What tools should I have?

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Harold_V
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Re: What tools should I have?

Post by Harold_V » Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:43 pm

Gauge blocks assure that you are working to a common standard. Measurements are good only when they are reliable. That's why working with calipers tends to be less than acceptable, as the reading one gets may or may not reflect true size. You can't do precision work reliably unless you achieve proper measurements.

Note the word "reliably". Many folks, I'm sure, work with less than acceptable measurements, but they are likely the folks who struggle, wondering why they have difficulty working to close tolerance.

I, too, use calipers, but NEVER for critical measurements. To do so would be much like asking a dog to recite poetry.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

John Hasler
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Re: What tools should I have?

Post by John Hasler » Thu Dec 27, 2018 7:33 pm

SteveHGraham wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:53 am
John Hasler wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:56 pm
SteveHGraham wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:14 pm
Dollar Tree sells reading glasses for a dollar. I buy 5 pairs at a time.
Reading glasses aren't real useful when you are nearsighted.
That's too bad. Those $1 reading glasses are a godsend for the rest of us.
It's not all bad. Where you would reach for your magnifying glass I just take off my glasses and bend down close.
The problem comes when I need to put them on again.

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SteveM
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Re: What tools should I have?

Post by SteveM » Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:17 pm

Dave_C wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 9:40 am
At my age I can use all the "easier" I can get. Properly translated that means "more tools"! :lol:
How many tools do I need?

Just one more.

Steve

spro
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Re: What tools should I have?

Post by spro » Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:39 pm

There is always something else and it is kind of sad, in a way.

Glenn Brooks
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Re: What tools should I have?

Post by Glenn Brooks » Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:57 pm

Mr Ron,

I kind of break down my shop purchases into three seperate areas: tools, tooling, and metrology stuff -e.g. all the measuring devices.

In the first area, I’ve found a 14” drill press, horizontal bandsaw (or power hacksaw), angle grinder, and cutting torch (oxy-acetylene and plasma cutter) to be really invaluable. All my cutting and welding equipment, except for a new small portable mini bandsaw, is used. And cost under $200. Each one is very useful necessary, indeed necessary, for preping raw material for machining.

I scrounge and recycle used steel for most of my projects. so The bandsaw is really essential for cutting raw stock to size. My old,1939 Delta Drill Press gets the most use of the three. In fact, I read somewhere in industry, the majority of all machining work is drilling holes. Also, surprisingly, over the last couple of years I have spent more time with my stick welder and 4” angle grinder, fabricating parts and structure, than I have on the lathe.

Old tools are cheap. Also often better made than the new import stuff- particularly Drill presses. For example, My ‘39 DP only shows .001” runout at the quill, and I,paid $100 for it at an estate sale. Part of the fun is scouting around for these old barn finds, and jumping on the once in a lifetime deals that show up 2 or 3 times a year.

Anyway, if you are to treat yourself to a new tool, you might consider a nice old Delta drill press.

Cheers,

Glenn
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

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John Hasler
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Re: What tools should I have?

Post by John Hasler » Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:56 pm

Glenn writes:
Anyway, if you are to treat yourself to a new tool, you might consider a nice old Delta drill press.

Or better yet, an old Avey drill press.

RSG
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Re: What tools should I have?

Post by RSG » Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:41 am

Mr Ron wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:01 pm
I'm thinking a set of gage blocks might come in handy, but not something I would be using all the time.
Funny you should mention that, I tend to buy tools as I have a need for them but I recently purchased a set on the notion that they may come in handy one day.....well I've used them several times already and now wonder why I didn't have them long ago.
Vision is not seeing things as they are, but as they will be.

Mr Ron
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Re: What tools should I have?

Post by Mr Ron » Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:32 pm

Glenn Brooks wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:57 pm
Mr Ron,

My old,1939 Delta Drill Press gets the most use of the three. For example, My ‘39 DP only shows .001” runout at the quill, and I,paid $100 for it at an estate sale.
Anyway, if you are to treat yourself to a new tool, you might consider a nice old Delta drill press.

Cheers,

Glenn
Funny you should mention that Delta DP. I have a Delta floor model DP, vintage, 1937-1939, the one with the round base. I got it for free about 35 years ago. I use it almost every day. It is probably the one tool I can't do without. I never checked it for runout, but it is original in every way, except for the counterweight system I put on the table and the new keyless chuck. The table can be hard to raise.
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

Mr Ron
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Re: What tools should I have?

Post by Mr Ron » Sat Dec 29, 2018 2:26 pm

I think I have narrowed down my quest for a tool I should have. It is a set of gage blocks. Now I know gage blocks can run into the thousands of dollars when your're talking about Webber or Mitutoyo. I see gage block sets, imported from China (naturally) that claim to conform to Fed specs that are in my price range

Although thousands is my operating range, would I be making a mistake buying a Chinese set? In other words, would such a set work for someone who doesn't work to watchmaker tolerances?

What would be an acceptable set of blocks that are sold by online tool suppliers, like Travers, MMC, MSC, etc? I'm thinking an 81 block set.

What about optical flats? Is that something to consider or is it too far over my amateur head?
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

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Dave_C
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Re: What tools should I have?

Post by Dave_C » Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:30 pm

What would be an acceptable set of blocks that are sold by online tool suppliers, like Travers, MMC, MSC, etc? I'm thinking an 81 block set.
Without getting into the "Grade" rating of gauge blocks, I find that the shop grade ones work very well for my needs.

Shop grade is accurate to +/- .0001"


Dave C.
I learn something new every day! Problem is I forget two.

pete
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Re: What tools should I have?

Post by pete » Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:39 pm

While optical flat's can be used to test something you already have (micrometer anvils etc.) for a home shop likely more use would be gained if you were doing high precision flat lapping down into the few millionths range. And afaik they all require the use of a monocromatic light source. Tom Lipton (Oxtools on Youtube) has some good videos showing how there used.

The first set of gauge blocks I bought were not exactly cheap at about 1/4 the price of a Mitutoyo grade 2 set. While cleaning them 2 of the blocks were marked and measured out as best as I could tell exactly the same size. Funny how that detail got missed on the included certification showing each blocks deviation in millionths from it's marked size. The later Mitutoyo set I bought wring together far better and have a much better surface finish. In my opinion hard to 100% verify accuracy items like this or something like a granite surface plates sort of invites a bit of less than truthful or even bogus numbers on the certifications if the manufacturer is less than honorable. If I was buying an off shore set of gauge blocks I'd certainly expect to mike every one of them just as a double check to catch any gross errors before I'd trust the blocks very much. In hind sight I think now I would have skipped the off shore set and hunted around on Ebay for a good condition Starrett or Mit. lightly used set. Even at that unless you get real lucky there still not exactly cheap. Generally the box condition there stored in will usually indicate a lot about how they were looked after and how much use they got. I happened to get lucky and found a Mit NOS set of grade 2's that were unopened for about half the price of new.

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SteveM
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Re: What tools should I have?

Post by SteveM » Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:51 pm

pete wrote:
Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:39 pm
And afaik they all require the use of a monocromatic light source.
Use a cheap laser pointer in a ping-pong ball (not my idea, got it from Pierre's Garage).

Steve

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