Replacement angle scales
The last several machines I've rebuilt have been missing their angle scales. These are the little arcs of metal marked off in degrees that give a rough setting for adjustments to the machine: table angles, pivots, etc. Very often these scales were riveted in place. Typically the radius of the arc would be between 3 and 6 inches.
These machines are old, and going back to the OEM is not practical. Does anyone know of a company that sells replacement angle scales, preferrably in a large array of sizes? I had thought I'd seen them at Reid Supply years ago, but I may have been mistaken: they don't seem to carry them now.
Thanks very much!
The scale is going to depend on the radius of the mounting surface, so it would seem that these might be special parts which you might need to manufacture. While angles are somewhat independent of linear measurement, the pitch distance between marks on the scale is going to vary with radius.
Unless the surface is some common radius, it seems unlikely that you'd find any standard part.
If the machine warrants good work, it is not that hard to engrave an angle scale on sheet metal using a mill and rotary table or dividing head. The engraving can be done with a vee tool in a non-rotating fly cutter.
It is also fairly easy to print a protractor any radius you wish using your computer. Start with one of the protractor images available on line, like this one:
Use one of several software options to print it to the desired scale. You can also use a copier's zoom settings to fiddle with the scale size after printing from the computer. You can print it on white paper or on silver poster board. Then you can use scissors to cut out the arc segment you want. Run it through a laminating machine and you have a clearly readable scale protected by clear plastic.
Misumi has some. I don't recall the range of sizes they offer, but I think they come in a few different radii. If you get one of theirs, you may have to cut the center out, as I think the 180 degree scale (for example) is a half circle, rather than an arc.
I had good luck laying out a panel in a drawing program and having a trophy shop burn a couple for me. They used a laser that burnt off anodizing on aluminum and the resulting plate looks like new. Here's the plate on the shaping head I rebuilt:
Thanks very much for all the great postings! There are a lot of ways to skin this cat. Frankly, I was so impressed with the quality and "realism" of rke[pler's Bridgeport plate that I have just got to try it for myself.
Thank you again for all the advice and ideas!
That is absolutely the best reproduction I have seen in a long time. Nice work.
Originally Posted by rke[pler
Not that it would matter that much but are you going to stamp in the old serial
number or just leave it blank?
Would you mind telling us what drawing program you used.
There's been I think two times I've needed a protractor and found just the thing in drafting equipment. A little butchery, a little local milling for an inlay cavity. White paint for contrast. when it dries, drop in the prepared protractor inlay. Bada-bing! But I was luckyt twice. I'd dont the computor thing, and the tripgy and reprographics things as well.
Where I didn't do so well is when an old Gleason bevel gear cutter went in for overhaul. When the witless machineist planed the saddle he planed off the degrees engraving. I consulted on this one. While I was running in circles the spindle man's dorky high school aged son employed good draftsman technique and repeated use of a sine bar, laid out and marked by hand the protractor and did a beautiful job. I was really impressed. And shagrined
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