|597 forum posts|
Going through more of my inheritance I discovered an odd looking little tool called "The Unique" Pat No 234947/11. I could not find the original patent but found a related one that mentioned it and what it was for.
Came as a great surprise that it was a 0 - 15 thou DTI to fit on a scriber block.
|Michael Gilligan||30/05/2019 14:50:30|
20289 forum posts
One here, sold on ebay, with some useful photos, but no reference to the patent:
|Clive Foster||30/05/2019 15:53:47|
|3173 forum posts|
Considering that these devices were right at the bottom of the economy end of the indicator market mine is unreasonably accurate. As near as can be judged from the scale it is spot on through the whole range. Although I pretty much never used it in anger it was clearly a useful and, within its limits, a very capable tool.
Came in a box of bits spanning the whole range from total rubbish to treasure obtained with my first lathe. A Portass S wildly overpriced at two pints and a packet of Players. 45 years on the treasures were more than worth the asking price. Especially as I made a whole £2 profit on the lathe after refurbishment and assembly onto a base with countershaft & motor.
|BC Prof||30/05/2019 16:30:39|
|169 forum posts|
Purchased mine for 2 shillings more than 50 yrs ago . The shop was closing down and the owner had found a box of them as he sorted out his "treasures" . Used it on my Granville lathe until I could afford a DTI .
|597 forum posts|
I checked mine, it is accurate within 1/2 thou which is impressive as it has been in the bottom of a bits box for ages.
Wish I knew how it worked, an indicator like that would be great for setting lathe tool height.
|Nicholas Farr||30/05/2019 20:04:38|
3421 forum posts
Hi, my one was my fathers, he had two of them but the other one has got lost many years ago. This one has J H G on one side and you can just make out that it was made in England.
Buck & Hickman, Ltd. sold them in 1958.
|Nicholas Farr||30/05/2019 20:10:23|
3421 forum posts
Here's the front view, if anyone is interested **LINK**
6692 forum posts
Harley-Davidson sold a similar - but even cruder - tool for truing up flywheel crankshaft assemblies in vintage days. Countless thousands of cranks must have been set up within the specified total runout of .001" or less using them, so they must work better than they look.
Used in a truing stand with the small right-angle tang rubbing on the crank mainshaft, so the long end of the pointer amplifies the movement to a readable level. Crude but effective!
The Unique looks downright sophisticated by comparison. I also vaguely remember seeing gauges like the Unique with with a small finger like a DTI sticking out the end rather than the button, and the body was made of brass with fine graduations on it. Can't remember where though. Some machine shop in a previous millenium!
Edited By Hopper on 31/05/2019 01:34:58
704 forum posts
i thought most of those HD type truing stands just used centres, but in that pic of yours above, it has small rollers or bearings adjacent.
|Nigel Graham 2||02/06/2019 17:22:09|
|2287 forum posts|
Ah, yes, I have just taken mine out of the tool-chest to examine it... No the PC's not in the workshop. It's in the lounge. The tools are in the hall.
Mine is the same as Adrian's, with its indicator needle and scale exposed at the end, not in a small window as on Nicholas' version.
Adrian: it's probably intended to be used as a height comparator on the surface-plate, so the scriber you've clamped yours to would act only as its support arm. Same as any DTI. Similarly for centring work on a lathe or rotary-table, from a turned surface on the work-piece.
I'd always thought my Unique's neat little tin-plate box, just the right size, was original to it; until I looked closely. It reads "By Appointment Tobacconists to the King" on the lid, and embossed in the bottom, is "Duty-Free H.M. Ships Only". By which I conclude, it was a snuff-tin, it being only of Unique DTI size. As for which King....
I must admit I've never used it, but it's there in case. In its case. By vicarious Royal Appointment at that.
6692 forum posts
Good spot. I think the pic - just grabbed off the net - may in fact be a later model Rowe product. Rollers to do Brit and Jap bike cranks that either had no centre holes, or had a large hole down the mainshaft, or had centres but had been centreless ground to finish. But the stand and finger gauges are otherwise copied from the old HD product.
|371 forum posts|
YouTube creator David Richards in his 'Old Steam Powered Machine Shop' can be seen using a similar item fairly regularly. Having just returned from a Winter in Florida, episode 54 shows him getting his Upper New York state workshop up and running again. I can't point to a specific episode where the device can be seen in use but it is no hardship to watch a good few videos, all his equipment and most of his techniques are pre-1925. Fascinating.
|roy entwistle||03/06/2019 14:42:50|
|1551 forum posts|
I have two similar indicators made by Verdict
|Martin Johnson 1||03/06/2019 16:34:45|
|154 forum posts|
I have one that I bought at a club sale for half a crown. That gives you some idea of when that was.
It has done sterling service over the years, setting up lathes and truing up work. With the arrival of a pucker dial gauge (for a lot more than 2/6), it is now still used on a crude stand for setting lathe tool height - on centre is centre of the scale, so easy to see if you are high or low. I ground the rounded "stylus" flat for this job.
Highly recommended for those on a tight budget.
|Roderick Jenkins||15/09/2020 14:23:18|
2201 forum posts
Ricard Arwel is trying to identify one of these in "Scribe a line" in MEW 297
|Mick B1||15/09/2020 14:37:31|
|2224 forum posts|
Blimey. Well, if there were loads of them, 'Unique' was a false trade description then, wasn't it?
|Howard Lewis||15/09/2020 14:57:57|
|6311 forum posts|
Precision, before we needed to change the battery every few weeks!
And to think that precision work was done using callipers; before graduated dials, just a pencil or chalk mark and a nudge.
These devices must have seemed a huge leap forward. To be kept and treasured.
5175 forum posts
Or "half a dollar" as it was known back in 'dem days when there were 4 dollars to the pound
|Nigel Graham 2||15/09/2020 21:28:57|
|2287 forum posts|
The Crown (Five shillings) was called a "dollar"? Was it? I never heard that name -was it was something regional?
|Andrew Tinsley||15/09/2020 22:12:05|
|1614 forum posts|
A "dollar" was definite 5 bob! Most people of my age used the term, definitely not a local or regional thing. I still use the term for 25p!
Please login to post a reply.
Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!
Sign up to our newsletter and get a free digital issue.
You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.
Click THIS LINK for full contact details.
For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.