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  • What size edge finder

    Looking to buy an edge finder for my (first) mill..Ive seen 1/2" body and 3/8" body..Double ended and non..Should I just go with a starrett,etc, or save 10$ and get a no name? Thanks

  • #2
    Whats size of machine and what size of cutters do you see yourself using most. Its nice to not have to change collets all the time if you are using R8.
    I find 1/2" is handy for me as the drill chuck on mine is a 1/2". I tend to use a 1/2" cutter most of time so don't have to change collets often.


    Dave

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    • #3
      I would go with a 10 mm or 6 mm version with a 10 mm shank.
      Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Jaakko Fagerlund
        I would go with a 10 mm or 6 mm version with a 10 mm shank.
        I would too...if I were in a country where the machines and the work pieces were all dimensioned in metric.

        I have no idea where the OP is located though.

        Here in the U.S., the most popular is the 3/8" diameter with .200" tip. Most manual machines have .200" per rev screws, so the half-turn to zero of that style edgefinder works easy.

        I have two of the Starrett No.827, and love them. Those are the 3/8" body, .200" end, single-ended. I have the extra because if you don't have one, you will break the one you have. If you do have a backup, you will never need it.

        Good things have been said about the slightly cheaper one from Fisher Machine Products of CA. You wouldn't go wrong with either of those, but I would NOT buy a cheap Chinese import of an edgefinder!
        Last edited by PixMan; 12-19-2011, 07:22 AM.

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        • #5
          Sounds good..I am in the U.S. so 3/8 would be a size to work with..Those stepped quick adaptor things any good?

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          • #6
            I don't recommend using them.

            When you add another piece to the assembly, you add runout. The main difference between those two American-made products I cited (and I would have also cited the Herman Schmidt one if they were still in production) is their quality and smoothness of operation. If you were to buy a cheap Chinese import, it's already crap so go ahead and make it worse with one of the stepped adapters.

            Myself, I can change an R8 collet in under 15 seconds, so I have no need for the adapter.

            P.S. - It would be nice if you would edit your profile to add at least a "general area" to your location.

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            • #7
              Go with a Starrett 3/8 dia with a .200 pickup. I am still using the same one that I bought in '78. Can't go wrong with Starrett, unless they have cheapened the edge finders too. No need to go with the 1/2 inch shank. It won't fit in a 3/8 chuck.

              edit: don't get one with a edge finder on one end and a point on the other end. You will seldom use the point, and they get stuck in collets when the pointed end shifts in the collet.

              Brian
              Last edited by bborr01; 12-19-2011, 09:16 AM.
              OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

              THINK HARDER

              BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

              MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

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              • #8
                Edge Finder

                I like a 1/2" better than a 3/8" because the larger one makes a bigger jump that is easy to see. The smaller one just creeps over a little bit and you have to be watching very carefully to see when it moves. I have about a dozen different edge finders, Brown & Sharpe, Starrett, Fisher, and others, and the 1/2" ones all work better than the 3/8" ones. When I was younger with better vision it didn't matter as much.
                If you only have one, make sure it's good quality. This is no place to skimp -
                the accuracy of all your work depends on this as well as a few other things like a good mill vise.
                Last edited by Toolguy; 12-19-2011, 09:20 AM.
                Kansas City area

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                • #9
                  What ever you choose buy a Starrett or Brown & Sharp not an off brand. The off brands are only good to fill the scrap barrel with.
                  It's only ink and paper

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                  • #10
                    What ever size you get, DON'T get the ones that have the body
                    shiny steel and the tip black. It makes seeing the kick much more difficult.
                    The school ones are like that and mine is all the polished
                    steel and the difference is amazing. I like the 1/2 body and the
                    0.200 tip but occasionally would like to have the 1/2 - 0.500 one when
                    trying to edge on a round with a large diameter.
                    ...lew...

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                    • #11
                      To repeat: Get A Good One. Anything less won't kick out as much or as reliably.

                      They seem to be quite sensitive to their condition. I've got a Starrett that I've had for years. One day it stopped vigorously kicking out and instead just sort of crept over. No idea why. I checked for any obvious problems, lubricated the junction with light machine oil, no help. Bought a new one, and it's fine. Physically, I can detect no difference between the two.
                      ----------
                      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.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SGW
                        To repeat: Get A Good One. Anything less won't kick out as much or as reliably.

                        They seem to be quite sensitive to their condition. I've got a Starrett that I've had for years. One day it stopped vigorously kicking out and instead just sort of crept over. No idea why. I checked for any obvious problems, lubricated the junction with light machine oil, no help. Bought a new one, and it's fine. Physically, I can detect no difference between the two.
                        Didi you try cleaning it ? Take a piece of copy paper and carefully
                        separate the two parts enough to slip the paper in and rotate the
                        finder around while pulling the paper to remove any "gunk" in there
                        and add a half drop of some very light oil like the Starrett stuff that
                        comes in a red spritzer can. or I suppose a sewing machine oil.
                        Some non gumming oil.
                        ...lew...

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                        • #13
                          I like the old Schmidt edge finders, Fisher Machine is making one similar to it:

                          http://www.fishermachine.com/index.php?&content=updatecart&id=36

                          I don't know if this is the black body one that Lew complains about, but I've got a couple others from him (hat top ones to find an edge under and overhang) and they work quite well.

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                          • #14
                            From the advice given I guess I will cough up the extra couple bucks and get a good one..

                            What is inside of these things anyways /how do they work?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ak95xj
                              What is inside of these things anyways /how do they work?
                              It's a very simple tool - the tip is gently held to the body with a spring going through the body to the tip. Both sides of the interface are lapped (or should be) and the tip is ground to be concentric with it's top and the body. The tip is free to move off axis sliding on the lapped surfaces.

                              I never ran the numbers but think that how it works is a result of the slight thrust from the bottom part going ever-so-slightly off center from the upper part and the slight drag of the tip on the work. Together they add up to offset the tip from the body.

                              The movement is quite reproducible, and usually quite accurate if you do your part. I played with moving one off axis on the spindle and they retained accuracy for a few thousandths, so they can be held fairly casually and still find an edge. They can be fooled by a rough or false edge.

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