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dumb Starrett 98-8 level question

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  • #16
    Originally posted by J Tiers View Post

    Starrett actually states that they do recess the center of their high precision levels, but the amount is not specified, it is stated (IIRC) to be a couple of tenths. Somewhere I have a PDF from them with that on it.

    Lufkin went farther than that. Their precision levels only had "pads" at each end to sit on, the casting was relieved something like 0.25" in between those.

    I do not know if that extends to the low precision 98 levels. The one I have was anything but flat when I got it. But then it was also anything but new, and I paid very little for it. I scraped it flat, but did not relieve the middle.
    The tech I spoke to told me that they actually spring the levels in an arbor press to concave the center. He also mentioned something about govt. standards requiring that any level that has to be certified only touch on the ends. The reason for this is to allow for any imperfections in any surface that the level may be set on. You wouldn't want it to touch in the center and rock end to end, right ?

    JL...................

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    • #17
      I am tempted to call BS on the arbor press thing, based on the information I have, or had. But, in these days of going for the cheapest method, and knowing this was Starrett, and not one of the top brands, it is possible.
      2801 3147 6749 8779 4900 4900 4900

      Keep eye on ball.
      Hashim Khan


      It's just a box of rain, I don't know who put it there.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
        I am tempted to call BS on the arbor press thing, based on the information I have, or had. But, in these days of going for the cheapest method, and knowing this was Starrett, and not one of the top brands, it is possible.
        What would you consider to be a better choice than a Starrrett? I have a Mitutoyo level, but it's only 10" long.
        Last edited by reggie_obe; 01-26-2021, 12:58 PM. Reason: spellin

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        • #19
          I agree with J Tiers in the BS about the arbor press thing. Cast iron don't bend. Several years ago, I bought a 10" Polish made precision level that was well made except that it had a large vee length wise in the bottom. It was the polish equivalent of the Starrett 199. I milled most of the vee away and rescraped it. Works good.
          Sarge41

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          • #20
            Originally posted by sarge41 View Post
            I agree with J Tiers in the BS about the arbor press thing. Cast iron don't bend. Several years ago, I bought a 10" Polish made precision level that was well made except that it had a large vee length wise in the bottom. It was the polish equivalent of the Starrett 199. I milled most of the vee away and rescraped it. Works good.
            Sarge41
            I found it hard to believe but that's what the guy at Starrett told me.
            You wouldn't have to spring it much to concave the center a thou or so.

            JL...............

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            • #21
              Originally posted by sarge41 View Post
              I agree with J Tiers in the BS about the arbor press thing. Cast iron don't bend. Several years ago, I bought a 10" Polish made precision level that was well made except that it had a large vee length wise in the bottom. It was the polish equivalent of the Starrett 199. I milled most of the vee away and rescraped it. Works good.
              Sarge41
              sure as **** cast iron will bend. it's just less ductile than steel, so it fractures more quickly if you bend it too far. getting it to go a couple of tenths is trivial. how do you think you straighten a gib that is bent from being worn on one side? you put it across two rollers and press with a clamp or an arbor press.
              -paul

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              • #22
                I don't think that this was a knockoff. Starrett has an awesome reputation, but they're getting lazier every passing year. I have a couple of other items that I have a high degree of confidence in their authenticity, that have disappointed me. My back plunger indicator is nice, but not for what I paid for it new. The damn clamp spins on the extension rods because they're so highly polished. My newer thread pitch and feeler gages feel like crap in the hand compared to the decades old ones I've borrowed from other people over the years. They've kept the price, but the Starrett quality is going out the window IMO.

                I can see that they'd relieve the center of the part to increase wear life. If it's concave, it'll wear flat before it goes convex and teeter-totters on a plate. It is entirely believable that some careless operator didn't put the frame in a press perfectly straight and induced a twist on the part, and then didn't try to tap the corners when inspecting it post-relieving. There was no "inspected by" tag in the box, so that person will continue to produce inferior products and get away with it.
                -paul

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by larry_g View Post

                  I also bought a couple of 98-12's around that time. They came without wood boxes. Checking things out I found that if you wanted a wood box it was a different part number, so they can (could) be bought either way. I had to go back and order the wood box desperately and it cost near 1/2 the price of the level.

                  lg
                  no neat sig line
                  'tis true. I opted to just make my own box for the crackhead prices they're asking
                  -paul

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by J Tiers View Post

                    Starrett actually states that they do recess the center of their high precision levels, but the amount is not specified, it is stated (IIRC) to be a couple of tenths. Somewhere I have a PDF from them with that on it.

                    Lufkin went farther than that. Their precision levels only had "pads" at each end to sit on, the casting was relieved something like 0.25" in between those.

                    I do not know if that extends to the low precision 98 levels. The one I have was anything but flat when I got it. But then it was also anything but new, and I paid very little for it. I scraped it flat, but did not relieve the middle.
                    Could you share that PDF? Starrett's website is shamefully devoid of technical specifications/info this day and I like to horde that kind of stuff...
                    -paul

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by psomero View Post
                      I don't think that this was a knockoff. Starrett has an awesome reputation, but they're getting lazier every passing year. I have a couple of other items that I have a high degree of confidence in their authenticity, that have disappointed me. My back plunger indicator is nice, but not for what I paid for it new. The damn clamp spins on the extension rods because they're so highly polished. My newer thread pitch and feeler gages feel like crap in the hand compared to the decades old ones I've borrowed from other people over the years. They've kept the price, but the Starrett quality is going out the window IMO.

                      I can see that they'd relieve the center of the part to increase wear life. If it's concave, it'll wear flat before it goes convex and teeter-totters on a plate. It is entirely believable that some careless operator didn't put the frame in a press perfectly straight and induced a twist on the part, and then didn't try to tap the corners when inspecting it post-relieving. There was no "inspected by" tag in the box, so that person will continue to produce inferior products and get away with it.
                      I don't think it's that they are getting lazy, they are simply trying to survive and remain competitive with all the chicom crap that floods the market. They have to cut corners somewhere. Prices have increased over the years but what hasn't. and yea, I've been disappointed in the quality of some of the newer stuff too. I believe some things and or parts for things are made outside of the US.

                      JL...............


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                      • #26
                        I don't buy the press idea either. If you're going to make it have '4 feet', you'd make it really explicit just like the longitudinal groove.
                        Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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                        • #27
                          Cast Iron will bend, And Starrett quality on some products is not what it used to be.
                          Beaver County Alberta Canada

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by psomero View Post

                            Could you share that PDF? Starrett's website is shamefully devoid of technical specifications/info this day and I like to horde that kind of stuff...
                            I'm still looking for it. Got it in an email, but that was a while back and I may not have saved it (stupid), so unless I find it shortly, I will chalk it off to having gone to the bit bucket. I DO recall a definite statement that the relief was not by a specified amount... more than none, generally around 2 tenths.

                            The main reason I don't like the arbor press story is that the result would be a slight banana along the ENTIRE length, so the ends would nt be flat either. Of course, when it comes to cheapening a product "to compete with china", that might not be considered important. And for a 98 it likely would not be anyhow, they are not high precision.

                            So I chalk the idea up as "possible", with no clue how "probable" it is. Yes, CI will bend, but the yield and the ultimate strengths are considerably closer together than for most non-hardened steels. So you need a very well defined process. "Arbor press"? Maybe........
                            2801 3147 6749 8779 4900 4900 4900

                            Keep eye on ball.
                            Hashim Khan


                            It's just a box of rain, I don't know who put it there.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by J Tiers View Post


                              The main reason I don't like the arbor press story is that the result would be a slight banana along the ENTIRE length, so the ends would nt be flat either. Of course, when it comes to cheapening a product "to compete with china", that might not be considered important. And for a 98 it likely would not be anyhow, they are not high precision.

                              So I chalk the idea up as "possible", with no clue how "probable" it is. Yes, CI will bend, but the yield and the ultimate strengths are considerably closer together than for most non-hardened steels. So you need a very well defined process. "Arbor press"? Maybe........
                              So, how about this for a process. A belt sander will make it reasonably flat and leave an attractive finish. Put it under the the arbor press and produce a banana, maybe even a twist if not evenly supported on the opposite side. A few milliseconds back on a belt sander with a good platen and you put little flats on each end. Bottom's all done.
                              .
                              "People will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time they will pick themselves up and carry on" : Winston Churchill

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by psomero View Post

                                Not scraped, just a ground surface which has been de-shined with some crocus or something. Seems on point for typical Starrett fit and finish. Never seen a scraped model 98, maybe on the master precision box levels, but this is the plain old $165 Starrett machinist level.

                                Hi. I was curious so broke out my new but old model 98 to compare the photo.

                                That looks like their advertising photo? So your actual level might not look like their photo.

                                So comparing I see three things that are different from mine to the photo.

                                1- No finger holes.
                                2- No protruding of the casting above the finger holes.
                                3- Yours is ground for the entire length along the sides (look at the small vial area).

                                And as for visuals they look the same otherwise. JR

                                Click image for larger version

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                                My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

                                https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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