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  • Telescopic Gauges

    I'm looking for a reasonable priced set of telescopic gauges and stumbled upon a set of Craftsman...Since the Mitz and Starrett are out of my reach at this time
    I know growing up that Craftsman (Sears) had there name on a brand MFG so this got me curious...
    The gauges are stated to be made in the USA and I'm sure they would be fine for my limited experience as a hobbyist...But...
    Does anyone know who could/would have made them for Craftsman 20 yrs or so ago?

  • #2
    a cheap way of getting a set of Mitutoyo telescoping bore gauges is to buy a set of Yuasa ones. Made in the same factory, look identical, as far as I can tell work identical. Got my set NOS in box for $40 off eBay

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    • #3
      I do not know how properly they are made now. But I HAD a set of Craftsman telescoping gauges, and could never get them to work. There was always an error of a few thou. I dumped them.

      The issue was that they had a slight flat at the very top of the rounded end. It appeared to have been always present from the factory.

      When doing the "sweep", the distance was set by the rounded end. But when measuring the result, the measurement was directly across the flats. The difference was the amount which I always was in error by when using them.

      I obtained a set of Mitutoyo gauges, and ever since that have had no problem at all in getting into the tenths with measurements.

      If you do buy Craftsman, or, for that matter, ANY such gauges, make sure that the tips have no flats etc.
      2730

      Keep eye on ball.
      Hashim Khan

      Everything not impossible is compulsory

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      • #4
        By 20 years ago Craftsman was well on it's way to being total junk. I used to be a Craftsman fan but it was through the later 90's and on that I watched with sadness as the line sunk badly in quality. I still highly value and regularly use my Craftsman tools that I got in the 70's and 80's.

        But if it turns out that your gauges are from more like 40 or more years ago? Then I would not be surprised to learn that you have a fine set of gauges. But JTier's suggestion to inspect the ends of the anvils under high magnification will quickly tell you if you have something you can use and trust.
        Chilliwack BC, Canada

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        • #5
          Craftsman made in USA may well have been made for Sears by General. Probably more like at least 30 years ago, as BCRider suggests. I bought a set from Sears probably about 40 years ago. The set in fact included gages marked "General" as well as gages marked "Craftsman." As far as I can remember they worked OK. Some years ago I splurged and replaced them with a set of Starrett telescoping gages, their set S579H.

          David

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          • #6
            Telescoping gauges are not direct reading tools, how do you measure them without more expensive tools?

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            • #7
              You read the gauges with a micrometer or caliper gauge. Most people would have one or both long before thinking about telescopic gauges.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mattthemuppet View Post
                a cheap way of getting a set of Mitutoyo telescoping bore gauges is to buy a set of Yuasa ones. Made in the same factory, look identical, as far as I can tell work identical. Got my set NOS in box for $40 off eBay
                I always thought the same about Suzuki small hole gauges, even the pouch is identical to the mits. Contract manufacturer? Copycat? Factory seconds outlet brand? Don't know, but they appear to be the same quality and without the big brand's prices

                The gauges are stated to be made in the USA and I'm sure they would be fine for my limited experience as a hobbyist.
                How much you can justify spending on a hobby, agreed, but functionality, hobby or commercial is imo irrelevant. You need to measure a bore to a certain tolerance (without brutal frustration), you need a certain quality tool. The offshore ones I've seen are shudder worthy. I'd get a good used set of Starretts, Mitutoyo or Lufkins myself. Maybe by a small four piece set if you don't need the larger sizes.
                Last edited by Mcgyver; 10-03-2021, 06:07 PM.
                in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                • #9
                  Lets not forget MOORE & WRIGHT.. I have a set of only 4 gauges..which are very nice.. BUT..... BUT.. What they have that I have not seen in other sets us the Extension rod that came with my set.. fits all 4 guages.. VERY Handy to be able to measure 8 or 9 inches deep into a bore.
                  i still have to use my smallest and biggest from my import set to have all my sizes.
                  and thank Goodness for my ball guages that cover from about .1 to .5.
                  And lets not forget adjustable parallels for things telescopic guages are too thick for.. like shallow slots..

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by old mart View Post
                    You read the gauges with a micrometer or caliper gauge. Most people would have one or both long before thinking about telescopic gauges.
                    reading the telescopic gages with a micrometer or caliper is a very touchy thing. It requires practice and a fine sense of feel for what you're doing.
                    I always use my calipers because you can easily squeeze the telescopic gauge closed with a micrometer resulting in error.

                    JL......

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                    • #11
                      The ONLY telescopic ID gauges worth a crap are Lufkin.
                      Brown Sharp are steaming crap.
                      You say you can't afford Starrett ?
                      Are you trying to buy only new ? ? ?
                      Poor house crying is a popular theme here.
                      Hint... Even if you have no money...
                      If you don't complain about it publicly...
                      People will never know ! ! !
                      Unless you are on the "misery loves company" train
                      and here seeking emotional support. Different strokes
                      I guess, as the saying goes.


                      ---Doozer
                      DZER

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                      • #12
                        I would only buy the highest quality telescoping guages. That's one area I won't cheap out. Any burr or roughness in the key slot will foul your measurement. Dad has some old B&S gauges I am quite fond of and get excellent results with. He bought me a newer set, they aren't nearly so good. China specials, even cheap "USA" ones we have at work aren't worth a damn if you want precision.

                        BTW, I prefer single telescopes vs double.
                        21" Royersford Excelsior CamelBack Drillpress Restoration
                        1943 Sidney 16x54 Lathe Restoration

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                        • #13
                          Accurately measuring bores is one of the more difficult tasks to master. Tools like split-ball and telescoping gauges demand the development of a fine "touch" to get repeatable pressure on the instrument. George Britnell, a master machinist and model builder, designed a tool to essentially remove the "touch" requirement from the operation. This post describes my version of his tool...

                          https://www.homemadetools.net/forum/...nt-bores-27245
                          Regards, Marv

                          Home Shop Freeware - Tools for People Who Build Things
                          http://www.myvirtualnetwork.com/mklotz

                          Location: LA, CA, USA

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                          • #14
                            I have an older set of Craftsman, purchased at a swap meet maybe 15-20 years ago so I don't know how old they actually are They seem fine for the few times I need to use them. I take a number of readings until I get consistent readings. They do seem tricky to use as I don't use them enough to get good.

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                            • #15
                              I have a wallet of the cheap Chinese or Indian ones which only get used when the four Moore & Wright ones are out of range. I have a 6" and a 12" Mitutoyo digital calipers which I trust to 0.001" in bores, unlike most.
                              The cheap ones can be dismantled and the surface finish of the parts improved, I haven't got around to doing mine.

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