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Horizontal Test Indicator For Setting Mill's Vise?

Discussion in 'MACHINE ACCESSORIES (Tables, Vises, Indexers)' started by Alan H, Dec 7, 2016.

  1. Alan H

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

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    Looking to buy a Horizontal Test Indicator for setting/squaring the vise on my milling machine.

    Looks like you can spend a little or you could spend a lot.

    I want to buy once but also do not need to spend extra money for "brand/logo" on the face.

    Is a 0.0005" graduation adequate? Of course the smaller you go gets you less range. This one gets you 30 thou range.
    miti test indicator.jpg

    What is your experience?
     
  2. T Bredehoft

    T Bredehoft Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    It's certainly adequate. the needle moves about .0001 for it's width, that's really better than you really need for squaring (paralleling) a vice. I've kee'd my vice, it's usually within .002 or 3. Range is of no use in this case.
     
  3. mksj

    mksj Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    There are some of these indicators that have a revolution counter so you can get both precision and range. Although chasing 0.0001" is not practical at our level and you will be chasing your tail with a vise. Sometimes you can find some NOS at a reasonable price, but really depends on how much you want to spend. Buying used with no guarantee can be a problem, as some of these may have been crashed, damaged or worn out. I do have both and an Interapid and a Compac, the latter is often over looked and is the very similar/if not the same as the Interapid but can sell for less. They all have gone up significantly in the last couple of years. There are different styles/mounts and clutches. On the lathe I use a Starett 25-511 with various points, wide range and big dial for my tired eyes.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Compac-Dial-Indicator-215A-0001-/142194562801
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/INTERAPID-3...-Test-Indicator-Graduation-0001-/192045983778
     
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  4. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    A .0005" resolution indicator is about right for tramming a milling machine vise. The style in the photo you posted works well, and used properly you will not need a mirror...
     
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  5. JimDawson

    JimDawson Global Moderator Staff Member Director

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    That is exactly the indicator I use for tramming my vice. Works well
     
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  6. Alan H

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

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    Mark, did a little research and looks both Intrepid and Compac are made by the same Swiss company. The outfit also now owns Brown and Shrape as well. Thanks for the tip.
     
  7. Alan H

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

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    I dug deep in the shop tonight and found an old one I had. I thought I had one but could not find it! ( 0.0005" - 0.03 range)

    I got this thing from a construction company that closed its doors many moons ago. I think I will just use this one until I get a large dial Compac at a reasonable price.

    enco case.JPG

    enco 2.jpg
     
  8. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    That is probably a pretty nice indicator. The old Enco tools from when they were in Chicago, like that indicator, which is made in Japan, are often reasonably high quality tools. Try it without preconception and see how it does. It might even be made by Mitutoyo, though more likely not. If it is in good working condition, it should be more than adequate for tramming your vise. If it is gummy and repeats poorly, sent it in for a cleanup and adjustment.
     
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  9. ddickey

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

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    Beware of Intrepid fakes. The article said the price will give them away.
     
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  10. kwoodhands

    kwoodhands United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I use a no indicator method that is very accurate. I had a piece of 4" x 12" x 5/16" steel plate that was very flat. I cut a notch in the bottom to fit over the vice bed and into the table slots. I pack the back of the plate with a 123 block and a couple of parallels so the plate will close to a slot The jaws are then tightened. The vice bolts are a bit loose so I can pull the vice towards me a bit until the plate is snug against a table slot. Then tighten the nuts. Usually takes less than 5 minutes to square the vice to the slots. The first few times I tried this I checked with an indicator. Don't recall anymore but I do know the vice was as good as I ever got or better with an indicator. I stopped using the indicator for squaring a vice 10 years ago.
    If the plate is flat and the vice is pulled tight to the slot this will suffice for most work.
    mike
     
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  11. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    That sounds like it works well, kwoodhands. I just use keys in the bottom of the chuck that fit the chuck slots snugly and the table t-slots snugly as well. The vise is within .001" over six inches by just doing that, and by bumping it gently backwards into the t-slots it is within .0005" over six inches. Time spent is just tightening the bolts. Don't waste time chasing your chuck around the table with nothing to guide it toward being parallel. I also use no indicator unless checking it for really fussy work.
     
  12. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    "Interapid"
     
  13. petertha

    petertha Canada H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    That's the DTI I use. I'm slowly turning into a Mitutoyo fan boy, but that's mostly influenced by better prices where I happen to live over some other good brands. Plus all the dovetail holder do-dads fit between one another which is sometimes not the case depending on other brands.

    The posts so far summarized my squaring efforts. Everyone's mill vise & table is a bit different. In my case the T-slots are kind of not-so-great finish so I had inconsistent results trying to secure the vise when aligned to slots using a jig bar. Plus I always seem to have chips in there which takes me even more time. My vice is ground on the sides, no external casting bumps. So first I square aligned to that & the front edge of mill table. That puts me very close. Then I tram the DTI against a ground parallel held in jaws which extends a bit on either side of jaws & is very smooth.

    I semi tighten one of the hold-downs but leave the others hand tight. Then tram the DTI under power (a nice convenience but not necessary) & then lightly tap the vise with small plastic mallet to 'stop' the DTI needle movement as it progresses. By clamping one corner only, it kind of promotes the vise to rotate as opposed to rotate + in/out displace with unwanted junk movement that makes DTI reading more confusing. There might be a Youtube but after a few practice runs you get the hang of it & becomes dead easy. 1-2 passes tops within 0.001" over 6" if you were close to begin with. Then, the trick is don't bugger up this alignment by gronking the remaining bolts to full torque because it can alter the position out of alignment. Just progress around criss-cross & snug them up like a cylinder head. I use to hate removing my vise, now its no big deal at all. Good luck!
     
  14. EmilioG

    EmilioG United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    If it says "Intrepid", it's definitely a fake. :)
     
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  15. Doubleeboy

    Doubleeboy Active User Active Member

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    Been tramming using an Interapid 312-B for 15 years or so, takes 30 seconds, tighten one bolt almost snug, the other a bit less snug, fire up the power feed and tram back jaw while tapping vise with soft face hammer, no keys, no 5 minutes, one pass maybe 2, maybe takes 90 seconds on a bad day. Keyed vises, hate em, my Kurt keys sat on the shelf laughing at me till I sold them.
     

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