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Testing a dial indicator for measuring force

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Alan H.

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#1
I bought this Starrett on ebay about a year ago and as it turned out, it needed some attention. It was a bit sticky and the measuring force was way too high. It really did appear to be new and never used when I got it. I suspect it came from Starrett that way but with ebay, who knows.

It took up to 144 grams to make the needle move so I sent it off to Starrett for repair. By the way, I have no idea what they actually did to repair it. I see some light witness marks on it now that say it was disassembled. The only communication I received from them was an authorization request to proceed with the repair and the final invoice.

I am not a big Starrett fan but this model I have is supposed to be a decent dial indicator so I wanted to confirm the repair was within their "measuring force" specifications. This is how I have learned to easily check all my dial and test indicators for smoothness of action and measuring force. The baby Noga with fine adjustment at the clamp end allows you slowly load the tip and log the results over the range.

Here's my Starrett on my scale setup and to my astonishment it is on the money! I like Starrett a little better today.


Starrett after repair.jpg
 
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#2
Take those two figures and the measured distance between measurements, and you can calculate the spring rate of the spring used in the dial indicator.
 

woodchucker

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#3
just out of curiosity, what did the service cost?
 

Alan H.

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It cost $88.81 including the return postage.
 

EmilioG

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MR Tool Repair does repair Starrett for half that, approx. Turn around time could be a month though.
 

Alan H.

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Yes, I have been had by Starrett multiple times in the past year. My experience has been that their quality is not up to their cost and their customer service has been inferior for me on a couple of occasions.

I must say that they turned the indicator around quickly and as I show above, it is spot on spec now.
 

Alan H.

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MR Tool Repair does repair Starrett for half that, approx. Turn around time could be a month though.
Did not find them when I was searching. Do they have a website?

I did check on Long Island Indicator but they do not work on Starretts.
 

Alan H.

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mrtool2010@hotmail.com
Mark Ratkowski
He works on Starrett gages. LIIS is not authorized.
Yeap, saw that on the Long Island website when I was searching back when. Here's what they say on their website:

"Why don't we repair Starrett gages? It's because we are not authorized Starrett dealers or distributors and do not have ready access to spare parts. Starrett de-authorized us some years back, without explanation."

So I take it from your post that MR Tool is an authorized dealer and/or distributor.
 

EmilioG

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No, I don't believe he is authorized. MR Tool has a good stock of parts and I guess he has access? Starrett no longer authorizes anyone to repair their tools. He used to work for Brown and Sharpe.
 

Bob Korves

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I have sent at least six indicators of my own and a couple dozen that belonged to others to MR Tool Repair and have been completely satisfied with his work. I do not care if he is not authorized, he knows how to fix them so they work well, and they keep on working, no early failures.
 
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Alan H.

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Bob, no need to defend him. I am not attacking him. I just wanted to understand the inference that he is "authorized" when another service is not. Emilio cleared that up.

Briefly looking into this in the last couple of days, I have found much positive "forum" press about Mark on other forums and Facebook. He has a dedicated following and that is impressive.

He does not have a website nor does he have a published price list. He does respond to email via the address that Emilio was kind enough to post.
 

DoogieB

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#14
Another +1 for MR Tool Repair.

Very reasonable rates and he does a great job. Quickly responds via email.

He cleaned and replaced the crystal on my B&S 6" Calipers for barely more than what some places charge just for the crystal. Beyond the scuffed crystal, I thought they were in good shape mechanically, but was surprised how smoothly they worked when I got them back.

This reminds me I need to get a box ready to send in some more slightly gimpy indicators.
 

T Bredehoft

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Back to spring pressure, I took four random Test Indicators, checked .020 movement (pressure on when starting) they averaged about 5 grams per .010 movement. There was very little difference among them, a couple of Federal Testmasters, a Mit and another Federal, something else. Not exactly the same, but all in the same ballpark.
 

Bob Korves

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Bob, no need to defend him. I am not attacking him. I just wanted to understand the inference that he is "authorized" when another service is not. Emilio cleared that up.

Briefly looking into this in the last couple of days, I have found much positive "forum" press about Mark on other forums and Facebook. He has a dedicated following and that is impressive.

He does not have a website nor does he have a published price list. He does respond to email via the address that Emilio was kind enough to post.
No defense intended, Alan, just a testimonial. Mark still works a day job (as of a year ago anyway), and repairs indicators and other tools evenings and weekends. His fame has caused his return time to grow longer, though he will take "rush" jobs, ask. If you are not in any hurry, tell Mark so, but be ready to wait a couple months for them to be completed and returned. Note that Mark works on all kinds of tools, ask if you have stuff besides indicators that need repair.
 

mmcmdl

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#17
I have sent at least six indicators of my own and a couple dozen that belonged to others to MR Tool Repair and have been completely satisfied with his work. I do not care if he is not authorized, he knows how to fix them so they work well, and they keep on working, no early failures.

This is kind off what I was referring to in my theory vs reality thread . I really wouldn't care if someone was authorized or not either , as long as he keeps his customers satisfied ! :encourage:
 
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