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Ahhhhh Aligning a mill spindle to a hole or pin.

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  • Ahhhhh Aligning a mill spindle to a hole or pin.

    I've always struggled with quick alignment to a hole or a pin/rod. Recently I bought one of those Chinky knock off "Blake" co-ax indicators. What a pleasure to use!!
    Once again, the right equipment makes all of the difference. Now I'm jealous of you out there with a REAL Blake!
    (But for $40 how could I complain?)

    Ken

  • #2
    Make your own, don't give those dirty commies any more money.


    [This message has been edited by JCHannum (edited 01-14-2004).]
    Jim H.

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    • #3
      Very nice work!
      Now I've got one and see how they work I could probably do so. Hope it turns out as nicely as yours.

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      • #4
        Guy Lautard has plans in one of his "Machinist Bedside Readers." #3, I think....
        ----------
        Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
        Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
        Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
        There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
        Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
        Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie

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        • #5
          Uh oh...looks like I'm buying Bedside Reader #3 now. JC is that where you got the plans for yours? I've been holding out for a real Blake on Ebay, the last one looked a little battered though. $189 for a blake from Enco isn't awful as far as machine tools go.

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          • #6
            I adapted the Bedside Reader 3 plans, and made a smaller version to use on my Benchmaster mill. Plans were also in an early Projects in Metal, and may be in one of the Metalworking books from Village Press, they are not in Volume 1, which is the only one I have.
            Jim H.

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            • #7
              I have the real Blake item, fun to use. However, I still do more the old way of indicating than with the blake.

              Love them though.
              CCBW, MAH

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              • #8
                I don't regret for a minute spending $100 more for the Blake over the import version.

                Not only is it a fine tool, it is made not far from me. I will support my local economy over the Chinese any day of the week.

                Les

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                • #9
                  So I have never used one of these nor seen them used. How does it work? Does the dial always face one direction? Or do you have to use mirrors to read it as it rotates? Do you use it under power or rotate the spindle by hand? Or do you need to rotate the spindle at all? Does just the indicator itself rotate?

                  And what range of hole/pin sizes will it work with? From the picture, looks like perhaps only up to 3/4" or 1".

                  BTW, I see no harm in buying imports. All God's people have to eat.

                  Paul A?
                  Paul A.
                  SE Texas

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

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                  • #10
                    Paul, the Blake has interchangeable rods for sweeping holes or OD's, different than the one pictured.

                    You simply set a stop bar, I use a mag base w/post, and a rod off the side of the indicator rests against the stop to keep the indicator from spinning.
                    You do run the spindle under power, however I can't remember the max RPM's off the top of my head.
                    It sure beats trying to follow an indicator dial around the mill when turning the spindle by hand.

                    It is a very nice tool to use. It is pretty sensitive and will show you pretty well if your hole is out of round also.

                    I use it to pickup center of a center dowel hole in my fixtures and tooling before doing bolt hole patterns in the mill.

                    I know everybody has different takes on buying import.
                    Personally, I feel good about buying USA made and am usually satisfied with the quality. I can't say the same about import tooling.
                    I also don't want to see the day when my only choice will be to buy import.

                    Les

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                    • #11
                      Keep watching eBay, I got a Blake about 1 1/2 years ago that was almost new. it came with all the rods, box,center punch finder and several starret edge finders for $96! The thing to remember about eBay is that no matter what you are looking for, there will always be another one coming up!
                      hms

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                      • #12
                        If you need a quick way without 200 dollar indicator try this. Take edge finder and eyeball center of pin or hole by moving table untill end of edge finder looks centered. Next find the edge on one side or the other. Move to other side and find that edge. Make sure you know how far you travel and move back half of that distance. Repeat in the other axis of travel. Now break out your indicator and fine tune to your requirements. The edge finder if used correctly will get you very close I have gotten lucky and been closer than .001 to center after checking.

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