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Thread: How I made a spindle square.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tidewater, Va
    Posts
    331

    Default How I made a spindle square.

    I made spindle square so I decided to share my successes and failures in case anyone else wants to make one.

    The attached images show how I made the square. It is pretty straight forward. The difficulty is making sure the “feet” of the square are in perfect relationship to the shaft.

    I chose some 5/8” bar stock to use with a ½” drill rod. I was going to use a socket head cap screw to secure the shaft in the body, but since I had a .498 & .499 reamer I decided on a press fit.

    I used my DRO for the hole spacing, I drilled and reamed for the main shaft. I then drilled a stepped 3/8 inch for the dial indicator shaft, and a through hole for the tip. Then cutout the arc for the dial indicators.

    I inserted a 3/8 dowel in the body to act as a drive dog in the 3 jaw chuck. Then I squared the feet to the shaft by taking a skim cut at the lathe.

    Here is where I screwed up. I had trammed my mill about 3 weeks prior and assumed it was right. It wasn’t. It was out of tram, so when I went to test my new spindle square I got a bad reading and started to chase my tail to find out what went wrong.

    I got a piece of window glass so I could smoothly spin the indicator on top of the mill table. I later found out that the window glass was not perfectly flat. I took another skim cut at the lathe. After that I got a little rocking on the feet. (I don’t know what happened there) Then I locked it down in the mill vise and took a skim cut on the bottom of the feet. This made it worse.


    Here is the bottom line. The feet don’t have to be in perfect relationship to the shaft.
    All you have to do is make sure you zero the dial indicators independently of each other in the same spot. The attached photo shows how I used a ¾ inch parallel bar to zero one indicator. Then I spun it around and zeroed the other indicator in the same spot (using a little mirror).


    I think the skim cut at the lathe is the way to go. But if you miss the mark there, not to worry, just zero the indicators independently. The gizmo works great. I am retired so all I have got is time. (although I am retired, my wife says I work part time as a pain in the ass )

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    174

    Default

    That is very nice. I could have used one a couple nights ago.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    NE Corner of NC
    Posts
    1,050

    Default An Idea

    Is a dial indicator made with a dial and face on BOTH sides of the instrument? With a face on both sides, that would eliminate the need for a mirror to read the dial indicators when the traming device was spun.
    Bill

    Being ROAD KILL on the Information Super Highway and Electronically Challenged really SUCKS!!

    Every problem can be solved through the proper application of explosives, duct tape, teflon, WD-40, or any combo of the aforementioned items.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Suffolk, UK
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    Default

    What's the advantage of 2 indicators?

    Phil

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Europe
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    1,435

    Default

    I've always had my eye on these things but for $100+ I've made due with
    1 indicator as Phil subtly suggests.

    Obviously you can tram the mill without spinning the spindle.. I think Ron
    is just showing the calibration.

    I think it'd be handiest when setting the spindle axis to an angle using, say,
    an angle block in the vise. Where you don't have too much length or thickness. Just bring the dual indicators down and tweak the wrenches till
    both indicators say zilch.

    Nice build, by the way, I'll have to keep my eyes open for a couple of
    indicators.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Suffolk, UK
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    Default

    If you don't rotate how are you sure the two gauges are perfectly zero'd, one relative to the other?

    Phil

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tidewater, Va
    Posts
    331

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by philbur
    If you don't rotate how are you sure the two gauges are perfectly zero'd, one relative to the other?

    Phil
    SPI makes a spindle square tool that is ground flat on the bottom that only requires it be zeroed on a flat surface. The feet have been ground perpendicular to the shaft.
    Here is how it works.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGdpt...5BlwNrdQQEk10=

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Barrington, NH
    Posts
    249

    Default

    Thanks for sharing, Ron! I am going to need to make one of these very soon, your timing is impeccable.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Buffalo NY
    Posts
    2,148

    Default

    I realize this is home shop guys.
    But I'm not sure a tool such as this would be found in a machine shop.
    Most guys swipe the table/vise/fixture plate with a test indicator with various linkage of one sort or another and be done. I mean, it is cool, and if it makes you a more accurate machinist, that's good. I just sorta saw these things as filling a need that's not really there. Kinda like tee slot covers. But there are a lot of obsessive things that go with this hobby. I am not innocent of them myself.
    Kinda reminds me of the brake rotor fad.
    Don't get me wrong. Nice work by the way.
    --Doozer

  10. #10

    Default

    I built one of those . works quit well much faster than sweeping with a test ind.
    Craftsman 101.07403
    Grizzly G0704
    4x6 Bandsaw

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