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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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