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Large dials for an Atlas mill

Discussion in 'ATLAS, CRAFTSMAN & AA' started by JPMacG, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. JPMacG

    JPMacG Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I found the dials on my Atlas mill difficult to read. Besides being small, the engraving was weak. I had to use a magnifying glass and a flashlight.

    There is a guy on eBay who sells engraved 6061 rounds. Each piece has engravings for three dials. I saw his eBay listing but thought the price was too high - until - I viewed the Tubal Cain video on making dials and saw how much of an effort it was for him. So I went ahead and purchased the engraved round. I cut the part into three dials, bored the IDs to fit the atlas, polished using a buffing wheel and compound, filled the engravings with a black lacquer stick, and added thumb screws. I made the stationary parts out of some scraps of 12L14. The dial for the X axis is going to be more difficult.

    IMG_1153.JPG
     
    Tim9, Glenn Brooks, f350ca and 6 others like this.
  2. wawoodman

    wawoodman himself, himself H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Looks like a great job!
     
  3. tweinke

    tweinke United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Would you be able to post a link to that ebay listing that might be handy. nice job on the dials by the way!
     
  4. JPMacG

    JPMacG Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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  5. woochucker

    woochucker United States Active Member Active Member

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    I made large dials for my SB 9, I didn't find it too much work. A few hours to make 1. I had 200 lines on the dial, as I wanted to go to direct reading.
    See http://imgur.com/a/bpq3M
     
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  6. tweinke

    tweinke United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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  7. ndnchf

    ndnchf United States Active Member Active Member

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    Wow - those look great. I'd love to make a set for my Atlas 12x24. My aging eyes struggle with the original dials.
     
  8. Billh50

    Billh50 Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I may make a set for the Atlas if the weather ever lets up so it can be delivered.
     
  9. JPMacG

    JPMacG Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Very nice work woochucker. Tubal Cain's method was similar to yours. Is 200 a common saw blade tooth count?
     
  10. Rob

    Rob United States Active Member Active Member

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    Home Depot sells a 10" one for $10.00.
     
  11. wa5cab

    wa5cab Downloads Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    They also sell one with 100 teeth. Of course, everyone is free to set their machines up as they wish. And some machinists do think that the so-called "direct reading" cross feed dials are the way to go. But not all will agree with that. One should also consider the cases where it would be a disadvantage to convert a machine from normal before doing it.
     
  12. Rob

    Rob United States Active Member Active Member

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    I agree, one of the reasons to go to a larger dial is to make it easier to read. If you then make it 200 div it is just crowding it up again. I did use the 200T to make a 100 div dial just used every other tooth.
     
  13. wa5cab

    wa5cab Downloads Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Yes, there is that as well.
     
  14. VSAncona

    VSAncona Active User Active Member

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    On a lathe, it makes sense to go to a dial with 200 divisions because you are reducing the diameter of the stock. But on a mill I don't really see the benefit. I would actually find it more confusing.
     
  15. Billh50

    Billh50 Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Bridgeport's have a 200 division dial. It has to do with the pitch of the lead screw. If they had only 100 divisions every line would be .002 movement instead of .001
     
  16. woochucker

    woochucker United States Active Member Active Member

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    I got my idea (well not mine) from Tubalcain. The cost for dials on EBAY is the $300 range. When I found that the ply blade I had from the 1970's (7" blade) was 200 teeth I was shocked. I had to count it a few times. If I do another dial I will make the etches deeper. I love direct reading.. So much more accurate now. I would never go back to 100..

    I don't know if it's common, I just had it.
     
  17. wa5cab

    wa5cab Downloads Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Well, each to his own. Just remember to double everything if you are threading, milling or using a DOC table.
     
  18. woochucker

    woochucker United States Active Member Active Member

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    There's no need to double anything. when you use a dial that is moving .001 per .001 you need to 1/2 your cut. When you use direct reading, when you are shooting for a .325 and you are at .335, you only need to move the dial .010, with the my old dial, I had to divide by .5 and move .05 So for my preference, I am much quicker, more accurate (due to less F ups), and much happier.
     
  19. wa5cab

    wa5cab Downloads Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Nope. Most of the cuts made on a lathe are governed by trying to remove metal as quickly as possible. About a month ago, I had to make a part out of a 3" diameter chunk of 4140 that was all that I could find for the job late Friday afternoon. The largest diameter on the finished part was 1-1/2". And that dimension wasn't critical anyway. It was just a handle. The actual important work didn't start until two-thirds of the billet was reduced to shavings. Which took half the night.

    Then there are plenty of other cases where the critical dimension is how far the cross slide moves, threading, grooving and milling being three.
     
  20. mattygee

    mattygee United States Active Member Active Member

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    I purchased the dial blank and made a set for a 12" craftsman commercial lathe I just restored. As previously mentioned, not cheap but a nice item. I added thrust bearings so it was a little more work. A write up of the job is over at machinist web.
     
  21. welderr

    welderr United States Iron Registered Member

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    I really like those dials, I seem to have a daily battle after supper out in the shop what is gonna give out first the eyes or the knees Tylenol buys me some time with the knees but this might give the eyes a chance, might try cleaning the dials and the black background first though, thanks for the idea. T J
     
  22. Silverbullet

    Silverbullet Active Member Active Member

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    I don't know if I trust dials that much. Anytime I worked on machines I set up indicators to show the amount of movements don't trust them for precision.
    Just the way we had to work with old machines I guess , hard to change from the old way I guess for me. An old Scotsman taught me to never trust them. With his brough even his cussing was funny but he knew how to machine metal tricks he taught me helped get ahead , before I got screwed up by doctors in operating room. Good ole Alec ,, taught me how throw anything and make it stick . Knives screw drivers axes spikes. On breaks we let off steam .
     

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