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  1. #1
    Paul Cataldo is offline Stainless
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    Fellas,
    Anyone know where I can get Compac INCH reading indicators in the large dial sizes?
    They stopped production on all inch reading models with the exception of the 1.5" dial face models. Production stopped Sept. 2005 I think, and I'm sure someone still has them in stock.
    MSC, J&L, Traves, and Rutland Tool don't even carry them (2004 catalogs show no sign of them).
    Can anyone help here? Long Island Indicator has only the 1.5" dial face versions....
    Thanks for any help..

  2. #2
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    Geneva Gage has some nice closeout prices:
    http://www.1gg.com/html/body_clod_i.html

  3. #3
    Paul Cataldo is offline Stainless
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    Thanks for the link Barry,
    I'll look into it. They aren't NEW, but demos, but worth a try.
    Anyhow, do you possibly have an opinion on whether a .001, .0005, or .0001 indicator would be best?
    I realize it can depend greatly on personal preference, but I'm just looking for some guidelines to go by, and maybe some thoughts/opinions on the two. Seems like I read a long time ago, a thread where many home shop guys seemed to recommend the .0005" dial indicators most, but I may be wrong on that....

  4. #4
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    The test indicator I use most is an Interapid 0-15-0 with .0005" grads.

    Most shop-machined items don't have a surface finish good enough to use a .0001" indicator...the needle will just swing wildly.

    For straight ball-plunger buy them on ebay during the dead of summer...they go for cheap prices since everyone is out cutting grass. Good used Starretts I couldn't tell from NIB were going about $25 last year.

  5. #5
    joeby is offline Cast Iron
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    Keep in mind that most .0001 indicators have only .008 travel. Interapids are .016, I think.
    For my home shop, I usually use a B&S .0005 or a Federal .001 test indicator, or various brands of .001 dial indicators.
    I have to work with "tenths" at my day job, and it's nice to not have to fuss over parts like that at home. Nothing I make in my home shop really requires the use of a .0001 indicator anyway.

  6. #6
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    For horizontal dial-test indicators (DTI) the .0001 is rarely used. The .0005 has a great deal of space between marks, & makes it easy to dial in a part in the 4-jaw, or to tram the head on the mill. The 1" face DTI is physically small, and may be less in the way on some setups. The 1.5" face is easier to read.

    Compac makes a superb DTI. I have two (eBay, as Matt said, is super cheap during the summer months). Less than $50 for each, new condition.

    As good as Compac is, the DTI I most see in use is Interapid, another Swiss brand. In addition to bulletproof construction, the single feature that you'll love on the Interapid is the swiveling top post:



    When setting up mill work, nothing is faster. Take two machinists, both with Indicol's. One has an Interapid, the other has another brand DTI. The person with the Interapid will always finish faster [img]smile.gif[/img]

  7. #7
    Paul Cataldo is offline Stainless
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    Well fellas,
    Thanks for the info. This has shed light on some concerns I've had for sure.
    Which now brings me to my next concerns, and after this, I'll be able to make the right decision on either an Interapid or Compac. I certainly like the Swiss made stuff.
    Question #1: WHY would one choose a Test indicator (or regular dial indicator for that matter) with only a .016" range, INSTEAD of a Test Indicator with a larger .060" range (like many of the Interapids have). I have always wondered why one would want a Test Indicator with such a short measuring range, when there are usually models with longer measuring ranges out there?????? I would think that the MORE measuring range you have, the better, no? Are the Interapids with TINY measuring ranges (.016") MORE accurate than the models with higher measuring ranges (.060")?

    Question #2: What is more desireable? A test indicator (or dial indicator) with a CONTINUOUS reading dial face (example: 0-100) OR a model with a 0-15-0, 0-50-0, or 0-100-0 dial????
    I have some ideas as to why one might choose a 0-15-0 model over a CONTINUOUS dial model, but I'm still not sure here.
    Does the answer to the above question apply to both TEST indicators AND Dial Indicators??? I think I've seen that ALL of the Interapids have either a 0-15-0 or a 0-4-0 face, but the DIAL indicators out there, can have continuous OR 0-15-0 reading faces...

    Question #3: Finally, when it comes to DIAL indicators, what does "AGD Groups 2,3, and 4, etc" mean??? I think AGD is "American Gauge Division", but what are the differences between them all? I think this mostly applies to regular DIAL indicators..
    Thanks for everyone's help here fellas....

  8. #8
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    I think the range is proportional to the sensitivity...so .016" total for .0001" resolution, and .060" total for .0005" resolution.

    I think the dial (straight plunger) indicators have a greater resolution because of the larger total range. For example, measuring a total of 1" with a 0-15-0 you'd go dizzy and your eyes would spin, not to mention you'll forget which direction is which after about 1 rev of the 0-15-0.

    The test indicators are more for comparative measurements...zeroing stock on the lathe or centering a round part on the mill, where it's assumed that only a small region of the dial will ideally be used.

    It's hard to do it all with 1 indicator only. Last summer was especially productive (expensive??? ), I think I've got about 10 now in the drawer.

  9. #9
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    Toms Wheels is offline Titanium
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    You can't have just one indicator, most of mine are .001 with 1 inch travel, the .0001 have .025 travel. and one has 3 inches travel.I bought one of those cheap(chinese) co-axial,great for setting up work that needs to be centered under the spindle, also for someone with limited mobility(me) as the dial can be turned to face yourself at all times. Those small 1 inch face last word type are great for setups on the lathe.
    Buy the best, and used for the rest.

    my wheels don't slow me down

  10. #10
    izzoe46 is offline Cast Iron
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    <Anyone know where I can get Compac INCH reading indicators in the large dial sizes?>

    Have you tried ebay? I have come to realize that ebay is the greatest tool market on earth. before you look anywhere else just look up whatever it is you are looking for on ebay and you are sure to find it there. if not wait a couple of days and then look again . I will never pay full price for anything anymore as long as ebay is around.

  11. #11
    Paul Cataldo is offline Stainless
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    Oh yes brother,
    You will find that most of us around here are ebay fanatics. Even if some of us don't want to admit it...

  12. #12
    joeby is offline Cast Iron
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    Paul,
    AGD is American Gauge Design, I think.
    The group number applies to dial (plunger type) indicators. The group number refers to the physical size of the indicator. You can get different travels, etc. in a particular group.
    A method of standardization basically.
    Test indicators are normally used for checking deviation from a setting, so you place it in contact with your workpiece, zero it, then read the deviation from zero. Therefore they have the "0-15-0" dial.
    Longer travel indicators can be used for measurement, like a depth mic., so some have continuous dials, and some also have a revolution counter.
    Hope this was of some help to you.

  13. #13
    Davis In SC is online now Titanium
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    It's hard to do it all with 1 indicator only. Last summer was especially productive (expensive??? ), I think I've got about 10 now in the drawer.
    I have one big drawer in a Kennedy Cabinet dedicated to Indicators, holders & Mag bases. I guess there at least 15 various indicators, even one of the old Starrett open types.When someone wants to borrow an indicator, I offer it to them..

  14. #14
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    The best explanation for American Gage Design is at http://www.longislandindicator.com/a...tion.html#ANSI

    RE: total range of the indicator. Just like money & good looks, more is better One of my favorite horizontal DTI's is a Compac Alina with .080 of total travel (eight revolutions of the dial). In the 1960's, this was THE indicator to have. Still found on eBay for next to nothing, as younger machinists have no idea how nice they are.

    For absolute measurements (like turning to a shoulder that must be .785 from the end of the part) it's hard to beat an AGD2 or AGD3 with a magnet back or a Noga base. Or, if a shop made gage needs to be 3.750 overall length (plus or minus one) you can quickly go 1", 1", 1" plus .750.

    Pretty versatile for setting the 4-jaw too, as you can usually eyeball the jaws to within .100 or so, and zero out with the indicator.

    Enco currently has the Mitutoyo AGD2 indicators on sale (through 4/30). Rugged enough to sit on a Bridgeport table while a four flute end mill eats away at a part, and under $80.

    The B&S BesTest (.030 range, .0005 grads) are also on sale for $87. Tough enough to do a half gainer on the lathe, landing point first, with no damage.

    But if you want something nicer, it is hard to be a Compac or Interapid.

  15. #15
    Davis In SC is online now Titanium
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    My everyday working DTI is a vertical .0001 B&S Bestest. I paid around a hundred for it in 1978, best part of a week's takehome... It has been slung out of mill spindles, knocked across the shop by chuck jaws, & had EDM current run through it many times...It is still "dead nuts" accurate... I have thought of building a little display case & retiring it...

  16. #16
    Paul Cataldo is offline Stainless
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    Fellas,
    I just noticed all the replies to this thread. Not sure why I haven't received the topic reply notification.
    Thanks so much for all the comments...

    I'm definitely going to get a collection going, and Compac and Interapid will be present...
    Just a FYI,
    I know it's not ebay pricing, but Enco currently has the Interapids for around $150 new right now. Not bad for brand new... Sure wish Enco carried everything MSC has.

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