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  • Trav-a-dial"

    I have a "Trav-a-dial" made by Southwestern industries..This is an indicator like device that hooks on the lathe and is graduated in .001 increments..this is used to precisely turn or bore to a given length..

    Well it pretty much died today, and to get a new one from Southwestern industries it will be $575.00..Not bad, but does anyone know of another manufacturer of a similar product that I could purchase to save me a little money....I just love this little guy, and I feel lost without it...I don't have the money for a DRO, so this will be my only option....

    Any ideas??

    brent

  • #2
    Sounds like an application for a dial travel indicator. How far do you need to measure?

    People are always hooking the 2" indicators up for this sort of thing. A dial caliper can also be used if you need around 6" of measurement.

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    • #3
      <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by pgmrdan:
      Sounds like an application for a dial travel indicator. How far do you need to measure?

      People are always hooking the 2" indicators up for this sort of thing. A dial caliper can also be used if you need around 6" of measurement.
      </font>
      I have seen "horizontal" DRO's with about 6" travel on eBay. Could something like this be adapted?

      BTW - if its really dead ( like throw it away dead ), try opening it up and see if you can fix it. You can't make it any worse.
      They have a bunch of gears inside and sometimes a chip gets past the wipers and seals and jams up the works. You might be able to clean it out if that is the case. This subject has been discussed here and elsewhere before.

      [This message has been edited by Fred White (edited 02-05-2004).]

      [This message has been edited by Fred White (edited 02-05-2004).]

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      • #4
        I now have an indicator on a mighty mag base temporarily...Its just a pain to have to keep moving it, and its not real rigid...

        The trav-a-dial is mounted rigidly right by the thread chasing dial..it travels everywhere the carriage goes without having to move it...it has a roller that rides on the ridges just below the v-way..these rigids on the machine provide the necessary friction to rotate the roller..which then rotates the needle..

        I am definetly spoiled by the trav-a-dial...but 575.00 dollars is a lot right now, because business has been slow..

        Fred..what do you mean only 6" of travel with the DRO?? Yeah, it probably would be a good enough solution, but I still want to go with the way that I am used to..its really a sweet setup...it has a travel as long as the travel with the machine(I don't know exactly what that is, maybe 3 feet or so)..

        I have two of these trav-a-dial...I took one apart and its just a total mess...so many precision gears and springs, and washers,..UGH!!!..they put epoxy over the screws because they don't want anybody trying to repair it..I guess it was a big secret...I don't know, just abunch of gears...

        thanks for the input,

        brent

        [This message has been edited by bspooh (edited 02-05-2004).]

        [This message has been edited by bspooh (edited 02-05-2004).]

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        • #5
          &gt;&gt;&gt; 6" Travel

          I really don't know, but I think its sort of a special version of a 6" digital dial caliper. At first, I saw them as devices to measure the downward movement of a quill on a milling machine. Now I think they make them with the digits of the display so the measurement scale can be mounted horizontally instead of vertically.

          PS---- you could also check for a used Travadial on eBay.

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          • #6
            Thee is always eBay. I try to buy these at auction, and can't touch them, so there is a good market for them.
            You might try www.longislandindicator.com they repair indicators. They do not list Trav a Dial, but may be able to hook you up with someone who does repair.
            They are repairable, and worth fixing.
            Jim H.

            Comment


            • #7
              You might drop a line to http://www.longislandindicator.com and see if they repair them. Or contact the company and see what repairs would cost. It might be they will "repair" any Trav-a-dial for 1/2 the cost of a new one or something...even if it's not repairable.
              ----------
              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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              • #8
                Trav a dials RULE.....

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                • #9
                  Why not ask Them ?

                  http://www.southwesternindustries.com/swi/

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                  • #10
                    You might try finding a GOOD watchmaker. Most cities have watch and clock repairmen, but it's difficult to find good ones these days. Not much of an industry anymore since the advent of battery-powered Casio's and the like. Ask around at jewelry stores to see if they know somebody who is qualified to repair Rolex or Patek Phillipe, etc. watches. They are also plenty skilled enough for precision instrument repair of the kind you require.

                    My older brother is a watchmaker in Key West, FL. If you have no luck locally, or just feel a mediocre vibe from your sources there, you can email and/or talk to him to get some answers. He is one of less than half a dozen people in the US who is certified at his level, so he WILL be able to help you if you need him.

                    [email protected]

                    Good luck

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                    • #11
                      I think that Joe at www.plazamachinery.com or phone 802-234-9673, had a couple of travadials on his used machinery list a while back. Check them out--maybe they still have one. I haven't bought anything from them but I love his list of used stuff--about 30 or so pages, as I recall. I have no connection with them but have read of people who did and were satisfied. Good luck--Mike.

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                      • #12
                        Brent
                        There were a bunch of them on eBay recently and they went for under $100 each. I would check the other sources first and maybe get the old one repaired by Long Island Indicator - it has to be less than the OEM.

                        [This message has been edited by Thrud (edited 02-06-2004).]

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                        • #13
                          Many years ago I got fixed up for a date with a girl whose father was a machinist at Tektronix. On our second date she introduced us in his backyard workshop. He had Trav-a-dials on his Bridgeport, and I said I'd sure like to have a couple on my machine. He said, "Heck, there's a whole box full of them at the model shop. We just installed DRO's on all the machines and I'm sure the Trav-a-dials will go to the company surplus & salvage store someday." I thought, this is terrific. If I stay in good with this guy I'll get advance notice of when they become available. Sadly, the girl dumped me shortly thereafter because there was a substantial age difference between us. Too bad. Sure, she was a nice girl and pretty cute, but what really hurt was losing the inside track on scoring a couple of Trav-a-dials! But, overall, I've had much better luck at machining than romance. (Hmmm... I wonder why.....)

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                          • #14
                            If somebody could just figure out how to make a Mood-y-dial, we gents might have better "luck" in the romance dept.

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                            • #15
                              I bought Ower Gert one of those mood rings.
                              Whan she's in a good mood it changes to all sorts of green shades and whirls.
                              When she's in a bad mood it leaves a bloody great red mark on my forehead.

                              John S.
                              .

                              Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



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