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  • Thoughts On How Tooling Is Marked

    It seems like every time a buy a new tap or end mill they are marked by some different method. I can remember when everything you bought, drills, end mills taps reamers etc. they were all stamped or rolled. Now I get stuff that's laser etched or even worse acid etched.
    I used to complain about not being able to read the fine stamping on some drill bits but that issue is easily addressed by just rubbing some chalk into the markings and wiping it off with your finger. That worked well for black oxide bits. If they were bright steel a red crayon would do the trick. But some of these taps and end mills I have that are silver etched are next to impossible to read and you have to play around with it under a light or near a window to be able to read it and sometimes that doesn't work. I have some small drill bits that are etched in gold markings, that's real easy to see against the black oxide finish. The worst I've had to deal with are the markings on some small reamers, they are black acid etched. Almost impossible to read. They look like they were marked with a worn out felt tip marker and they tend to rust around the etched area. I really wish these companies would standardize the way they mark their products.

    JL.................




  • #2
    My eyes aren't so good anymore, I get the same problem, I've given up trying to read them and mic everything, I'm damned if I can read the numbers.
    In work it was a bit easier as drills were marked before issue with this arc gap engraving thing, it burnt the numbers in, much easier
    Mark

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    • #3
      Sometimes if you can't read the numbers you can turn the tool 90 degrees in a horizontal plane and be able to read them. Some you just aren't going to read. Anymore, I just use digital calipers to measure the drills and go by the decimal size. For reamers I use a mike. This is a lot faster and easier than a drill plate with a bunch of holes in it, especially when you have fractional, number and letter sizes, some of which are very close to each other.

      Comment


      • #4
        What I've started to do for some of my more commonly used sizes is to put them in a block of wood. I tend to use smaller bits that aren't marked, so need to have some method to keep them sorted. The 1/4" tall text sure is a lot easier to read. For things like taps, I put the tap drill in the same row as the tap so I can find it when I need it. (I'm debating buying a pin vise just for the 2-56 tap drill.)

        This might be a situation where just getting the first 10-20% is way more efficient than getting the other 80-90%.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Toolguy View Post
          Sometimes if you can't read the numbers you can turn the tool 90 degrees in a horizontal plane and be able to read them. Some you just aren't going to read. Anymore, I just use digital calipers to measure the drills and go by the decimal size. For reamers I use a mike. This is a lot faster and easier than a drill plate with a bunch of holes in it, especially when you have fractional, number and letter sizes, some of which are very close to each other.
          Yes, that would be like reading Chinese.

          JL............

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          • #6
            Started marking my own, taps especially. Drills I mike and as I use mainly metric drills they are easy to check.

            The other week found a big shed load of Schaublin W20 collets down the scrap yard, [ plus 1/2 the Schaublin as well ] but although they seem good they have had a bad history.



            Most were like the one in the lower picture, original marking faint or none existent and newer marking carved in with an axe. The one above it is a similar collet with the nose radius cleaned up in the lathe with a flap wheel as it's only cosmetic.

            Some were even worse in that all the markings were missing and they had hit the collet nose.



            So again a quick clean up and then bang it on the laser engraver with the nose sprayed with dry moly spray and the size etched on.



            In this case well worth it as these collets are very expensive and worth reselling on to buy even more goodies.
            .

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



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            • #7
              I buy those tools in person at my Dealers premises as I want to see the packet the tools came in - as the material is usually printed on the labels on the box.

              This will always be a potential problem if the tools are bought at clearance sales or on the web.

              Otherwise - use the "spark test" on your pedestal grinder - its not 100% but it can be pretty good and its a lot better then nothing.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spark_testing

              https://www.google.com.au/?gws_rd=ss...for+tool+steel

              http://www.wiete.com.au/journals/GJE...05-Dalke-R.pdf

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              • #8
                I wear an Optivisor a lot so I have no problems.

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                • #9
                  Even the stamped-in wil get squashed by a slip in the chuck... The laser=marked ones are worse , they get smeared to invisibility by a good hard stare.

                  Optivisor is no help with a smeared etch.
                  1601

                  Keep eye on ball.
                  Hashim Khan

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                  • #10
                    +1 on the optivisor. Arms are getting too short.
                    Jim

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                    • #11
                      Maybe get a pair of glasses. It's really not rocket science

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If I make a tool for a specific purpose, out come the steel stamps.
                        I have to mic most of my drill bits and the occasional reamer, but whenever possible they go into their little tube, which I label.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                          Even the stamped-in wil get squashed by a slip in the chuck... The laser=marked ones are worse , they get smeared to invisibility by a good hard stare.

                          Optivisor is no help with a smeared etch.
                          I've found that magnification on the acid etched markings actually makes it harder to read.

                          JL................

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Spark testing to determine the size of a cutting tool? Never heard of that before.

                            Brian

                            Originally posted by oldtiffie View Post
                            I buy those tools in person at my Dealers premises as I want to see the packet the tools came in - as the material is usually printed on the labels on the box.

                            This will always be a potential problem if the tools are bought at clearance sales or on the web.

                            Otherwise - use the "spark test" on your pedestal grinder - its not 100% but it can be pretty good and its a lot better then nothing.

                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spark_testing

                            https://www.google.com.au/?gws_rd=ss...for+tool+steel

                            http://www.wiete.com.au/journals/GJE...05-Dalke-R.pdf
                            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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally Posted by oldtiffie View Post

                              I buy those tools in person at my Dealers premises as I want to see the packet the tools came in - as the material is usually printed on the labels on the box.

                              This will always be a potential problem if the tools are bought at clearance sales or on the web.

                              Otherwise - use the "spark test" on your pedestal grinder - its not 100% but it can be pretty good and its a lot better then nothing.

                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spark_testing

                              https://www.google.com.au/?gws_rd=ss...for+tool+steel

                              http://www.wiete.com.au/journals/GJE...05-Dalke-R.pdf
                              Originally posted by bborr01 View Post
                              Spark testing to determine the size of a cutting tool? Never heard of that before.

                              Brian
                              Its been around - and used - since forever.

                              It is not infallible but it is and can be very useful.

                              I first came in contact with it over 60 years ago both in Apprenticeship mandatory pre-training and as an Apprentice as well as in the shop - both at at the pedestal grinder and at the forge.

                              Selections and types of tool steel were not as sophisticated then as now - but they were very useful never the less.

                              I still use it on occasion.

                              It also works on tool and cutter grinders as well as surface grinders - die grinders too.

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