starrett last word things at school, and the last word is they are somewhat worthless, my Techlocs in the school shop kick them to heck and back in durability, constant repeatibility, and relative lack of maintenence overall.
I love my home Techlocs, but also just ordered a Brown and Sharpe .0005 indicator for myself.
Rookies should look at the Brown and Sharpe .0005 indicator.
The open front to the jeweling on the last words is good if you are the only one using it, but in use by others, this becomes a cleanliness issue between users.
This is an opinion shared by many I know.
I am all but sold on the Brown and Sharpe .0005 indicators, got two this year for the shop. Also just love the Mityyoyo .0001 indicators, they are bombproof.
Mityyoyo Calipers are the cats tail(edited this before posting). They are also bombproof. Buy these. Brown and Sharpe are the same quality rating, buy if you can afford them.
Here is an idea, while buying indicators, get yourself one of those Mighty Mag little magnetic indicator holders, and a fair to middlin 0-1" Travel dial indicator. Say Techloc brand or something. A Brown and sharpe .0005 indicator, and a Mighty mag and 0-1" indicator are just the ticket for turning. The mighty mag will work for fussy length turning on your lathe - mag it to the side of the ways, indicating in work to .001 in a chuck - you just can't imagine the uses. One of the most underrated tools I have bought, the most used indicator for on machine use I have.