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wigglers or edge finders?

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  • wigglers or edge finders?

    which is better? or do you use both?

  • #2
    One really needs both tools. Wiggler to line up on scribe lines and edge finder for, well, finding edges.

    Pete
    1973 SB 10K .
    BenchMaster mill.

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    • #3
      You need both, as they each have different purposes.
      _____________________________________________

      I would rather have tools that I never use, than not have a tool I need.
      Oregon Coast

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      • #4
        With the ball rod/attachment the wiggler could be used as a edge finder, but as stated above it's much better to use a edge finder. A complete wiggler set also has a round tip rod for picking up a edge in a narrow slot for instance.
        Also, besides the pointer for picking up scribed lines there is a rod for holding a test indicator to sweep a bore, etc.
        Toolznthings

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        • #5
          And, there are two kinds of edge finders. The cylindrical ones that "kick out" or shift will get you within a thousandth or two. The kind you use with an indicator, sometimes called a "toolmaker's chair) can get you to a tenth if you need that accuracy.

          I had an old toolmaker show me a trick that I hadn't figured out myself. You don't really need to put the edge finder on the edge you're trying to locate. You can park it anywhere, then maneuver the table so the indictor reads exactly zero on both side of the chair. They're commonly a .4000" or maybe .5000". Once zeroed, you can move to any edge you want to find and know with confidence that you exactly .2000" (or .2500") away and can set your dials accordingly.
          .
          "People will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time they will pick themselves up and carry on" : Winston Churchill

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          • #6
            The wiggler is primarily for locating at a pair of cross lines and I feel, with it, I can get within a thousandth. That is about the best that I would guarantee my layout lines to, so fair enough.

            The edge finders are better at finding edges. I have both the "snap" type and the electric light type and I have used both of them. Here's why:

            I have used the electric one a lot in the past, but I recently watched a video by Don Bailey on edge finders and he seemed to prefer the click type. I was almost convinced, when he said it was good for a thousandth or two. OKaaaaaaaay! I was accustomed to splitting thousandths with my electric one.

            His logic was that the electric type requires a known good collet, other wise it is going to add the collet error to the reading. But the click type is self centering. That is true, as far as it goes. But I was aware of that and, even from the first day that I used the electric one, I always had compensated for that by rotating the the spindle by hand to find the high and low spots and placed it half way between them. And yes, there are high and low spots when you use them. He also felt that a couple of thousandths were good enough for most work, and that may be true, I don't know as I haven't done "most" work.

            Here are my thoughts on these two types:

            Electric type:
            1. It is used with the spindle not rotating. This will produce less wear on it's tip. I LIKE that.
            2. It can be highly accurate if used carefully. Splitting thousandths is easy.
            3. It takes longer to use because several precautions must be taken.
            . A. The tip if fixed, not floating so you must take care not to crash into the work as that will distort it and render it less accurate. I have a tapered, conductive shim that I use to know just how far I am from the work as I get closer.
            . B. It does include any run out of the collet so you need to take that into account. This takes extra time.
            . C. The contact between the probe tip and the work can be intermittent. Sometimes you can even go several thousandths past the actual point of contact before you get any indication of the light. This will definitely distort the position of that tip. So extra caution must be taken to avoid this by using conductive shims and also rotating the spindle as you approach contact. I find that aluminum foil shims (0.0007") are very helpful for this.

            Click type:
            1. The spindle must be rotating at a medium speed for it to work. This will produce wear on the tip. I do not like that.
            2. It is less accurate than the electric type, at least on the first and probably on the second approach. I find that I will go around three or five thousandths past contact on the first approach and perhaps two thousands on the second one. If I want the best accuracy, I need to do a third and perhaps a fourth approach for the best accuracy. I try to get it down to two in a row that come out the same.
            3. The tip is not fixed, it is floating so going past the initial contact does no harm unless you leave it there with the spindle rotation for several hours. I don't recommend that: I withdraw it as soon as I read the position on the dial.
            4. It truly does compensate for, NO IT IGNORES any run out in the spindle or collet. This is built in to it and you do not even have to worry about it.
            5. It WILL click when you go past the first contact. There is zero chance of this not happening if the spindle is rotating. You only need to stop feeding the screw at that point. This is why I like to do it several times.

            As I said, I use both types: the click type for faster, but less accurate work and the electric type for more accurate work when I can take more time.

            I have a ball type tip for my wiggler but I haven't tried it much for edge finding. So that, in my mind, is up in the air. One thing about it, it gives a real positive indication when you pass the edge. Hopefully your fingers are not in the way. I guess you/your fingers get accustomed to that and learn how to avoid it.

            I don't have any of those chair finders yet. So I can't comment. I do know that I do not like needing to read an indicator from two opposite sides: PITA IMHO.

            I have a wild idea in the back of my head for a truly electronic finder. It would attempt to overcome the occasional bad contact between the finder and the work by either using amplification or some kind of proximity sensing or perhaps both. It would be real nice if it could reliably provide a series of readings like 0.010", 0.005", 0.002", 0.001", and perhaps even 0.0002" before actual contact. I would also like to interface it with a CNC system so that a motor (stepper?) could provide the movement and stop at the contact point. And yes, I am sure that many CNC systems can do this. But where's the fun in that; I want to do it myself. I have a lot of ideas and this is not at the top of the list, so it may never happen.



            Originally posted by TGTool View Post
            And, there are two kinds of edge finders. The cylindrical ones that "kick out" or shift will get you within a thousandth or two. The kind you use with an indicator, sometimes called a "toolmaker's chair) can get you to a tenth if you need that accuracy.

            I had an old toolmaker show me a trick that I hadn't figured out myself. You don't really need to put the edge finder on the edge you're trying to locate. You can park it anywhere, then maneuver the table so the indictor reads exactly zero on both side of the chair. They're commonly a .4000" or maybe .5000". Once zeroed, you can move to any edge you want to find and know with confidence that you exactly .2000" (or .2500") away and can set your dials accordingly.
            Paul A.
            SE Texas

            Make it fit.
            You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by TGTool View Post
              And, there are two kinds of edge finders. The cylindrical ones that "kick out" or shift will get you within a thousandth or two. The kind you use with an indicator, sometimes called a "toolmaker's chair) can get you to a tenth if you need that accuracy.
              I've shown a lot of guys the chair type and the large majority were seeing it for the first time...I'd speculate its more a toolmaking thing than machining. Speculation is based on my own limited use of the chair as being within a thou for milling is almost always good enough; I thought it was neat when I discovered it but I don't use it often
              .

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post
                I've shown a lot of guys the chair type and the large majority were seeing it for the first time...I'd speculate its more a toolmaking thing than machining. Speculation is based on my own limited use of the chair as being within a thou for milling is almost always good enough; I thought it was neat when I discovered it but I don't use it often
                It may be true that it has limited use. We used regular edge finders for most stuff and the chair type for the jig grinder where we really needed the accuracy. For trapped hole location you don't need anything closer than several thousandths. For die sections where you're finish grinding punch locations a couple thousandths is way off. Still nice to know how to pull it off when it's really needed.
                .
                "People will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time they will pick themselves up and carry on" : Winston Churchill

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                • #9
                  I have both. Use the edge finder all the time. Can't remember the last time I used the wiggler.
                  It's all mind over matter.
                  If you don't mind, it don't matter.

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                  • #10
                    I've been using an edge finder and the coax. For laid out holes I've been using a 90* spotting drill. I just recently bought a wiggler set. Haven't even used it yet. They seem more applicable to small holes or picking up on features that already exist. But they're cheap enough to add to the tool box in any case.

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                    • #11
                      I use edge finders several times a day. The ones I have are repeatable to a tenth or two. I have several kinds, some with one end, some with 2. I mainly use the "Super Jump" ones, as they are more sensitive. These ones have a 3/8" shank, a .550 body, and either a .200 or .400 contact end. With the double ended ones that have a straight on one end and a point on the other end, I use the point with it not turning to locate a small hole (less than 1/4") center by putting into to hole till it stops, then lining up the edges all round, or with it turning like normal, put just the point in and touch off the 4 sides like with a straight one.

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