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Test Indicator???

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Kroll

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#1
Guys thanks for responding to my other questions on the test indicator holder which going with the one posted Noga with fine adjustment at the base.I know there are others thats better but 90.00 is at my limit,I also know that there are cheaper ones(which I have) but just wanting better.
Test Indicator?Guys I wish I could afford top of the line indicator but I can't so looking at maybe around 100.00 or less range.I don't know the difference between one's that are good for the money or one's not to even look at.But also what about the range I see some have .001,.0001,.0005 I was told that if you get one like the .0001 it will beat you to death trying to dial it in.Which one should a person with limited skills go with,I would like this indicator be a one time purchase to hopefully cover all my needs.I check on ebay and there is page after page of test indicators both new and used which used is a gamble.Any suggestions?
 

P. Waller

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#2
It depends entirely on the work that you do, if you often make parts that require .0005 accuracy to function at all or pass inspection than a .0001 or
finer reading tool is needed.

If you need to measure actual dimensions rather then deviation, such as centering a part in an independent or adjustable lathe chuck, a well made tool is required and may well be more costly than you would like.

Unless you are making parts to a customers requirements just buy tools that fit your own requirements.

And yes, chasing tenths on machines not designed for this type of work will drive you batty. How many mills or lathes have you used that have dials graduated in tenths?
 

Kroll

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#3
Good point P Waller very well said.I believe just going to look for the .001 which I am guessing will be all this newbie,weekender will ever need.All what I want to do is just for fun but I want what ever it is to be the best that I can do,after all I am moving from a tape measure to dial indicator so lots to learn.
 

Alexander McGilton

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#4
I have had good luck with indicator off of ebay and the like. Often the screws at the hinge point of the styles come loose or worn, but that's an easy adjustment.
 

BtoVin83

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#5
I'm gonna throw out my 2 cents worth and let the flame begin. It's quite nice to have really precision equipment but is it really needed for the home shop and even the hobbyist's doing it for monetary rewards. When I was in the trade we would buy inexpensive indicators 4 at a time as they would invariably be knocked on the floor or pitched across the shop. Some of the guys would keep their precision stuff put away unless required and I never felt the need for accuracy. The inexpensive indicators produced accuracy on par with what was needed. I worked as a tool and die maker and shops that required precision work on par with aerospace tolerances and the owners never voice concerns over our production.
My advice is buy what tickles your fancy, if that is a .000001 unobtanium test indicator go for it. For my work the don cheapo indicators work well enough.
 

RJSakowski

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#6
Just because an indicator can resolve to .0001" doesn't mean that you have to use it to that resolution. If I am trying to get runout adjusted to less than .001 and am using a .0001"/div. indicator, it means that I just have to get my total swing to less than ten divisions.

On the other hand, if I am really trying to get my runout to say .0002", on a .0005"/div. indicator, I am squinting at it trying to get that last little bit of movement down to zero whereas with the .0001", I have a comfortable two divisions to work with.

The one big drawback with a .0001"/div. test indicator is the limited range. My .0001" test indicator only has a +/- .004" range.
 

BtoVin83

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#7
One other thing that came to mind, I couldn't begin to count the number of test indicators in tool chests that were crashed,. Most machinist had at least one (crap happens).
 

mksj

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#8
As others indicated, it really comes down to the type of work you plan on doing, the precision of your machine/tooling and frequency/conditions it will be used. If you just need one test indicator as a starter I would suggest a 0.0005" long travel (multi-revolution) type. This is a balance of resolution and travel. Most inexpensive brands work well enough, and are reasonably durable, so something like the ones below if buying new.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/AccuRemote...ator-0-06-0-0005-W-3-Carbide-Tip/332561375477
https://www.shars.com/products/meas...0-swiss-type-horizontal-dial-test-indicator-1

You can also look around for used ones locally, as sometimes you can pick up ones inexpensively. There are different variations on models and how they work, but as long as the movement works freely in both directions and the case is not mangled, worth considering. Test indicators are not really ideal for measuring distance as opposed to determining runout or deviation from a set point. The angle of the tip to the part is also different depending on the indicator.
 

MrWhoopee

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#9
Ten years working in a job shop, 12 years owning one, I've never owned or needed a .0001 indicator.
 

Downwindtracker2

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#10
I've found the .0005 test indicators to be handy when squaring the vise on the mill. They are easy to read. They are worth the $30 these Chinese ones cost just for that. Around the shop, a Princess Auto (kind of a HF) Tedclock .001 clone works fine and I don't worry the least about it making a suicidal leap. But when I did the bearing clearance on the lathe headstock, I went out and purchased a Mitutoyo .0001. dial indicator.
 

Cadillac

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#11
For nova style mag bases I've had good luck with CDCO on those. They are the hydraulic pivot type. One knob controls all movements. I have one for a collet for mill. They have different styles and mag ratings. I believe you can pick up a mag base and test indicator .0005 for like thirty bucks. I have several of their indicators and they work pretty good. I've compared reading with my mitutoyo's and their spot on. From what I can tell. And yes you don't need a tenths indicator but how will you ever improve or even know if you don't try. I personally have fun chasing tenths. It's a challenge and rewarding when you accomplish it. It will only make you better.
 

Technical Ted

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#12
Everyone has their own opinion on what to buy... so here's my suggestion to you. You are just starting off, learning, etc., and you will make mistakes like the rest of us do. Remember, $hit happens. That's why the first test indicator I bought was a Shars similar to this one:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Shars-Prec...h=item4602a9cf0d:g:YUAAAOSwCHZaqqhc:rk:4:pf:0

It's accurate and good enough for most, if not all, of the work a home hobbyist will do. And, pretty tough when it gets dropped or banged. Even if you break it, just go buy another... they're inexpensive.

So, later on you find you want something better??? Well, then buy a better one to add to your collection. Then your cheaper one can become your "beater". Trust me, you'll want to have a beater to use most of the time and only bring out the big dollar indicator when you really need it. Or at least that is what I do. I don't feel bad dropping or banging my beaters, but my good ones?? OUCH!!!

Over the years most of us build a healthy collection of indicators and other tools, so most likely this won't be the only one you pick up.

Just my two cents,
Ted
 

P. Waller

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#13
Ten years working in a job shop, 12 years owning one, I've never owned or needed a .0001 indicator.
Exactly correct, no pun intended.
If you are a hobbyist chasing tenth's for every part this way madness lies.
 

EmilioG

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#14
You can get New Mitutoyo Indicators for around $100 Ideal Precision often has good deals on their website.

Ebay can be a gamble since even a perfect looking indicator can have a broken bearing or hairspring.

If you can get a good one cheap, then it may be worth repairing. Precision gages...I like to buy new. A good one will last a lifetime.

Swiss Indicators are the best, Mitutoyo Indicators are pretty good and not expensive.

For long run outs, I have a Compac 215GA.
Built to last. But pricey.
 

Bob Korves

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#16
Read all the reviews:
https://www.amazon.com/Brown-Sharpe-01889023-Valueline-Indicator/dp/B00IXAL57G
This is a B&S "Valueline" tool. Nowhere on the web could I find a country of origin for that indicator. B&S has recently put their long respected name on a lot of questionable tools. B&S is not at all the only one doing this. Many former top brand names in machinist tools have now squandered their birthright for short term survival. Do your homework before buying anything, don't assume that buzzword tool brands are of decent quality.

Just found this: http://www.longislandindicator.com/p215.html

Edit: Also good reading: http://www.longislandindicator.com/p37.html
 
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Tozguy

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#17
Chasing tenths when you don't want to can be madness but chasing tenths when you want to can be fun, educational and rewarding in many ways. My unnecessary tenths indicator is only rarely used but I would not be without it for doing stuff like RJ mentioned above.
It might be difficult for someone who has worked for a living as a machinist to see the point but I can spend as much time on whatever I choose for whatever reason and still have food on the table and a roof over my head.
 

Kroll

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#18
Good morning guys wanted to say thanks for all the response to my question,I know a little more now than I did before I posted the question as to which one.I did not realize that there are lot of different brands out there and now I see that some of the name brands like a lot other products and tooling is made in china.Thanks Bob and guys to the links that is some good reading which kinda added to my confusion,but I know what to kinda watch out for.Now that I know a few more brands to increase my search which will help my money limits.Since I'm starting out,my skills has a very large tolerance so I believe that the .001 is what I need.The reason given here makes sense and like ya'll saying if the needs arise I can add to my stock as needed.I also just learned to be sure and look at the reviews if buying new from places like Amazon.I do want to kinda window shop at places like Long Island cause I believe that they only sell what works and also provide lots info like the links that Bob provided plus it helps keep business alive.But I don't know if their products falls into my limited funds.So I may roll the dice and see what auction site has to offer but keep looking for new and maybe on sale.:) Thanks again guys
 

Technical Ted

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#19
Kroll - also, don't overlook Craig's list... I've snagged some great deals on tools & machines, etc.. This is a good way to buy used and have the opportunity to check the item(s) out before buying.

Ted
 

stupoty

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#20
Guys thanks for responding to my other questions on the test indicator holder which going with the one posted Noga with fine adjustment at the base.I know there are others thats better but 90.00 is at my limit,I also know that there are cheaper ones(which I have) but just wanting better.
Test Indicator?Guys I wish I could afford top of the line indicator but I can't so looking at maybe around 100.00 or less range.I don't know the difference between one's that are good for the money or one's not to even look at.But also what about the range I see some have .001,.0001,.0005 I was told that if you get one like the .0001 it will beat you to death trying to dial it in.Which one should a person with limited skills go with,I would like this indicator be a one time purchase to hopefully cover all my needs.I check on ebay and there is page after page of test indicators both new and used which used is a gamble.Any suggestions?

All my dti's are second hand I have only bought one that got broken in the post. Get some cheep ones from the ebay perhaps. Normaly abuse is quite easy to see on them, I have noticed the fingure test indicators are much more fragile (from my experience).

Definitely don't only have a 0.0001 inch dti , you will go mad in short order.

:)

The only mag basses I have are quite old , they might have lost some sticking force over the years but generally work ok.


Stu
 

macardoso

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#21
I have been using a .0005" Test indicator for the 6 years since I started machining and haven't needed anything more until recently (going to pick up a .0001"). I would highly recommend getting a "Swiss Type" one with the extended travel range (see http://www.fowlerprecision.com/Products/Test-Indicators/38mm-X-TEST-Test-Indicator-52-562-008.html) I have the inch version, but the extra tiny dial keeps track of how many times you've gone around. I own two other .0005" indicators and I wont touch them unless this one is on a setup.

Check out this site, they have awesome prices and good service: http://www.jtsmach.com/store-1/

If you can spare a little more, this is my exact model at a great price: 52-562-001

and the .0001" I will be picking up shortly: 1-818-215GA
 

BaronJ

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#22
Nobody has mentioned that you can interpolate between divisions on a 0.001" dial gauge to guess quarters, halves and three quarters just looking at the thickness of the needle.
 

Downwindtracker2

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#23
When I wanted a good DTI, I got a .0005 Swiss Tasatast . When I check on the surface plate, it's one I use. The tool, in this case dial indicator or dial test indicator , for the job.
 

EmilioG

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#24
All new BestTest indicators are now assembled in China. Only the movement is Swiss made now. The new models do not have Swiss Made anywhere. Not even the case. Good indicator though. Very responsive.
 

mmcmdl

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#25
I have and have needed .0001 indicators and .00005 indicators . In 41 years of machining , I can think of just a few jobs in which I really needed them . Working on the Deckel jig grinders and jig mills comes to mind when true position was .0001 TIR . I now use a Last Word or a Best test , what ever is on top of the heap . I don't build high precision machinery or work for DOD anymore . I would surely think a .0005 best test would be adequate for most anyone's needs , especially hobbyists . But hey , a Geo gets you around but they still sell Corvettes . :)
 
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