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Digital Electronic Calipers

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Noel

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Neil

I got the Axminster digital calipers last year and they're fine and they are a big improvement over the eye!. Tend to ignore or round up the 100th digits when working with wood. Usual depth, interior and exterior facilities.
Well worth the money.

Rgds

Noel
 

Charley

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Just to backup Noely's post, I bought some digital calipers at the start of the year and although I don't use them for every project I'm not sure how I managed without them :) I got mine from ToolMan: http://www.toolman.co.uk
 

Noel

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Neil,

Good move. I also have the dial gauge with magnetic stand. Great for setup on the tablesaw etc. But make sure the gauge has a lug at the back when it arrives. Mine didn't and although Axminster offered to take it back I wasn't prepared to wait so ended up making a lug and epoxying it on the back. Without a lug your options for mounting it are very limited.

Rgds

Noel
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Noel

My dial gauge arrived and it has neither the magnetic stand nor the lug. Now it could just be that it is a different model. Will you please have a quick look at it for me to see if it is the same as yours?

http://www.axminster.co.uk/default.asp?part=ADG

One other thing I would appreciate is an explanation of how it works, as there were no instructions supplied. I can see how it can be zeroed by moving the face but I don't understand how you can measure with it. :? :? :?

A baffled Neil
 

Noel

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Hi Neil,

A dial gauge is used to measure or indicate deviations on a flat or round surface. Mostly used in machine and engineering applications they have their use in woodworking. You can determine the run-out on the chuck of a drill press, check how flat the fence is on a tablesaw, check if fence is parallel to the mitre slot, see how warped a blade is on a circular, tablesaw,check arbour run-out on various machines, even help set the blades on a jointer/planer etc, etc. On a slightly non woodworking application you will find your local tyre/exhaust outlet using a dial gauge to see if a brake disc on a car is warped.
Obviously the gauge is not much use if you do not have a steady and secure mounting for it. This is where the magnetic stand (or homemade jig) comes handy. With the mag base using it on cast iron surfaces is so easy (tablesaw, drill press etc) but if you mostly have alu surfaces a bit of timber with a steel plates attached will suffice. See example:
http://home.earthlink.net/~kvaughn65/dial_indicator.jpg
Incidentially this is a great site of a home woodworker, American of course, and offers great inspiration (or dreaming) for the rest of us.
Home page at
http://home.earthlink.net/~kvaughn65/
Anyway, I digress. One revolution of the needle on the gauge represents 1 mm with increments of 0.01mm (we're talking real serious accuracy here!).
On the mag stand you will see a knurled knob on one end of the outside arm. This is where the gauge is mounted- if there was a lug. As I mentioned in an earlier post, mine arrived without a lug, so I epoxyed a diy plastic one on. Glad I didn't wait for Axminster to restock...
I imagine you could make a wooden mounting block of some description but would lack any degree of adjustment.
How's that for long winded relply?
How it all helps and feel free if you need any more assistance.

Rgds

Noel
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Noel

Thank you so much for your help, I really appreciate it.

I'll contact Axminster to find out if should have come with a stand and lug.

Once again, many thanks.

Cheers
Neil
 

Noel

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Neil,

Just been reading your earlier posts. Did you actually order the magnetic stand? It's a separete item. See:

http://www.axminster.co.uk/default.asp?part=mb25f

For some reason I assumed that you had done so.
When you talk to Ax about the lug I suspect that they will just offer to take it back. If you feel you really need it get the stand too and make a lug for the D/gauge. I don't use mine that often but when I do it's invaluable. Oh, and ask Ax how you are meant to mount the thing without a lug!

Rgds

Noel
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Noel

Thanks for that, I will place one on order and ask them about the lug.

Even when I looked at the link you posted yesterday I didn't think about the possibility of it being a separate item.

Many thanks.

Cheers
Neil

PS I have just checked the email I sent to Axminster last night and it was very civil.
 

gidon

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Noel, Neil

I ordered a dial indicator from Chronos which arrived today. I specifically checked it mentioned a mounting lug here.

Guess what? No mounting lug - sound familiar? I rang them and was told that they'd be at least a 6 week wait for dials with lugs.

So - how did you go about making a mounting lug? I have a few ideas - but past experiences may save me some time!

Cheers

Gidon
 

Adam

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Neil, I find my digital calipers invaluble. Mine were similar price to those at Axminster - although I can't remember where I got them from exactly. Anyway, I've found them superb for a huge range of tasks. Although I have a dial gauge, I haven't used it yet - got it for a pound of two from the car boot sale. It's imperial - but thats not beyond use.
Adam
 

Noel

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OK Gidon,

Here the lowdown on the Dial Gauge lug business.
Rather than wait a few months for a lug backed gauge I thought I'd attach a lug myself. Didn't have any aluminium angle around so stole one of the kid's toys and cut an angle to suit.

Just ensure that whatever material you use is reasonably rigid so the gauge won't wobble about. Also make sure that the mag stand mounting hole has plenty of clearance between the back of the gauge and the knurled nut on the stand (see next picture).
I originally reckoned that a dose of epoxy would be ok to attach the lug to the back cover of the gauge. When I first used it the lug fell off. Every other adhesive failed in a similar manner, even Superglue. Appears that the backing cover is extremely glue unfriendly. So removed the cover and very carefully located a spot that I could drill and locate a small bolt ensuring that the bolt head did not interfere with the internal mechanisn.
Again, check that the mag stand mounting nut has sufficient clearance over the nut on this bolt.

And there you have it, works great. Hopefully the world shortage on mounting lugs will come to an end very soon.

Rgds

Noel
 

gidon

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Noel - thanks a lot!! Just the ticket - and nice clear pictures. I will have a go at something along these lines later and let you know how I get on.
I was too tight to buy a magnetic stand (and there's no iron on my saw to attach it to anyway - so I'll be making a stand too when I get a chance).

As to the world shortage of mounting lugs :)D) - I guess it's another cost saving ploy. Appears to cost a couple of dollars extra to have a lug on the back. I guess if they can get away selling them without (and for the same price) they will. Arghhh.

Thanks again,

Gidon
 

Dewy

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You shouldn't need a mounting lug. The pin at the back end of the dial gauge (clock) fits the tool holder on the mag bases arm.
I have never liked the plunge bar 'clocks'.
I have always used ones with a pear shaped ball which can be clicked to the required point.
This has the advantage of being able to be set sideways as well as reading from the end.
 

johnjin

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Hi Dewy
You mean lever clocks. They sure have their uses but you run out of dial after about a 1m/m where as the plunger will register usually a minimum of 25m/m and I regularly use them to register 100m/m. As with everything its a case of horses for courses.

All the best

John
 

Dewy

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My preference developed from working as a toolmaker since 1964, oops I nearly typed 1864 then. ;)
 

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