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Pratt and Whitney

Re: Dial indicators:

An indicator graduated on 0.001" is fine for what you will be doing. The Chinese built indicators work OK, but are 'throwaways'. I find that a 0 to 1" travel indicator with a magnetic base and flex arm works for about 98% of what I do in my own shop. Personally, I use Mitutoyo indicators. There are some 'utility grade' (non jewelled movement) Mitutoyo indicators on eBay with a brand name on them. I've got a couple in my own shop and use them almost daily. I think I paid about 75 bucks apiece.
Brands like Fowler or Peacock are probably not any different than the unbranded Chinese indicators sold by discount tool suppliers. I had one of the unbranded Chinese 0-1" indicators in a lot of stuff I got years ago. It held up well for a good number of years and eventually got to binding and jamming. I also use some Starrett, Lufkin, and Federal dial indicators of different styles. The 0-1" indicator is a style "AGD", and has a mounting lug on the back of the case. It's big and easy to read. You can interpolate between the graduations to approximate 1/2 thousanths, which should be plenty good for your purposes. I use "Noga" Israel-made flexible arm mag bases, but these are pricey. Chinese knockoffs of that design work OK. Be prepared to make hardware to mount your dial indicator on the toolpost of the lathe or for other specific jobs where the mag base won't work. Nothing fancy. Some scrap steel and some 1/4" bolts usually does the trick.
 
Re: Dial indicators:

An indicator graduated on 0.001" is fine for what you will be doing. The Chinese built indicators work OK, but are 'throwaways'. I find that a 0 to 1" travel indicator with a magnetic base and flex arm works for about 98% of what I do in my own shop. Personally, I use Mitutoyo indicators. There are some 'utility grade' (non jewelled movement) Mitutoyo indicators on eBay with a brand name on them. I've got a couple in my own shop and use them almost daily. I think I paid about 75 bucks apiece.
Brands like Fowler or Peacock are probably not any different than the unbranded Chinese indicators sold by discount tool suppliers. I had one of the unbranded Chinese 0-1" indicators in a lot of stuff I got years ago. It held up well for a good number of years and eventually got to binding and jamming. I also use some Starrett, Lufkin, and Federal dial indicators of different styles. The 0-1" indicator is a style "AGD", and has a mounting lug on the back of the case. It's big and easy to read. You can interpolate between the graduations to approximate 1/2 thousanths, which should be plenty good for your purposes. I use "Noga" Israel-made flexible arm mag bases, but these are pricey. Chinese knockoffs of that design work OK. Be prepared to make hardware to mount your dial indicator on the toolpost of the lathe or for other specific jobs where the mag base won't work. Nothing fancy. Some scrap steel and some 1/4" bolts usually does the trick.
Joe,
I may do the painting and polishing to a high level, if possible. Yep, well versed on PPE and have the equipment for that.
Rustoleum- they make good stuff. We make paint, grease, ink thickeners where I work and Rustoleum is one of our customers.
Indicators- didn’t know it I needed to go out to .0000 or just .000. Was looking on eBay and prob buy a used one there.
 
The rustoleum paint goes on well with disposable foam brushes. In the past I've put just two coats of color, but the recent lathe i did got a primer coat and two of color. Easy to tell where you missed on the first color coat, not so easy for the second! This paint takes a long time to harden up. I did most of the work in sumertime, out doors. Good light.

Many folks wil denigrate the starrett 'last word' test indicators but for starting out they're not bad. Later you can buy one that chases tenths. A mag base with the associated rods and clamps helps a lot.
 
The rustoleum paint goes on well with disposable foam brushes. In the past I've put just two coats of color, but the recent lathe i did got a primer coat and two of color. Easy to tell where you missed on the first color coat, not so easy for the second! This paint takes a long time to harden up. I did most of the work in sumertime, out doors. Good light.

Many folks wil denigrate the starrett 'last word' test indicators but for starting out they're not bad. Later you can buy one that chases tenths. A mag base with the associated rods and clamps helps a lot.
Jim,
I’ve used Rustoleum on some farm equipment and mixed hardener in it. It worked well doing that.
I saw the last word ones. Thank you for saying that. I may spend a hundred or so for the indicator. Really interested to see how tight this lathe may be.
 
Jim,
I’ve used Rustoleum on some farm equipment and mixed hardener in it. It worked well doing that.
I saw the last word ones. Thank you for saying that. I may spend a hundred or so for the indicator. Really interested to see how tight this lathe may be.
Correction lat word ones
 
Each type/style of dial indicator has its uses. I use the small "Last Word" indicator mainly for setup work such as indicating work or vise jaws on the mill. I mostly use a 0-1" Mitutoyo indicator with Noga magnetic base. This comes in handy for most work. I also have the style indicators with the "button contact" coming out the back of the indicator. These are handy for checking runouts and doing shaft or coupling alignment work on site.

Many years ago, I got the tour of the Starrett factory in Athol, Massachusetts. A 3d year toolmaker apprentice was assigned to give me a one-on-one tour. It lasted nearly 3 hours. I noted Starrett had Pratt & Whitney engine lathes in their toolroom. I was shown the dial indicator assembly department. It was a large, quiet room with natural light. There were umpteen wooden benches (which I was to learn later were sort of 'watchmaker's' style benches. Each bench had a "Dazor" type magnification lamp on a spring-loaded arm. Each bench had a lady sitting at it, assembling dial indicators from parts in what looked like muffin pans. When the women caught sight of the toolmaker apprentice they gently kidded him about his time spent in the dial indicator assembly department. He admitted he'd spent a five day work-week there, and in that time, had not successfully assembled one single indicator. One woman asked if I wanted to look over her shoulder as she assembled a dial indicator. She was FAST. Nimble fingers, parts about like I see in the movements of my Hamilton railroad pocket watches. I leave repairs and servicing of my Hamilton pocket watches to a skilled horologist and I leave dial indicators alone. I treat them with care, same as I do my pocket watches. All have lasted many years, admittedly with servicing of the watches at regular intervals.

I had gotten a couple of Brown & Sharpe Swiss-made dial indicators reading in "tenths" (one ten-thousandth of an inch per graduation). These came in a lot of stuff when we purchased the estate of deceased toolmaker about 25 years ago or more. I never used those indicators. My nephew is working in a machine shop with a lot of CNC work. Every job seems to have tolerances in tenths. They put him on a Moore jig grinder from time to time. He remarked to me that he'd been borrowing his boss' dial indicators (reading in tenths). I took him down to my basement machine shop and gave him the two B & S 'tenth' indicators. He has been using them for the past couple of years. I do not miss those particular indicators for the work I do in my own shop.

IMHO, for a person working with older machine tools in a home shop, a dial indicator reading in 0.001" per graduation will be fine. I am old school, taught to 'buck in work' to center in a 4 jaw chuck by eye, expected to get it to closer than 1/64th inch runout before putting the dial indicator on it. I make a game of setting up jobs, whether in the lathe or on the mill, seeing how close I can buck things in by eye before indicating. I often bring work in within a couple of thousandths using the end of a toolbit to check runout of work, or eyeballing a wiggler in a prick punch mark on work on a faceplate. I think I was taught to rely on my eyes to buck work in because the machinists and toolmakers teaching me had come thru their time prior to WWII. Chances are back in their apprentice days, if they had an indicator it was one of the small lever-action type with a very limited range of measurement. A 0 to 1" travel indicator can spoil a person, but it sure is handy when used as a carriage travel indicator on a lathe, or for many other measurements on machine tools. An indicator reading in tenths is used on very fine work, and for most home shop machine work would have a person chasing their tail to chase the tenths.
 
Each type/style of dial indicator has its uses. I use the small "Last Word" indicator mainly for setup work such as indicating work or vise jaws on the mill. I mostly use a 0-1" Mitutoyo indicator with Noga magnetic base. This comes in handy for most work. I also have the style indicators with the "button contact" coming out the back of the indicator. These are handy for checking runouts and doing shaft or coupling alignment work on site.

Many years ago, I got the tour of the Starrett factory in Athol, Massachusetts. A 3d year toolmaker apprentice was assigned to give me a one-on-one tour. It lasted nearly 3 hours. I noted Starrett had Pratt & Whitney engine lathes in their toolroom. I was shown the dial indicator assembly department. It was a large, quiet room with natural light. There were umpteen wooden benches (which I was to learn later were sort of 'watchmaker's' style benches. Each bench had a "Dazor" type magnification lamp on a spring-loaded arm. Each bench had a lady sitting at it, assembling dial indicators from parts in what looked like muffin pans. When the women caught sight of the toolmaker apprentice they gently kidded him about his time spent in the dial indicator assembly department. He admitted he'd spent a five day work-week there, and in that time, had not successfully assembled one single indicator. One woman asked if I wanted to look over her shoulder as she assembled a dial indicator. She was FAST. Nimble fingers, parts about like I see in the movements of my Hamilton railroad pocket watches. I leave repairs and servicing of my Hamilton pocket watches to a skilled horologist and I leave dial indicators alone. I treat them with care, same as I do my pocket watches. All have lasted many years, admittedly with servicing of the watches at regular intervals.

I had gotten a couple of Brown & Sharpe Swiss-made dial indicators reading in "tenths" (one ten-thousandth of an inch per graduation). These came in a lot of stuff when we purchased the estate of deceased toolmaker about 25 years ago or more. I never used those indicators. My nephew is working in a machine shop with a lot of CNC work. Every job seems to have tolerances in tenths. They put him on a Moore jig grinder from time to time. He remarked to me that he'd been borrowing his boss' dial indicators (reading in tenths). I took him down to my basement machine shop and gave him the two B & S 'tenth' indicators. He has been using them for the past couple of years. I do not miss those particular indicators for the work I do in my own shop.

IMHO, for a person working with older machine tools in a home shop, a dial indicator reading in 0.001" per graduation will be fine. I am old school, taught to 'buck in work' to center in a 4 jaw chuck by eye, expected to get it to closer than 1/64th inch runout before putting the dial indicator on it. I make a game of setting up jobs, whether in the lathe or on the mill, seeing how close I can buck things in by eye before indicating. I often bring work in within a couple of thousandths using the end of a toolbit to check runout of work, or eyeballing a wiggler in a prick punch mark on work on a faceplate. I think I was taught to rely on my eyes to buck work in because the machinists and toolmakers teaching me had come thru their time prior to WWII. Chances are back in their apprentice days, if they had an indicator it was one of the small lever-action type with a very limited range of measurement. A 0 to 1" travel indicator can spoil a person, but it sure is handy when used as a carriage travel indicator on a lathe, or for many other measurements on machine tools. An indicator reading in tenths is used on very fine work, and for most home shop machine work would have a person chasing their tail to chase the tenths.
Joe,
What a great read! Too cool on your tour. It’s guys like you that are saving me many hours of searching the web and still coming out “glazed eyes” and still confused. I found out a long time ago that if you want to gain knowledge quickly and accurately you speak with someone who has been doing that work and they are “the pros” Your time spent with me is valuable. Thank you so much.
 
Joe,
What a great read! Too cool on your tour. It’s guys like you that are saving me many hours of searching the web and still coming out “glazed eyes” and still confused. I found out a long time ago that if you want to gain knowledge quickly and accurately you speak with someone who has been doing that work and they are “the pros” Your time spent with me is valuable. Thank you so much.
 

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Joe,
What a great read! Too cool on your tour. It’s guys like you that are saving me many hours of searching the web and still coming out “glazed eyes” and still confused. I found out a long time ago that if you want to gain knowledge quickly and accurately you speak with someone who has been doing that work and they are “the pros” Your time spent with me is valuable. Thank you so much.
Hearing the stories from guys like Joe are just an amazing educational experience!
 
Joe the toolmaker's apprentice was probably deliberately flubbing the assembly on those indicators so he could spend more time in that shop!

Most last-word type test indicators are dead easy to work on. Not much to go wrong, the pastic lenses sometime shrink and neet to be replaced. Other than that it's just cleaning years of grime from them. A hand-puller is all the specialized tooling needed. It's become a hobby to buy clapped-out indicators and rehabbing them - it makes a winter night go by faster.
 
Thanks Jim. Haven’t bought one yet. The above Pratt pic just offered me a lower price.
My inexperience leads me to this question. Would this indicator have what is needed to restore and set back up a lathe. Any info is appreciated.
 
Chemical Operator. Been there for 43 years. I don’t know anything about lathes but am fairly mechanically inclined.

What was you profession?
Hey, been a little while. Wanting to get a lift table to assist me on this Pratt and Whitney lathe. Thought I saw somewhere that the total weight is 1,350 lbs. if I remove everything, what would you estimate the bed and chip pan weigh?
 








 
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