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Must Have Measuring Tools

Discussion in 'METROLOGY - MEASURE, SETUP & FIT' started by Management, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. ariscats

    ariscats Greece Active User Active Member

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    It always is the same old story
    Ariscats
     
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  2. n3480h

    n3480h Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Either I am sorely under-equipped, or I have been creative with what I have. However, with small machines I can get by with less, and my hobby machining rarely requires better than +/-.002" tolerances. Here's what I have and use:
    Starret 0-4 mics
    12" Digital height stand
    Dial indicator (with an "in-house" machined mount so it can be used with the height stand)
    Coaxial dial indicator
    2 Noga Mag bases for the indicators
    Feeler gages
    12 x 18 granite surface plate
    Mitutoyo digital 8" caliper
    6" and 24" steel scales
    A set of 1-2-3 blocks
    Starret telescoping bore gage set

    It would be nice to have a set of good gage blocks and pins, but the above list has met my needs so far.

    Tom
     
  3. Franko

    Franko Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    The most used layout tool I have is a pair of small Starrett double squares, one has a 4" blade and one a 6" blade. They are good for dozens of uses. Laying out cuts and placing holes. Center finding and marking, Transferring dimensions, inside square marking on the inside of angle stock, and indexing parts in an mill vise is just a few examples.

    starrett double square.jpg
     
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  4. Bill C.

    Bill C. United States Active User Active Member

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    Starrett H604R-6, a 6" spring tempered scale was listed in their 2012 catalog. I have one like it a very useful scale.
     
  5. Franko

    Franko Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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  6. chips&more

    chips&more United States Active User Active Member

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    I did just that! Now I have 3,100 sq/ft of crap to the 10’ ceiling! Take some advice from me guys. You can have every tool in the world, but just one life time to use them. And I say it’s not possible to do it. You will find your favorite tools will be a small pile in the shop. When you need that special tool, you will spend hours/days trying to find it in all that crap. I have one lifetime with ten lifetimes of projects. It ain’t gonna happen. Instead of me buying more crap, maybe I’ll just have a garage sale, Dave
     
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  7. Franko

    Franko Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I picked up most of my rules and builder squares in pawn shops, back when things in pawn shops sold for used prices.

    I love tools, but I've not allowed myself to buy one just because I thought I might need it someday. There are very few tools (and I have thousands of them) in my shop that haven't earned their keep.
     
  8. The Liberal Arts Garage

    The Liberal Arts Garage United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Remember stiff joint calipers ? I have a friend ,decades of pouring and
    machining motor bearings, etc. Used plain calipers to repeat tenths ,
    Because it was simpler and faster. It's all in the Touch !........BLJHB.
     
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  9. Bill Gruby

    Bill Gruby United States Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    It is far better to have and not need than it is to need and not have.

    "Billy G"
     
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  10. NCjeeper

    NCjeeper United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    You have a sale date yet? I need more crap. :)
     
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  11. PaPa_Jack

    PaPa_Jack United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Being new to this "Hobby", I thought that the title of this thread could give me some perspective on where do I go from here. I have very few "precision" instruments. Instead of guiding me, I now feel totally intimidated. I know that was not the purpose, but c'mon guys. Give me, a real novice, some guidance about what basic measuring I need to get started. I realize that most of you have acquired all these instruments over many years but you had to start somewhere.

    What basic measuring devices should I attempt to purchase to get me started?


    Jack
     
  12. John Hasler

    John Hasler United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Get a 6" and a 12" steel scale, a 6" digital caliper, a DTI with a simple magnetic mount,, a 4" or 6" machinist's square, and some feeler gauges.
     
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  13. NCjeeper

    NCjeeper United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Grab a digital 1" mic also.
     
  14. John Hasler

    John Hasler United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Nice to have but you can live without it.
     
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  15. PaPa_Jack

    PaPa_Jack United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I was talking to a good friend this morning. He asked how my lathe was coming along. We talked for a while. Aboout 20 minutes ago he stopped by and dropped off a Chicago brand 3 micrometer set and about 20 Hardinge 3c collets. They were mixed in with a lot of tools he got last year when his grandfather passed away. So, at least I can measure accurately to 3 inches now. It's a start.
     
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  16. John Hasler

    John Hasler United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Puts you 2 inches ahead of me.
     
  17. Charles Spencer

    Charles Spencer Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    It's not a tool but I find Dykem to be almost indispensable for marking my work. A 4 oz. bottle has lasted me for years. $5.97 if you have Amazon Prime:

    https://www.amazon.com/Dykem-80300-Steel-Layout-Brush-/dp/B0018ACR6G

    I started with a 1" micrometer, 6" calipers, pocket rule, inside and outside spring calipers, a protractor, a center punch, and a combination square with 6" and 12" rules.

    I cut a 59° drill grinding gage out of sheet metal. I also made a lathe tool bit grinding gage. You can find the pattern for one here:

    http://www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/i-need-some-cutting-tools.49571/#post-417567

    I made a scribe by grinding an old round file.

    I got my hands on a 6" round of steel about 1 1/4" thick. I faced it off and then rotated it on sandpaper to get a reasonably flat surface to work on. I still use this a lot even though I have a surface plate now. It's very handy because it sits within arms reach on the bench.

    The next things that I bought were a 2" micrometer and a dial indicator with a magnetic holder.

    Here's a printable pdf of a Decimal Tap & Drill chart. Very handy for converting measurements as well.

    http://www.imperialsupplies.com/pdf/I_DrillSizeDecimalEquivalent&TapDrillChart.pdf


    You should be able to do a lot with just these items.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2016
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  18. owl

    owl United States Active Member Active Member

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    I haven't yet found a need for a micrometer of over 2", my dial caliper seems to be accurate enough for me for the larger sizes. In that vein, I don't want digital instruments that use batteries, as they seem to go dead and leak before I need that particular tool, but the mechanical digital or dial ones just keep working. I do use a 12' tape a fair amount, especially useful when measuring spaces for rearrangement. Like drill bits, you can never have enough measuring devices that there isn't something out there that would work better for a particular situation. Sometimes work-arounds are half the fun.
     

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