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A matter of trust...

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bugbear650203/09/2018 11:15:37
78 forum posts
6 photos

I picked up a nice little Eclipse #220 pocket scribe yesterday, for no money (OK, I paid 20p).

The reversible point was (as usual) stuck, but the usual combination of lubricant, cleaning, and careful application of force got it out easily enough.

Sadly, it was snapped.

Checking my other 220's (it turns out I already had 2), I discovered that the newer models have a 1/8" (0.125" ) scribe, while the latest acquisition (which I judge to be the oldest of them, it's more nicely made), had a 1/10 (0.100" ).

Tricky. Where does one get 1/10" stock?

Re-checking (with a vernier'd micrometer, not a dial caliper) showed that the 1/8" point was very accurate indeed; 0.1248", only two-tenths off. Wow, Eclipse make accurate stuff!

The 1/10" was not so good, a coupla' thou short, 0.098".

Not very accurate. Hmm.

Acting on hunch...

0.098" in mm is 2.489.

Re-checking the micrometer, the actual reading is more like 0.0985", which is 2.502 mm.

It's METRIC (and bang on accurate, too). I should have trusted Eclipse all along...


Edited By bugbear6502 on 03/09/2018 11:16:16

Howard Lewis04/09/2018 20:48:24
5224 forum posts
13 photos

If you want to make a new point for the scriber, you could sacrifice a good quality 2.5mm twist drill, (or even a broken one) and sharpen the shortened shank to a point.

It works well for me!


bugbear650205/09/2018 08:51:33
78 forum posts
6 photos
Posted by Howard Lewis on 04/09/2018 20:48:24:

If you want to make a new point for the scriber, you could sacrifice a good quality 2.5mm twist drill, (or even a broken one) and sharpen the shortened shank to a point.

It works well for me!


Indeed - 2.5mm and 1/8" drill bits are now on my "look for" list.


John Haine05/09/2018 09:28:20
4086 forum posts
241 photos

Drill shanks (at least in larger sizes) are often not fully hardened.

Gordon W05/09/2018 09:58:23
2011 forum posts

Masonery nails- you might find one the right dia. and make good scribers.

JohnF05/09/2018 10:41:04
1091 forum posts
164 photos

Why not just use Silver steel / Drill rod then harden and temper !

Vic05/09/2018 13:33:37
2894 forum posts
8 photos
Posted by Gordon W on 05/09/2018 09:58:23:

Masonery nails- you might find one the right dia. and make good scribers.

Yes they’re really tough and hard aren't they, I wonder what they’re made from?

Philip Rowe05/09/2018 16:19:55
217 forum posts
31 photos

In my experience the quality of masonry nails does vary, the type that carpet fitters seem to use are the the worse case and never very long - for obvious reasons. However I do have a quantity of of "Obo" masonry pins that I remember my father buying back in the early 60's, these are very sharp and could be used as a scriber point without any further finishing. They are exremely hard and when driving them into masonry one has to ensure that the hammer blows are dead square otherwise they shatter into many pieces with an attendant shower of sparks! Definitely they are a case for wearing full face protection, although back in the sixties I didn't bother!


roy entwistle05/09/2018 16:29:44
1400 forum posts

I have a large masonry nail ground at about 30 degrees stuck into a file handle. I use it for hand turning on things like finials etc. Very useful


Gordon W06/09/2018 09:04:56
2011 forum posts

I've just measured my 2 scribers- masonery nails in dowels. One is 3mm dia and other 1.5mm dia. ,I've been using these for about 20 yrs and sharpened maybe twice.

Michael Gilligan06/09/2018 09:31:51
18698 forum posts
912 photos

I remembered the trade name OBO but wondered what had become of them ...

This looks encouraging [significantly cheaper than retail prices] **LINK**

... especially as they offer a 60mm long nail, which should be long enough to make useful things !


Clive Brown 106/09/2018 09:44:36
687 forum posts
32 photos

My "go-to" scribers have points from a gramophone needle set into a length of round bar. Cheap as chips so I have them scattered around the workshop. Lasts a long time, and I've still got a tin-full of needles.


John Baron06/09/2018 10:49:31
481 forum posts
186 photos

Hi Guys,

What is wrong with using a broken carbide pcb drill ?

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