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Discussion in 'METROLOGY - MEASURE, SETUP & FIT' started by Management, Sep 27, 2010.
It always is the same old story
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
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.
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 H604R-6, a 6" spring tempered scale was listed in their 2012 catalog. I have one like it a very useful scale.
Amazon sells them.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_s...ett hook rule&sprefix=starrett+hook,tools,223
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
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.
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.
It is far better to have and not need than it is to need and not have.
You have a sale date yet? I need more crap.
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?
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.
Grab a digital 1" mic also.
Nice to have but you can live without it.
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.
Puts you 2 inches ahead of me.
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:
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:
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.
You should be able to do a lot with just these items.
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.