i use last words
have for many years, they will get that "sticky" thing that jst describes
when they do, i throw them out and get a new one, the indicator by itself is only about 65 bucks
they work well for me when my need is in the thous. which is most the time
when i check end play on a spindle or something of this nature i get out a tighter device, which i keep in the drawer safe waiting for need not banging it around daily sweeping holes.
about 10 hundred thousand times in my career i have walked in on some guy saying this machine this or that only to look at his setup.
a high dollar 1 tenth indicator hanging on a 2 foot super swivel goose neck piece of wobble shit base
i can blow on it and get 3 thou. so what the hell good is the high tight indicator doing you.
i use this
my newest version i even cut about an inch out of the adapter
end to end the whole thing is about 5 inches so like forrest says i can stick it where the sun don't shine
and i really like the 1/8" ball end because it doesn't get caught rolling over little cracks and bumps
if this setup says a thou
its a thou
I have 3. Modified several tips for special applications. Like 'em
cause that is what I am used to. Have a B&S .0001" for serious
work. I do not like to sweep the dial for an accurate reading on any
indicator with an adjustable, angular tip.
I have 3 Last Word indicators. One works great but the other two are sticky. I squirted Acetone in one and the stickness was greatly removed. I did not have the correct lub but put in the Mobile lube used in South Bend lathes spindle bearing. I now rotates easily but sticks once in a while.
Was wondering if a another solvent and use of sewing machine oil might work?
I had a No.711 Last Word kit for a number of years. The two things I hated about it were: 1) Having to use the lever to change direction, and 2) the .0002"/.0003" it would shift if I were sweeping a bore and changed from CW to CCW. I found that MOST annoying.
I now have both an Interapid No. 312-B3 (1" dial, .0001" reading) a Starrett No.709AZ (1-3/8" dial, .0005 reading). I got the Interapid first and like it. I got the 709 used for cheap money, but it's become the one I go to because it's every-bit as good as the Interapid, but has a really nice light feel for rotating the dial around. With the larger dial I can't get into the tighter places that the Interapid can go, but the bigger spaces between the .0005 lines make it easy to extrapolate the tenths.
I would never own a No.711 again, I like the Interapid, but the No.709 is now and will always be my primary tool.
Last word for everyday stuff. Best Test when I have to get really close.
Originally Posted by walter west
The best bet is to use Starrett Instrument Oil. Sewing machine oil is probably very similar, but why take a chance?
The Last Word model 711 has a small cylindrical snout that allows good access to tight spots. Starrett also makes the 811 test indicators, which look a bit like most other test indicators having longer, less stout levers (Brown and Sharp, etc).
The 711 is durable, reliable, and small enough to get into tight places.
The 811 does not have the same traits, relative to Interapid, Compac, and B&S BestTests.
I think David Utidgian's practice mirrors a lot of folks, and the fact that Forrest endorses their use in tight spaces should at least be considered in your choice.
As a last point, to emphasize the ruggedness of the 711 with respect to the B&S, I've failed to break my 711. That should be taken as a ringing endorsement! The B&S I got through ebay had a bent spindle. I suspect that if you drop a last word, it survives pretty well. BestTest, not so much. If they both indicate to half a 0.001 division, I'd use the cheaper, more durable unit (the last word).
As a last word (pun intended), it may be of interest to know that the Last Word was invented, or at least manufactured and marketed, by the Henry Lowe company of Cleveland, OH in 1935. I have a box with a Starrett Last word in it, labeled Henry Lowe and Last Word, and I wondred about this. I guess I have one of the first Starrett Last Word units.
I have used them over the years, they are an OK Indicator. Some little fixtures were MADE to use them, one example from back in the 80's when I used it was the jigs or fixtures used to set the cutter in a Gleason bevel gear generator.
I have seen more than 1 person type a "M03" after an "S3000" when shifting a cnc to high gear to allow the spindle to be turned by hand....and thus spinning their last word at 3000 rpm...they come apart in stages...first the tip flings off...........makes a little clatter inside the machine....then the indicator itself comes off at the ball joint if you are using one.....sounds nifty bouncing around the inside of the machine......in a couple cases the indicator STILL worked ok after that.
I have an ancient Last Word that was given to me when I apprenticed in the late 60's. It has seen a lot of use and I still use it. It has never been sticky. Size is an advantage in certain applications.
I also use several other indicators of various vintages and styles, as the need demands.
They are made by the same manufacturer, just slight differences with the Bestest/Tesatast being the relative "lower" end, Compac in the middle and Interapid on top. Eventhough I do believe the indicators share some of the same repair parts.
Originally Posted by jeagan
Its all mineral oil, just the Starrett Instrument Oil is probably the most "clean" of the bunch due to its intended application.
Originally Posted by PixMan
Personally I own a half a thou Interapid (due to the membership here advising it over the rest), and a tenth Mitutoyo. Been thinking about a Last Word but have not gotten around to it yet. Need to get a Kennedy Chest first running out of room in the tool box.
I've a last word I've used for about thirty years, only use it for rough work, leave the more finicky stuff for one of the InterRapids. WRT reading a last word to tenths, it might be possible, but it's not practical, less so when your eyes get old.
and on the "sticky" note
i don't think this is dirt
i think there is one little piece of that linkage that gets damaged some how
thats why i don't try to clean them out of
i have sent them to "indicator repair people" and they come back just as they went out
free as a bird ,,,unless your using them
and while we are here
i had 2 do that in my first 5 years in the buissness
and 1 in the last 20.....hhmmmm
I have 2 Last Word indicators. I bought an ancient model years ago and then bought a new one several years ago. I use them all the time and have NEVER had a problem with them.
I also own 4 or 5 Interapid indicators and a few Brown & Sharpe Bestest's. I also have a couple of the old Starrett plunger back indicators, which I use a lot for indicating mill vises. Of course, I use them all for different things. I tend to use the Interapids for sweeping holes and checking parts on a granite plate. I tend to use the Last Word indicators on the machines to set tools, indicate parts, etc., etc..
I can't imagine using Interapid indicators for what I do with the Last Word's, and I can't imagine using the Last Word's for what I use the Interapids for. Two very different tools for two different applications, in my opinion.
The mechanism of the LW has a lever with a sapphire rod on the end of it. The sapphire rod runs up and down a tiny coarse worm, that looks like an old-fashioned steering worm. That turns the dial. Clever, but a crazy job to grind that worm.
I don't think there is supposed to be ANY lube at all on the worm. Anything on it will probably gum up the works in a very obvious way.
And the sapphire rod sometimes jumps over the worm, which is only about 2 turns. Then you have to unscrew the little cover and fix it.
The sticky thing that I see isn't the effect of lube, it is some sort of friction due probably to loose bearings on the tip, dunno. At any rate, it moves free if you check it, but does not always follow a surface correctly, so that if the surface dips 3 thou, the indicator may "hang" for a couple thou, and then suddenly show all 3 thou (or sometimes 4).
Usually even a cheap chinese indicator will show a smooth variation.
I put it down to the very short tip arm on the LW, and some sort of looseness of the bearings that jam under ANY sideways movement. Like sticking the thing way into a bore to find eccentricity. it's ALL side force, where when checking an OD it can be oriented to drag along the length.
When the drag is along the length it usually works better, but that is not a guarantee. That new one was sticky in that orientation too.
Don't have any Last Words, but I do have their cousin the "GEM". Looks just like one, works the same and the single dial one is a tad sticky but the double dial is as smooth as glass and you do not need to use a mirror or crook you head at an odd angle under the mill to dial in a bore. For some Lathe set ups I use a Starrett standard back plunger dial test kit and for all most all other measurements I prefer to use my B&S BestTests. And like 'wippin boy' says" Ya gotta keep the set up as stiff as you can".
At the risk of sounding like an indicator snob, Starrett Last Words should be called Last Choice, as they will be your last choice when given the option of working with anything else. The mechanics are archaic and movement on the tiny dial is, shall we say, not very smooth. Buy Swiss and be done!