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DTI base

Need something else for using on the mill...

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Henry Brown01/04/2020 11:32:29
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195 forum posts
48 photos

I currently have a magnetic dti base that is ok for use on the lathe but a pita on the mill, I can never seem to get the clock, usually a plunder type or the finger type shown where I want it to be. The knobs are on the large side the fine adjuster seems to get in the way and its just too big really.

I looked at the snake neck type but they are eye-wateringly expensive so considered the ball joint type but they seem to have a mixed press. I may just buy the arm as I have a couple of mag bases and see how it goes.

Would anyone like to make any other suggestions before I bend the credit card again?

dti.jpg

Martin Connelly01/04/2020 11:42:44
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1258 forum posts
152 photos

This hydraulic one is my go to mag base unit.

img_20200401_113705.jpg

Martin C

Journeyman01/04/2020 11:55:32
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783 forum posts
134 photos

If you are thinking of getting one from Amazon have a look ***HERE*** for my review. Basically just don't!

John

Peter G. Shaw01/04/2020 12:04:59
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1077 forum posts
44 photos

Harold Hall in his book Model Engineers' Workshop Projects (WSP39) chapter 12 has some suggestions. MEW14, Dec 1992, through to April 1993, along with MEW151 & 152 (Jun & Jul 2009) are probably earlier versions of the same. (MEW151 & MEW152 are stated in my home made database to be metric versions of the original plus new photos.)

Peter G. Shaw

Martin Connelly01/04/2020 12:13:49
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1258 forum posts
152 photos

I would just add that my experience of the snake neck type (if we are talking about segmented type with a central cable to pull it tight and lock it) is that they should only be bought from someone who will refund your money if you are not happy with it!

Martin C

Bazyle01/04/2020 12:24:40
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5142 forum posts
199 photos

Ditch the fine adjuster bit and if necessary use an ordinary bit of steel for that arm. Replace the adjusters with normal bolts with a smaller wing nut shape soldered on.

not done it yet01/04/2020 12:27:16
4509 forum posts
16 photos

Journeyman,

I just looked at your review. It reminds me of bang whotsit items. Only buy if you can afford to throw it away. I’ve got one similar to that one - likely from bang whotsit. It simply does not get used. The magnetic base is not that magnetic and it is small. I still use my M&W or Eclipse all the time.

Good of you to be honest and not one of those reviewers on the kit supplier’s payroll (free gifts and percentage commission on purchases made through their referrals) who make loads of misleading(?) reviews that eulogise about kit that is not that good

To Henry - Buy cheap, buy twice. It is something that you need to use regularly, so a good quality item is a must, as far as I am concerned. Yes, positioning is always a problem with a small mill. A clock of any description is most usefully mounted to the spindle or spindle housing in my experience.

I bought attachment from Arc **LINK** and find it most useful on the mill.

I’ve only used it with a dti so far, but that is what most measurements are for - comparative, not absolute.

Howard Lewis01/04/2020 12:33:44
3154 forum posts
2 photos

I have an "adjustable" one but RARELY use it. I prefer to use the use the old types which bare rigid. Why try to measure tenths of a thous with something can flap about by as much or more.

FWIW my advice is to use straight rods and monkey blocks. More rigid, and more compact.

If need be, you can make up your own fitting to suit the mag base. You may be able to reuse some of the clamps from your existing one. Just dispense with the adjuster.

Howard

Mike Poole01/04/2020 12:52:43
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2546 forum posts
60 photos

I bit the bullet and bought a Noga, I think it was Stefan Gotteswinter who demonstrated how much an arm moves by mounting a base and indicator on a plate taking a reading and then inverting the whole thing and noting the change in reading. The Noga is quite good at being completely floppy so you can position the indicator and then tighten using one knob, not cheap but the imitation ones don’t seem to get it quite right, a bit of work can improve them though. Also consider some other fixtures for an indicator, toolpost mounts on the lathe can be useful and other fixing points on the mill can be made. A regular task is probably checking the vice so a fixing to hold the indicator in the ideal position could be very convenient. A mag base is very versatile but it does rely on a flat surface to be available in a useful place. I would have reservations about the rigidity of the snake arm type for an indicator.

Mike

Henry Brown01/04/2020 13:00:03
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195 forum posts
48 photos

Thanks chaps!

Martin - That looks a noce bit of kit, Noga perhaps? I see that Chronos do a cheaper version, if it didn't work I could send it back. Thanks for the heads up on the snake neck type. There is a slightly used Eclipse on on the bay at the moment but maybe best left alone - I don't remember using one when I was on the handles years ago.

Journeyman - I used to have your blog pinned on my PC but it seems to have disappeared! I have occasionally bought cheap stuff with the intention of spending a few hours putting it right with reasonable success but if they really as cheap and nasty then maybe that is best left alone...

Peter - Thanks, I'll have a look and see if I can find the articles...

Bazyle - I had thought about that but its fine for use on the lathe. I have a spare base and a few dti's so need something to join them together for keeping by the mill...

ndiy - Totally agree with that. I hadn't seen the ARC arm, unfortunately it wont fit on the quill on my mill as its 50mm dia. A home made version might be wroth investigating though.

We'll see what come along, I can manage but do like my toys!

Henry Brown01/04/2020 13:37:24
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195 forum posts
48 photos

Howard - agree on the rigidity thing, just exploring what others are doing with a dti on the mill...

Mike - I'm considering making something like the ARC one, maybe a little more beefy. Interesting that you are not keen on the snake type.

Again, thanks gents...

Dennis D01/04/2020 13:50:09
66 forum posts
2 photos

Henry

I bought one of the quill clamping arms NDIY mentioned from Machine DRO via Amazon. It is rated

Quill Clamp Range - 40mm (1 10/16" to 52mm (2" so should go round your quill OK.

Use Universal Indicator Quill Clamp for DTI, in the Amazon search box I've only used it once for checking the chuck was central on a rotary table but it made the job easier

Edited By Dennis D on 01/04/2020 13:50:37

old mart01/04/2020 14:29:38
1549 forum posts
136 photos

I have a snake neck type which is adjustable for tension, but was never satisfactory for using with a dti. It now has a small, 4" by 6" polycarbonate chip guard on the end which actually works quite well. The Noga type with the central locking point are better, the real Noga is by far the best, but expensive, the clones can often be dismantled and improved in their locking action. I have a Noga clone which is ok except the fine adjust part is rather wobbly.

Michael Gilligan01/04/2020 15:11:18
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15491 forum posts
670 photos
Posted by Martin Connelly on 01/04/2020 12:13:49:

I would just add that my experience of the snake neck type (if we are talking about segmented type with a central cable to pull it tight and lock it) is that they should only be bought from someone who will refund your money if you are not happy with it!

Martin C

.

The genuine Mitutoyo one works remarkably well.

Many of the others probably demonstrate what Ruskin is alleged to have said [*]:

There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper ...

MichaelG.
.

[*] although, I am not aware of of any definite attribution to him

Martin Connelly01/04/2020 15:49:26
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1258 forum posts
152 photos

Henry, not easy to see in the photo but the base has Mitutoyo on it. You can't see the face of the knob but that also says Mitutoyo.

Martin C

Corrected spelling.

Edited By Martin Connelly on 01/04/2020 16:05:21

SillyOldDuffer01/04/2020 15:50:51
5642 forum posts
1159 photos
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 01/04/2020 15:11:18:
Posted by Martin Connelly on 01/04/2020 12:13:49:
...
...

Many of the others probably demonstrate what Ruskin is alleged to have said...

There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper ...

...

Ah but Ruskin wasn't an engineer, and I'm not convinced by his: 'there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.'

How about:

  • Those things are dearest to us that have cost us most. - Montaigne, 1580
  • What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value - Thomas Paine, 1776
  • Everything is worth what the purchaser will pay for it. - Publicus Syrus, 1st century BC
  • Half the vices which the world condemns most loudly have seeds of good in them and require moderate use rather than total abstinence - Samuel Butler, 1903

devil

Dave

Michael Gilligan01/04/2020 16:19:59
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15491 forum posts
670 photos
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 01/04/2020 15:50:51:
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 01/04/2020 15:11:18:
Posted by Martin Connelly on 01/04/2020 12:13:49:
...
...

Many of the others probably demonstrate what Ruskin is alleged to have said...

There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper ...

...

Ah but Ruskin wasn't an engineer, […]

.

Which may be why we can’t find any evidence that he said it angel

MichaelG.

Martin Connelly01/04/2020 16:21:38
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1258 forum posts
152 photos

MichaelG, I think my issue with the snake neck was not so much the rigidity of it but its lack of flexibility in positioning.

Martin C

Michael Gilligan01/04/2020 16:29:56
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15491 forum posts
670 photos

Thanks for the clarification, Martin ... I obviously mis-interpreted what you wrote blush

I thought you had found a quality issue.

Yes, the Mitutoyo snake works ... No, it’s not compact.

MichaelG.

Wout Moerman 101/04/2020 17:14:53
11 forum posts
Posted by Howard Lewis on 01/04/2020 12:33:44:

I have an "adjustable" one but RARELY use it. I prefer to use the use the old types which bare rigid. Why try to measure tenths of a thous with something can flap about by as much or more.

FWIW my advice is to use straight rods and monkey blocks. More rigid, and more compact.

If need be, you can make up your own fitting to suit the mag base. You may be able to reuse some of the clamps from your existing one. Just dispense with the adjuster.

Howard

Sorry, but what are monkey blocks?

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