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Sad day for dial test indicaor

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  • Sad day for dial test indicaor

    I have a Brown&Sharpe best test indicator, bought it used on flea-bay some years ago. Well today when indicating my vice in on the mill I noticed that it is notchy and very slow to return. I'm not interested in taking it apart to investigate. I also can't afford or justify a new Brown&Sharpe. There is quite a variety of inexpensive dial test indicators out there. Does anyone have a recommendation for a replacement. Someone once mentioned Accusize. Any ideas. Thanks for your time and knowledge.

  • #2
    To bad, that is a high quality indicator, likely made by Tesa (same folks who make Interapid).

    Accusize was a importer of cheap Chinese tools in an industrial unit in Richmond Hill. One day they started slapping their name on the imports and cranked up the price. Any good? I don't know, but they are not a manufacturer of tools. Kind of like Fowler. Makes me doubtful of how much value they add, if they never made them, do known how to tell others make them/control quality?

    I've repaired a lot of indicators, and most of the time its just dirt. People oil them, or dirty/oil just migrate in (its amazing how dirt does can take a waterproof watch and after several years its dirty inside). But you don't want to go there, and they usually aren't worth shipping in for repair. Service and two way shipping>their used value.

    I'd buy new or used Mitutoyo or used Interapid, Girrod, Compaq, Alina etc (all Swiss, all top of the line). You can usually get a used Mitutoyo for the price of the made in China ones.
    Last edited by Mcgyver; 08-20-2023, 05:40 AM.
    located in Toronto Ontario


    • #3
      Doesn't the back cover come off undoing 3 little screws? Maybe it just needs a clean
      Helder Ferreira
      Setubal, Portugal


      • #4
        Since you are "writing it off", there is nothing lost if you attempt to clean or fix it and do not succeed.

        But, of course, do whatever floats your watch.......
        CNC machines only go through the motions.

        Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
        Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
        Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
        I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
        Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Noitoen View Post
          Doesn't the back cover come off undoing 3 little screws? Maybe it just needs a clean
          It's a DTI, so likely more to it than that. All the ones I've had apart have the hair spring, which is the most susceptible to getting gummed up, under the dial. Crystal and hand(s) have to come off.
          located in Toronto Ontario


          • #6
            I understand this repair service does an excellent job, including whether or not it's worth repairing.
            Tool repairs for all makes and models of precision hand tools. It's all about the tools / gages here.


            • #7
              The only suggestion I have it Mitutoyo, used or new (preferably the latter). I know, lots of folks with home shops can't justify high end metrology but tools like that which are important shouldn't be scrimped on. They can last a lifetime if treated properly making them a sound investment.
              Ontario, Canada


              • #8
                All of my cheap Chinese DTI's work well and I purchased them long ago when I was just getting started. Today I would buy new Mits. Metrology is important.


                • #9
                  My Personal favourites are a mitutoyo 513-402 (horizontal) and 513-452 (vertical) 0.0005" graduations, and reasonably price for the quality. They're dovetail only (3plcs) which offers a lot of mounting points, but some prefer the Interapid style with integrated stem. Personal preference, but I never did like the backwards moving needle on the interapids. On the mits, the needle moves clockwise from rest no matter which way you move the needle. IMO the interapids are a better quality indicator though, and I DO like the integral stem if I had to go back to manual mills, as it's way more compact to use. I sold mine many years ago, since I'm pretty much CNC only these days. I have other holders, and other indicators (I have the 0.0001" versions of both also) but the 2 shown below in their respective holders are able to accomplish 99.5% of my setups now (cnc mill, and lathe) with very little adjustment.

                  I also have an accusize DTI at home that came in the pile of tooling when I bought with my tormach. While it does work just fine it suffers the same lack of refinement of all import tools I've ever come across. It just....."feels " cheap. Don't know how to describe it, but when you're used to quality tools and develop that sense of feeling that goes along with it, the imports stand out. They still work, and are arguably just as accurate, but something feels off with them. Twitchy needles, gritty bezels, fit and finish just not the best, etc... When I get home later, I'll snap a pic of the Accusize and add it for reference.

                  I really wish I'd kept my Interapid, but at the time I'd got a sweet deal on it, and made about $50 by selling it to a new coworker that also getting a good deal on it. It was a toolbox queen that never came out of its box, but they are very nice, and I wish I had it for home now. The fowler x-test knock offs are also decent if you want the integral stem, and want to save a bit of dough. But even they're not cheap anymore.


                  • #10
                    Mine is an absurdly cheap anonymous thing bought via Ali Express. It has perfectly good manners and is more than sufficiently accurate for lining up the vice on the mill table within a few microns. The divisions on the dial are a hundredth of a millimetre (0.0004"). Of course, as long as the needle doesn't wobble, it doesn't matter what the calibrations are.

                    Sure, if I were in business I would have paid more more and bought something with a reputable name on it, but for a home hobbyist cheap Chinese is just fine.


                    • #11
                      I will take apart and fix a dial indicator
                      but test indicators are too small
                      and that is where my level of small precision ends.
                      I don't blame you.
                      Send it off to have it repaired.

                      I have tried every test indicator out there.
                      Compac, Alina, Mititoyo, Starrett, Fowler, Liffkin, Federal, Spot on, Brown Sharpe...
                      My favorite is Interapid. I hate they rotate backwards from most everyone else,
                      but it is worth it, with how smooth the movement is.



                      • #12
                        Long Island Instrument Repair reportedly does good work.

                        I have been very happy with the DTI’s sold by SHARS, either direct or (usually) at a lower cost on eBay. Consistent, repeatable results and modeled after Interapid.
                        Brown & Sharpe (B&S) calipers, micrometers, indicators
                        Avid Amateur Home Shop Machinist, Electronics Enthusiast, Chef, Indoorsman. Self-Proclaimed (Dabbler? Dilettante?) Renaissance (old) Man.


                        • #13
                          Teclock (Japan) is good for the price if you can find one.
                          Southwest Utah


                          • #14
                            I have had good luck with every DTI and DI that I have purchased. I have a couple of imports that I bought together at a sale price; they have 0.0005" divisions. I use them to tram my mill vise. The very first one I purchased, many years ago still works just fine. A used General DI has a yellow crystal, but works fine. Grizzly brand 1" and 2" DIs work fine. No complaints!

                            Actually the only one I had any trouble with was a Mahr Millimess that I acquired used. It became sluggish and I sent it to a shop for repair. Since it was an expensive one, I figured it was worth the repair cost. It somehow got lost in the Chinese covid-19 pandemic​ mess. It probably just needed a cleaning and some fresh oil. Oh, well.

                            I would not hesitate to recommend almost any of them.

                            Paul A.
                            Golden Triangle, SE Texas

                            And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                            You will find that it has discrete steps.


                            • #15
                              Accusize is not in the same realm of goodness as compared to a tesa/b&s that fell out of a moving truck at 80 mph and then was stampeded upon by a bunch of horses who also had the runs and shat all over the indicator as well.

                              They took your quintessential no-name offbrand halfassed chinesium measuring tools and put their name on them.