Vintage 4" Helios Dial Caliper
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    Default Vintage 4" Helios Dial Caliper

    They say (not sure who "they" are) there are no dumb questions, so here goes-- I recently came into possession of a Helios 4" dial caliper, 0-100-0 dial face. I can't find a model number on it. How does one go about adjusting the dial face/pointer such that it is in the "12 o'clock position" when reading zero?? Right now, it is "clocked" at about the 10 o'clock position, and well zeroed there. I believe the dial face is frozen/stuck, as I cannot get it to rotate. There is a small knurled thumbscrew that protrudes from the REAR of the dial, not sure what it's function is. Could it possibly be the dial lock? It turns freely, I can easily screw it in/out. The dial face will not move regardless of it's position. I am familiar with Mitutoyo dial calipers, and there is a similar thumbscrew/clamp to lock the dial but it is located on the outer periphery of the dial. At any rate, I realize once the Helios dial can be rotated to 12 o'clock, the rack/gear/pointer relationship will have to be adjusted as well to re-zero it. There is no tool provided with the Helios (the Mitutoyo does have one in it's case) so not sure how this would be accomplished on the Helios. Use the Mitutoyo tool, or make something similar?

    Sorry for the long-winded (and probably dumb as well) questions, but I need some help with this. This is the first Helios caliper I have owned. And yes, I realize the simplest thing is to just LEAVE the dial where it is

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    Most calipers[except B&S/Etalon] you slip a little shim into the works to disengage the spring loaded gear wheel from the rack and position it where you want

    I would ignore it and use it

    [edit]

    You slide it in the end up against the rack and it pushes the gear away

    Never done it on a helios

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    Quote Originally Posted by gustafson View Post
    Most calipers[except B&S/Etalon] you slip a little shim into the works to disengage the spring loaded gear wheel from the rack and position it where you want

    I would ignore it and use it

    [edit]

    You slide it in the end up against the rack and it pushes the gear away

    Never done it on a helios
    Gustafson: That was my first thought as well. For sake of argument, though, what about the "frozen" dial? Is the thumbscrew I described that protrudes from the REAR of the dial, the actual mechanical lock for the dial? Or does this screw have some other function? At any rate, with that screw loose or tight, the dial remains frozen at the 10 o'clock position. So if in fact that screw IS the dial lock, then there must be another reason that the dial will not rotate (perhaps a bit of unseen dirt/corrosion?). The good news is that the caliper IS usable as the pointer is well "zeroed" at that position, but I would still like to "free" the dial and set it to the preferred 12 o'clock position. The caliper is very clean, no visible corrosion, and it appears to be in very good condition. The "rack" is clean, the caliper operates smoothly, and generally shows VERY little visible wear. Don't ask me why, not sure I actually know, but it just "bugs" me that presently it cannot be reset properly.

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    Been a few decades since I had my hands on a Helios

    Try a skosh of WD on the edge of the dial and wait is all I can think of

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    Quote Originally Posted by gustafson View Post
    Been a few decades since I had my hands on a Helios

    Try a skosh of WD on the edge of the dial and wait is all I can think of
    Ooof. Maybe some Starrett M1 instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cole2534 View Post
    Ooof. Maybe some Starrett M1 instead.
    Folks, thanks for the suggestions on freeing the dial. I did put a skosh of Kroil, using a q-tip, around the periphery of the dial. Hope that is OK, I know that stuff really penetrates. I'll give it a try and see if it will move in a few days.

    Does anyone actually KNOW what the function of the knurled thumbscrew that is located on the backside of the caliper, directly behind the dial? I think it is the dial "lock", don't know what ELSE it could be... The thumbscrew is "captured" (it's travel is limited to a few threads in either direction) by the caliper body, so it cannot actually be removed without disassembly of the caliper. Not that I would WANT to remove it...I mention it here just for info. Helios probably made it in this fashion to prevent the inadvertent loss of the screw?


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