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expressline99

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#61
Thanks Bob great info. Are the new imports worth a look or should I stick with top brands? This is a tool I'd like to do once if possible. BTW you were right about MSC being close. If I can get this narrowed down I can probably just go get the thing this week. Only a 35 minute drive from my house. Of course on the other hand If I can find a core as you put it. Several of the certification companies come to Reno by scheduled dates from what I see on various sites. Then again might be throwing money down a hole if my core is too far out.

Another part of my study. I bought that DVD set on Ebay for scraping. Part way through it now. I do like how the guy presents fixing squareness issues. Also showing the way measurements are taken for that and parallelism on a Bridgeport mill he is scraping in as demonstration. I'm sure you guys know which one I'm talking about.
 

Bob Korves

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Thanks Bob great info. Are the new imports worth a look or should I stick with top brands? This is a tool I'd like to do once if possible. BTW you were right about MSC being close. If I can get this narrowed down I can probably just go get the thing this week. Only a 35 minute drive from my house. Of course on the other hand If I can find a core as you put it. Several of the certification companies come to Reno by scheduled dates from what I see on various sites. Then again might be throwing money down a hole if my core is too far out.

Another part of my study. I bought that DVD set on Ebay for scraping. Part way through it now. I do like how the guy presents fixing squareness issues. Also showing the way measurements are taken for that and parallelism on a Bridgeport mill he is scraping in as demonstration. I'm sure you guys know which one I'm talking about.
Brands are not important at all. Current certification to traceable US standards by people I can trust is imperative. The guys who came and calibrated our plates, and who do dozens of plates every day, said the Chinese imports are often very good, but also sometimes WAY off. That is caused by inadequate or totally lacking quality control. Again, there is no way of knowing for sure without the special equipment and the skills to use them reliably. I want my reference surfaces, flat, length, and squareness, to be known quantities, not question marks. They are the basis of accuracy, upon which everything else is compared to, the ultimate arbitrators of my modest shop. Anything else is a wild ass guess, my guesses are within known tolerances. It seems silly to me to have a bunch of high resolution tools and tooling, none of which can be trusted because it is all being used with hope that it might be correct. If your two micrometers are giving different readings, how do you know which one is correct? It may or may not be the one in the red box...
 

expressline99

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#63
Brands are not important at all. Current certification to traceable US standards by people I can trust is imperative. The guys who came and calibrated our plates, and who do dozens of plates every day, said the Chinese imports are often very good, but also sometimes WAY off. That is caused by inadequate or totally lacking quality control. Again, there is no way of knowing for sure without the special equipment and the skills to use them reliably. I want my reference surfaces, flat, length, and squareness, to be known quantities, not question marks. They are the basis of accuracy, upon which everything else is compared to, the ultimate arbitrators of my modest shop. Anything else is a wild ass guess, my guesses are within known tolerances. It seems silly to me to have a bunch of high resolution tools and tooling, none of which can be trusted because it is all being used with hope that it might be correct. If your two micrometers are giving different readings, how do you know which one is correct? It may or may not be the one in the red box...
So Traceable brands do matter. After reading that I'm pretty much at a loss unless I buy a new NIST certified plate straight from the manufacturer. Me buying a known core for $50 and being in a place where I can get it certified in the next year is highly unlikely. MSC plates are not traceable unless you buy Starrett from them. If I buy used I could be getting a stone that is just that a rock that can't be re-certified due to excessive wear. So really the simple answer is don't buy import it's a crap shoot. Buy a major brand or forget being able to count on it at all.
 

astjp2

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#65
Front way.jpg Mic.jpg Back way.jpg 32667-09c88d14267cbcea591f0da2f2ad571c.jpg 75630-efec5ae9321b3fe559a7a66eee2b2a81.jpg 75631-ef84b26d41ece5d0c616f6251db2d1b5.jpg 75632-0277c3b27befdadc4f63d32b60292b3f.jpg I used a King way alignment tool that I made from a cast Iron bar and turned on a lathe and milled. I made 2 different sizes, one for the compound and for the crossfeed, a second one for the bed. Here are a few pics of measuring. My original bed was worn .008 and the new one is .0006. I also have a used 4'x6'x8" plate that Bebop checked and said that was a Grade B overall and was grade A on about half of it. Good enough to scrape a hobby lathe. I still have a lot do to on this lathe. I had to stop because of school and work. Now that school is over, I can get back to some of my hobby. Tim Front way.jpg Mic.jpg .
 

expressline99

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#66
[QUOTE="astjp2, post: 492602, member: 26280"I used a King way alignment tool that I made from a cast Iron bar and turned on a lathe and milled. I made 2 different sizes, one for the compound and for the crossfeed, a second one for the bed. Here are a few pics of measuring. My original bed was worn .008 and the new one is .0006. I also have a used 4'x6'x8" plate that Bebop checked and said that was a Grade B overall and was grade A on about half of it. Good enough to scrape a hobby lathe. I still have a lot do to on this lathe. I had to stop because of school and work. Now that school is over, I can get back to some of my hobby. Tim .[/QUOTE]

Great pictures! That's a tool I'd love to have. That plate is huge. Are you self taught on the scraping or have you taken the class?
 

4gsr

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#67
The only real problem I have with the Kingway alignment checking tool is with the way it is used. Almost everyone uses the tailstock ways to run the alignment tool on. How do you know the tailstock ways are not worn, too?
Did you run the indicator against a unworn area of the bed, like between the ways, to determine if there was any wear on the tailstock ways?

BTW- Nice job on the saddle scraping and cross slide, too.
 

astjp2

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#68
There are 2 inverted v's and 2 flats, the saddle only runs on one inverted V, the front one, the back one is only used to mount the tail stock and steady rest, so I used those as my "true surface" to measure from after I measured the bed using about 8 different methods, you can also stick out the .0005 indicator towards the head several inches and see the drop on the original bed if you only have one inverted V, the second bed required a .0001 indicator. The bed on the back side was actually worn below the flat surface on the bottom side several thou' you can measure this with the mic in conjunction with the indicator on top. The indicator validates the drop in the bed if the saddle has worn the top, which it typically will not happen because the cutter causes the back of the saddle to rise from what I have measured.

I paid $300 for the slab and the table was given to me, I had to weld some supports for the 3 mounting pads, and make it have adjustable feet. I used cannode blue and yellow to scrape in, the blue by itself works but the yellow highlights where I need to scrape. I have a lot more scraping to do, I need to make a carbide end that is thin enough to get into the dovetails. Bebop gave me some pointers over at my shop a couple of times, I will need to seek his help again when I get back into it in a few months after my second job winds down. Making the tooling is not hard, you just need to find a few precision rods, snugs which I got from McMaster Carr, and Carr Lane carries the precision ball that I mounted. I also have a carbide endmill insert that is round that I use as a slide, its hard surface that runs across and does not want to dig into the surface you are measuring. here is the link to my plate build. http://www.hobbymachinist.org/threads/surface-plate-info.19585/ 27667-3b7fbe358e10877b01f67627c570f0e8.jpg 27668-54d8fc809d3aca01afd72bf3ecc918e8.jpg
 
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Bob Korves

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#70
So Traceable brands do matter. After reading that I'm pretty much at a loss unless I buy a new NIST certified plate straight from the manufacturer. Me buying a known core for $50 and being in a place where I can get it certified in the next year is highly unlikely. MSC plates are not traceable unless you buy Starrett from them. If I buy used I could be getting a stone that is just that a rock that can't be re-certified due to excessive wear. So really the simple answer is don't buy import it's a crap shoot. Buy a major brand or forget being able to count on it at all.
It is not the brands that matter. It is that the calibration tools are calibrated to NIST, and the techs know and care what the hell they are doing. Standridge Granite goes on a road trip which includes going to Reno from their home in Southern California several times each year. They would be happy to stop by and calibrate and certify your plate for you. BUT, there is a mileage charge and a minimum invoice charge, which will make it prohibitively high priced all said and done. We had Standridge come by my shop and cert. 5 plates from 4 owners. Together, we shared the mileage charge and had enough work to make the minimum invoice, so it was quite a bit cheaper that way. They can all be calibrated, regardless of wear, Standridge charges extra for over .001" out, but they let mine go for the regular price with .003" out. It only took them about 20 minutes to calibrate and certify it. Good company, friendly and helpful techs, love to talk while they work and answer questions, and deliver more than what they promise.

My point is that if you have to trust someone, use someone you can trust.
 

4gsr

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There are 2 inverted v's and 2 flats, the saddle only runs on one inverted V, the front one, the back one is only used to mount the tail stock and steady rest, so I used those as my "true surface" to measure from after I measured the bed using about 8 different methods, you can also stick out the .0005 indicator towards the head several inches and see the drop on the original bed if you only have one inverted V, the second bed required a .0001 indicator. The bed on the back side was actually worn below the flat surface on the bottom side several thou' you can measure this with the mic in conjunction with the indicator on top. The indicator validates the drop in the bed if the saddle has worn the top, which it typically will not happen because the cutter causes the back of the saddle to rise from what I have measured.

...... View attachment 235353 View attachment 235354
That still does not answer my question about the tailstock ways being straight. How do you know they are not worn?
 

tertiaryjim

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#72
The price of new is really high. Too high for most of us as a hobby or when just doing a few machines.
If you find a quality plate, like that pink rock you can do some basic checks and probably come away with a goodn.
Look for scratches. You have to look from all elevations and circle the whole plate. Sunlight is great but if its at the wrong angle it will
hide scratches.
Lightly run your open hand over the plate to feel for damage.
Light is very important and a light you can move around to make scratches show while you look from differing positions is needed.
Look for proper mounting of the plate and that it was covered and not used as a table.
Look for chips.
There's information if you do a search for checking them with an indicator.

You can actually scrape a part so flat that it will let you feel some minor flaws in the plate.
Some good deals come up if you watch craigs list n such but you might have to wait awhile.
For the price you spoke of I would expect it to have a nice stand and be in perfect condition and maybe be delivered.
Perhaps they should have it calibrated too. But I'm kinda cheap.
 

4gsr

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#73
Going by Jim's comments above on buying a used surface plate. I have a Starrett pink granite plate I picked up a while back. Actually had it shipped to me. The seller was nice enough to put a piece of beaver board over the top to keep it from being damaged. It's a 18 x 24 two ledge that is almost 7" thick! The surface is smooth with a edge that was nicked. Other than that, a nice surface plate. I don't trust it for scraping, for laying out and other uses, it's good enough. One of these days, I'll get it checked and calibrated. My other surface plate is a 18 x 24 Trustone, I think that's the name, now part of Starret. It had some kind of fixture attached to it when I got it. Very obvious, this plate was used very little in it's life. Does have a calibration sticker on it from 2000 something and calibrated to "A" precision. After using it for scraping and fitting, I'm beginning to think it is closer to a "AA" precision plate! So, there are good plates out there, just have be very selective in choosing one that is in good shape for our kind of work.
 

astjp2

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#74
If you put the indicator on the tailstock ways, about 5" away, along it, you will see it dip if its having a problem. Look at the two outer pictures of the 3 in a row posted above, if you set up like the one on the right and put the indicator on the back inverted way like its shown on the left, you will see it dip if its worn when you move along it. I need to take a picture of what I mean but my shop is chaos so it wont happen for a while....
 

expressline99

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#75
It is not the brands that matter. It is that the calibration tools are calibrated to NIST, and the techs know and care what the hell they are doing. Standridge Granite goes on a road trip which includes going to Reno from their home in Southern California several times each year. They would be happy to stop by and calibrate and certify your plate for you. BUT, there is a mileage charge and a minimum invoice charge, which will make it prohibitively high priced all said and done. We had Standridge come by my shop and cert. 5 plates from 4 owners. Together, we shared the mileage charge and had enough work to make the minimum invoice, so it was quite a bit cheaper that way. They can all be calibrated, regardless of wear, Standridge charges extra for over .001" out, but they let mine go for the regular price with .003" out. It only took them about 20 minutes to calibrate and certify it. Good company, friendly and helpful techs, love to talk while they work and answer questions, and deliver more than what they promise.

My point is that if you have to trust someone, use someone you can trust.
Bob, Shars says they can provide a NIST traceable plate for an extra $75.00 would this fit the bill? If not I'm about to buy a new one from either ACE, Standridge, or perhaps Precision.
 

expressline99

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#76
Going by Jim's comments above on buying a used surface plate. I have a Starrett pink granite plate I picked up a while back. Actually had it shipped to me. The seller was nice enough to put a piece of beaver board over the top to keep it from being damaged. It's a 18 x 24 two ledge that is almost 7" thick! The surface is smooth with a edge that was nicked. Other than that, a nice surface plate. I don't trust it for scraping, for laying out and other uses, it's good enough. One of these days, I'll get it checked and calibrated. My other surface plate is a 18 x 24 Trustone, I think that's the name, now part of Starret. It had some kind of fixture attached to it when I got it. Very obvious, this plate was used very little in it's life. Does have a calibration sticker on it from 2000 something and calibrated to "A" precision. After using it for scraping and fitting, I'm beginning to think it is closer to a "AA" precision plate! So, there are good plates out there, just have be very selective in choosing one that is in good shape for our kind of work.
Wow 7" thick? Heavy and close to AA! Seems lots of people buy used plates but being savvy enough to even get close on the quality is a long shot. For me it might be too far out there yet. The more I read the more I don't trust myself to determine a value on one. Bob's at $50 if you can't get a recent quality report. The 500$ plate getting re certified shipped etc. It's out the window and feasibility...wouldn't come out ahead on that one. MSCdirect has plates but aren't NIST unless you get their only branded one Starrett. Bummer because their warehouse is so close.

Another thing I'm trying to figure out is size. I think 24x24 might be the way to do. I know for sure putting something like a cross slide on it would be no problem. Plus that's the same width of my workbench. Thus I can build a table for it at a good height at the end. (3 pointer as per other thread and astjp2's table build.)

Paul
 

expressline99

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#77
The price of new is really high. Too high for most of us as a hobby or when just doing a few machines.
If you find a quality plate, like that pink rock you can do some basic checks and probably come away with a goodn.
Look for scratches. You have to look from all elevations and circle the whole plate. Sunlight is great but if its at the wrong angle it will
hide scratches.
Lightly run your open hand over the plate to feel for damage.
Light is very important and a light you can move around to make scratches show while you look from differing positions is needed.
Look for proper mounting of the plate and that it was covered and not used as a table.
Look for chips.
There's information if you do a search for checking them with an indicator.

You can actually scrape a part so flat that it will let you feel some minor flaws in the plate.
Some good deals come up if you watch craigs list n such but you might have to wait awhile.
For the price you spoke of I would expect it to have a nice stand and be in perfect condition and maybe be delivered.
Perhaps they should have it calibrated too. But I'm kinda cheap.
My lack of experience is pushing hard in the direction of new. I think if I had the years into it like you and the other guys have I could get close.
Yeah, on the pink plate I think I should probably skip it. It's in the middle of the country. If I was going to do it. I'd send it directly to Starrett to re calibrate. But then the cost is getting over new price...

I am going to build a table similar to yours though. I've got a decent mig I can use. I certainly am not as good as the unit is!

Paul
 

Dabbler

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#78
Paul, you can get an A quality plate from 18X24 Standridge's for about 385$ US. More for shipping, of course - Nevada's no too far! Better than a used plate for $400 or more... (I have no affiliation to Standridge, nor am I a customer, just an example.)
 

expressline99

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Paul, you can get an A quality plate from 18X24 Standridge's for about 385$ US. More for shipping, of course - Nevada's no too far! Better than a used plate for $400 or more... (I have no affiliation to Standridge, nor am I a customer, just an example.)
You got a point! I've probably spent more time talking about it than making the money to buy it! :)
 

expressline99

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#80
Maybe the question should be if you guys were going to buy a new 24x24 grade A what would you get(from the west coast)? I'm thinking the slides will fit nicely on it once I get that far.
 

Bob Korves

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#81
Bob, Shars says they can provide a NIST traceable plate for an extra $75.00 would this fit the bill? If not I'm about to buy a new one from either ACE, Standridge, or perhaps Precision.
Paul, it is not so much the NIST certification, which can be pencil whipped very easily. This is an item that you cannot test yourself. Pick people you can trust. If you get a used one, get it certified after purchase by well regarded pros. It is a reference surface, that your work, tools, tooling, and scraping will count on to be what it says it is. I am a really frugal guy, always looking for a better deal, but I don't want to be second guessing if my surface plate is adequately flat or not. Contrary to hearsay and advice in this thread, you cannot tell if a surface plate is suitably accurate or not with what we typically have in our modest shops. If someone does not care, then fine, go for it. Just know that you are constantly guessing. On layout work and other lower accuracy work, it does not matter. For setting a sandwich and a cup of coffee on , it does not matter. On a precision scraping job or machine rehab, it does matter. For metrology work, it does matter. For testing your tools and tooling, it does matter.
 

Dabbler

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#82
Let me add my vote to what Bob has said. There are only a few items in your shop that have to be fully trustworthy - things that are very difficult to verify, but used as a reference for everything else. Surface plate, cylindrical square or granite square and your gauge blocks are the best examples of this. You can check everything else in your shop with these and a good test indicator.

If you surface plate is in question then I can't imagine how to calibrate everything else.
 

expressline99

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Let me add my vote to what Bob has said. There are only a few items in your shop that have to be fully trustworthy - things that are very difficult to verify, but used as a reference for everything else. Surface plate, cylindrical square or granite square and your gauge blocks are the best examples of this. You can check everything else in your shop with these and a good test indicator.

If you surface plate is in question then I can't imagine how to calibrate everything else.
I'm taking action on this right now. Should have the decision made tomorrow. :) Then we can move on to using it to scrape in a home made straight edge.
 

Bob Korves

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#85
OK I bought a new Standridge 24x24x3 Grade A. Hopefully I'll get it delivered next week. If that isn't good enough I don't know what else to do.
Good choice, Paul. It is certainly good enough. AA is for temperature controlled metrology labs, not for home shops. AA will of course work fine, but is simply not needed in a home shop
 

Bob Korves

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#86
Paul, here is the Federal standard for surface plates:
http://standridgegranite.com/forms/fed-spec-ggg-p-463c
The area that describes flatness is section 3.3.4. For a 24x24" plate, the maximum deviation tolerance over the entire plate is 150 microinches, which is .00015". "150 millionths" sounds even better. ;) Grade B is double that, grade AA is half of that. If Standridge does the same quality of work in their shop that their road service guys did on ours, the plate they send you will be calibrated to AA tolerance. They deliver more than they promise. Having been made and calibrated in their factory, with higher end test equipment available, I think exceeding the specs is likely. Standridge is a class act company in a business where reputation is everything. Manufacturers and high end shops depend on Standridge, their reputations matter as well, and returned work for out of tolerance is a black mark. In our hobby shops, we just smile and rest easy because we trust that they have done their work correctly and tested it thoroughly.

Make sure that you set the plate up according to the instructions. It will be best installed where sunlight through a window does not shine on it, and in an area with minimum temperature variations. Just do the best you can with what you have...
http://standridgegranite.com/forms/installation-instructions
 
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expressline99

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#87
My plate arrived today at my warehouse. So it's sitting there in a crate waiting to be unpacked. But I have to build the stand now.
 

Bob Korves

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#88
Your plate being 24 x 24" will give you diagonals just under 34". You should be able to spot in a 30" straightedge on your new plate on the diagonals. Ideally a lathe bed is tested and marked with a straightedge longer than the bed by a few inches. It is possible to do it with a shorter straightedge and doing overlapping work, but you will need to get up to speed on doing that. But that is well down the road. Other than that, your surface plate should do just about everything you need it to. Congratulations! I would have had to open it and look at it and rub it gently... :)
 

expressline99

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#89
Your plate being 24 x 24" will give you diagonals just under 34". You should be able to spot in a 30" straightedge on your new plate on the diagonals. Ideally a lathe bed is tested and marked with a straightedge longer than the bed by a few inches. It is possible to do it with a shorter straightedge and doing overlapping work, but you will need to get up to speed on doing that. But that is well down the road. Other than that, your surface plate should do just about everything you need it to. Congratulations! I would have had to open it and look at it and rub it gently... :)
I had to move it with the forklift twice. I was very gentle. Exciting times! Hopefully I can pickup the 2" square tubing this week! I moved my table saw out of the garage last weekend to make room for the plate to live. The overlap should be interesting. But I have to make it through having the bed level...

ah I almost forgot the new lathe legs are painted now. So more work towards the chip pan.
The bed is 7" wide at the most. 5" between centers of the vees. So what size of level will I need. Getting closer to being able to scrape something! :)
 

Bob Korves

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#90
The bed is 7" wide at the most. 5" between centers of the vees. So what size of level will I need. Getting closer to being able to scrape something!
Wide enough to reach across the ways to level them. I would not buy one longer than that, the length will be in the way on other jobs. Trusted (that means tested) parallels can be used to bridge longer work.
 
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