Dial indicator


Got a bit of birthday money and one thing I'd like is a dial indicator. Lee Valley has one for $32 for indicator AND magnetic base. They say it's accurate to 0.0005". Is this really a good deal, or is $32 bucks US just too cheap for reasonable quality? Maybe I should just buy more clamps from LV and look elsewhere for a better dial indicator.
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http://www.use-enco.com
that's the first place i would go for dial indicators and accessories.
--- dz
Hitch wrote:

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Your kidding, right?

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$30 bucks is about right for a dial indicator. It isn't too "cheap". It's typical unless you look at Starrett.
Dave
Hitch wrote:

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Try Mcmaster Carr, www.mcmaster.com. search on "dial indicator". They have them ranging from $15-$150. You might be interested in the $30 indicator+magnetic base kit. Mcmaster sells only quality stuff, nothing like the sh_t that HF sells. Don't be fooled by their "economy" designation. These should be fine for anything other than a hi-capacity production machine shop.
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Or Mititoyo, Teclock, Brown and Sharp, ect, ect.

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For $32 it is almost certainly made in India, Pakistan, China, or Taiwan, and almost certainly more than adequate for typical woodworking use, and priced about 100% more than comparable units from other vendors. Try Grizzly or HFT, you should be able to find a similar base & gauge for $15-$20. When you get up in the $100 range you may be looking at a US or Japanese made indicator.
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Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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On Tue, 07 Jun 2005 16:07:10 +0000, Lawrence Wasserman wrote:

You are also looking at WAY more indicator than you need. It is enough to get a .001 resolution and estimate any fraction needed. I have .0005 and .0001 indicators and they are just a joke when trying to line up the table saw trunions because I don't have anything that smooth to measure against or from.
Bill
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I dunno - my Harbor Frieght one was about five bux USD... :)
I haven't used these folks - but www.littlemachineshop.com is often mentioned / recommended as a place to get an inexpensive dial/base/tip combination.
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combination.
Theirs is just fine for the wood shop, especially the one with the "tip collection".
--
Rumpty

Radial Arm Saw Forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/woodbutcher/start
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Cheap is OK on dial indicators. Make sure the magnetic base works though - they tend to suffer worse from cheapness than the indicators do. Poor clamping or lack of rigidity in the arm is a pain to work with. I've never seen a "snake" arm that was convincing for rigidity either.
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I just bought that exact model for LV. Magnetic base definitely works. Seems to be good quality (I new to dial indicators). I don't think I've bought anything at LV that wasn't good quality and value.
David
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Worst case scenario, if it doesn't work out within reasonable time use LV will take it back.
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Hitch wrote:

I believe there's a factory in China that turns out shiploads of these indicators. I've seen basically the same one sold by several vendors. I don't have the Lee Valley version, but I've seen it in their store, and it's better than or equal to any of the other no-name Chinese indicators you'll find.
I've had one for years, and while I doubt it would last day-in and day-out in a production machine shop, it's worked just fine for all the machine alignment and testing I've done.
Have fun,
Tim
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If you only need accuracy to 0.001", try http://www.littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID 93. Half the accuracy for half the price.

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Got mine from somewhere like Highland Hardware. It displays both decimal and fractions of an inch. Ya gotta like that.
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On Fri, 10 Jun 2005 17:39:25 GMT, Jim Weisgram

Mine's from an old physics lab I used to work in. It measures in microns. I could use the binocular microscope I borrow now and then, with a bit of interpolation for even more accuracy, but decided enuf is enuf.
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