Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Shopping for a quality co-ax

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Shopping for a quality co-ax

    Like the title says; I'm shopping for a co-ax. Can you guys make some recommendations on a decent quality unit. I've been using an edge finder and I think I'd feel more comfortable with a co-ax for locating holes. Like to hear your comments. Price is always a factor.

    Bob

  • #2
    What co-ax indicator to buy

    Several years ago I bought a cheap one. It works but the small screws are pretty bad and cause it to be a little harder to use. In hindsight I wish that I had bought a Blake. There have been several threads lately that recommend a different type indicator. I have not used mine as much as I thought I would. I probably would use a better one more but that is pretty expensive if it is just going to set in the tool box.
    Byron Boucher
    Burnet, TX

    Comment


    • #3
      hot bob: Before buying a new toy, How about a new use for an old one?

      If you have a test dial indicator and a shaft (or lathe to make one) to mount it to, you can chuck that shaft or use a collet/etc, (I made a shaft in the lathe that is 3/8" for 3/4" then 1/2" for the rest of the length untill it shrinks to the diamiter required to mount one of those clamps from my mag bases, so it fits in both 3/8" and 1/2" collets and converts to something a TDI can easily be mounted to)

      I actualy had an accident while making this shaft that bent it horrabley. I managed to unbend most of it on the bench, but thankfuly for this application it does not need to be straight.

      Anyway, Mount the dial indicator onto your shaft, and just manualy turn the spindle with your drawbar wrench or whatever at the top and watch the dial indicator and adjust the table. Slightly harder to read when its facing your collumn then a coax, but much much cheaper! And guarenteed to be about as accurate as your TDI

      Also note, messure both sides of a hole, devide the diffrence, and thats exactly where the needle has to be on the TDI to be 'centered' along that axis, Reguardless what angles the TDI arm is at.

      Just like a flycutter, it does not matter how straight the shaft is or what angle its affixed to the shaft, as the spindle will make it rotate in a perfict circle.

      this method is likey more accurate for large holes as well, as a co-ax indicator needs a long 'feeler' arm for large holes, and hence that reduces the movement on the co-ax indicator dial per mil of runout, where as a TDI you just mount further out from the spindle axis for bigger holes.

      Same setup can be used to tram your mill as well btw.
      Last edited by Black_Moons; 01-11-2010, 10:07 AM.
      Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have a cheap one from CDCO but have been happy with it's operation. If I remember correctly it cost < $75 and came in a decent wood box with foam padding.

        Comment


        • #5
          If you want a co-ax save your money and buy a Blake, there really is a difference in the quality over the imports. Penn Tool has them for about $250 new but a nice used ones normally go for not much more than the imports do.

          Comment


          • #6
            What Mike said. Lately, there have been a bunch of brand-new Blakes for sale on Ebay, for about half of retail price ($125 - $150).
            "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

            Comment


            • #7
              I have one of the "fake Blake" units and while I can see issues of refinement it works very well for me. It is a relative reading vs absolute reading instrument so short of binding in the moving parts, which mine definitely does not have, it is proving to be a frequently used tool for specific purposes: centering the quill over a hole or pin, tramming my mill, aligning a vise or other fixture. I like that the dial is always visible vs a DTI which requires some gyrations to use iin all positions. The co-ax is less sensitive than a DTI and it doesn't get used where that is an issue.

              Comment


              • #8
                Either a Blake or a Blake. I have both a Blake and a chi-com imitation. The best thing about the chi-com unit is that if it were bigger, heavier, and I had a boat.........

                Johnny

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JTToner
                  Either a Blake or a Blake. I have both a Blake and a chi-com imitation. The best thing about the chi-com unit is that if it were bigger, heavier, and I had a boat.........

                  Johnny
                  And that is probably the best evaluation possible. Some of us have one or the other but not both. Specifically what do you experience that differentiates them? I'm curious to see if these are issues I'm aware of in my not Blake version.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I had looked at the Blakes but up here they were about $350 - too much for my little home shop. Then I saw them for $48 at CDCO and I thought "I'll bite". For that price I have no regrets but then I'm not working to tenths either.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'd love to try a Haimer Centro. But I'm sure the cost would knock me flat.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        What my Fake Blake does is that the indicator needle jumps with every revolution.Its a sudden jump as if the little rotating arm was hitting a burr or a pit on the mating surface, but there is nothing that I can see. Also, and noted above, the screws must be made from recycled Yugos.

                        Johnny

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          For a discussion on Haimer take a look at,

                          http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/sho...ghlight=haimer

                          The Blake has one advantage in that it can be serviced in the US by Long Island Indicator. My Haimer has to go back to Germany for Service. Do not ask how I know this little tid bit.

                          P/R

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Horses for courses

                            Originally posted by SpyGuy
                            I'd love to try a Haimer Centro. But I'm sure the cost would knock me flat.
                            The title of the thread (OP) is "Shopping for a quality co-ax".

                            It really depends on how and what you define "quality" to be and how much of it you need (or want?) and how much you are prepared to pay for the use you intend to give it and the results you want from it.

                            Another consideration is the amount of "head room" the co-ax will need or use and whether you have to move your head (round or square column) or "knee" (BP type mill) up or down after removing the co-ax and how comfortable you are that the "line" of the co-ax and the job will still be within your limits after any such necessary move.

                            I have a Chinese-made "fake Blake" co-ax and I am quite satisfied with it. I doubt that any possible better performance by a Blake or other "better" co-ax would justify the additional cost.

                            I am in OZ (Australia) and bought mine from either LittleMachineShop or CDCOtools in the US (forget which - but the service at both is excellent).

                            I bought mine ti see if the current crop of co-ax's was better than some (so-called) "really good" ones quite some years ago that the shop I was in had real "issues" with. I have to say that the Chinese "Fake Blake" was excellent value and does all I ask of it.

                            I still prefer to use a good test dial indicator though.





                            http://s200.photobucket.com/albums/a...indicator2.jpg



                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JTToner
                              What my Fake Blake does is that the indicator needle jumps with every revolution.Its a sudden jump as if the little rotating arm was hitting a burr or a pit on the mating surface, but there is nothing that I can see. Also, and noted above, the screws must be made from recycled Yugos.

                              Johnny
                              I've got a jumpy one also. I got mine from CDCO a few years ago. Luck of the draw we got "bad" ones I guess.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X