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Recommended Beginners Measuring Tool Set

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Nicholas Farr13/05/2021 12:12:20
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Hi, well I have a couple of the auto punches of the same design as the one in that set, they do produce a very small dot and when on the lowest setting it can be adjusted, but only a couple of times, mine don't produce a centre large enough for most drills above about 1.5mm, so after marking with one of these, I use either a hammer centre punch or a broader auto punch to produce a satisfactory centre punch mark.

The set above looks good value for the money, and I'm not putting it down or being derogatory, but it reminds me of something that one might find in a school metal work classroom or a college for first year students for training fundamentals in measuring and marking out, but that doesn't mean it's the only place for one.

SOD. I find jenny's are OK for some things, like marking off from the end of a bar or thickish plate, but for sheet metal the odd leg one is much more useful.

Regards Nick.

Mike Poole13/05/2021 12:12:29
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Posted by AdrianR on 13/05/2021 07:09:14:

I have a bottle of Dykem blue, it sits on the shelf never used as I keep forgetting to get a small brush. Instead, I use cheap permanent markers (3 for £1) So if you want to use Dykem try and get one with a built-in brush.

you may find the Dykem has a brush included in the lid, the smaller bottles often do. If you have to use a separate brush then a pot of solvent to keep it in will be handy or the brush will soon be solid.

Mike

Nicholas Farr13/05/2021 12:14:53
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2808 forum posts
1274 photos

Hi, well I have a couple of the auto punches of the same design as the one in that set, they do produce a very small dot and when on the lowest setting it can be adjusted, but only a couple of times, mine don't produce a centre large enough for most drills above about 1.5mm, so after marking with one of these, I use either a hammer centre punch or a broader auto punch to produce a satisfactory centre punch mark.

The set above looks good value for the money, and I'm not putting it down or being derogatory, but it reminds me of something that one might find in a school metal work classroom or a college for first year students for training fundamentals in measuring and marking out, but that doesn't mean it's the only place for one.

SOD. I find jenny's are OK for some things, like marking off from the end of a bar or thickish plate, but for sheet metal the odd leg one is much more useful.

Regards Nick.

Nicholas Farr13/05/2021 12:14:54
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2808 forum posts
1274 photos

#

Edited By Nicholas Farr on 13/05/2021 12:16:31

SillyOldDuffer13/05/2021 12:41:37
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7229 forum posts
1593 photos

Posted by Nicholas Farr on 13/05/2021 12:14:53:

...

SOD. I find jenny's are OK for some things, like marking off from the end of a bar or thickish plate, but for sheet metal the odd leg one is much more useful.

Regards Nick.

Quite right: this sort

Ta,

Dave

Michael Gilligan13/05/2021 15:13:35
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18080 forum posts
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Posted by Nicholas Farr on 13/05/2021 12:12:20:

Hi, well I have a couple of the auto punches of the same design as the one in that set, they do produce a very small dot and when on the lowest setting it can be adjusted, but only a couple of times, mine don't produce a centre large enough for most drills above about 1.5mm, so after marking with one of these, I use either a hammer centre punch or a broader auto punch to produce a satisfactory centre punch mark.

[…]

.

It seems we may have different approaches, Nick ... which is absolutely fine, of course.

I use a small ‘dot punch’ to locate the position, and then the automatic centre-punch [on a high setting] to enlarge the dot ... anything beyond that involves a drill of some sort.

The very tip of my ideal dot punch sits nicely in a scribed line.

MichaelG.

.

Confession time: __ I currently use Eclipse scriber points as ‘dot punches’

https://www.cromwell.co.uk/shop/hand-tools/scribers/220-05-scriber-point/p/ECL5671220A

 

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 13/05/2021 15:16:05

Howard Lewis13/05/2021 22:14:05
4866 forum posts
12 photos

For a start, you could probably survive with:

6" steel rule

Digital Calliper Can measure in Metric or Imperial, at the touch of a button.

Scribing Block

Feeler gauges

Zeus Charts.

Obviously tooling for the lathe. I would suggest HSS, so that you learn how to grind tools. Carbide replaceable tips come ready sharpened, but can chip easily and therefore be costly. The cost of one tip will buy a length of HSS which can be reground lots of times.

When I bought my first lathe, I was given a 6 inch long HSS parting tool and holder. Over 20 years later, it is about half length, but still not worn out!

Which implies a Bench Grinder!

A couple of Centre Drills

A set of Jobber Twist Drills

(For the moment, decide if are you going to work in Imperial or Metric units ) In the future you may well wish to expand. But learn to walk before entering the Olympic sprint championships.

If you want some useful reading, which will give basic information::

"The Amateur's Workshop" by Ian Bradley. Covers work other than lathes, but does tell how to set a lathe so that the bed is not twisted, and so should cut parallel.

"The Amateurs Lathe" by L H Sparey.

"The Model Engineers Handbook" by Tubal Cain. An invaluable reference manual on many subjects.

Neil Wyatt and Dave Fenner have both written books dealing specifically with the mini lathe.

Harold Hall has written a book on Lathework.

Soon, you should be able to find and join a local Model Engineering Club. Your contacts there will provide face to face advice, even demonstrations, in addition the advice that you find here on the Forum.

As you gain experience and confidence, you will find a need for

Plunger DTI

Finger DTI

Magnetic Base (In the interests of rigidity avoid the ones with an Adjustable arm. A measuring device that is not rigid will not provide accurate results.

As you gain experience, knowledge and confidence and seek to tackle other more complicated work, Taps and Dies. (This can be expensive if you want to cover ALL possibilities )  But for the moment you can survive by buying just those that you need immediately. A complete sets in a box is very nice (I have lots, but some have never been used, as well as few "one off" specials! )

You can worry about Screw Pitch Gauges (They will be useful eventually ) and radius gauges , WHEN the time comes.

Before launching into machining expensive castings for a model, learn how to use your lathe by making tools which will be useful not only to gain experience, but which will be useful.

Scrapping a few inches of steel bar will be a lot cheaper than a casting for a model!.

If you make a mess of a piece of 20 mm bar, you can always learn by turning down to 19 mm, and possibly to improve the surface finish whilst doing it.

A Centre Height Gauge.. Saves time setting tools to Centre Height, so that they cut properly. Biscuit tins make good shims, being about 0.010" (0.25 mm) thick..

A Mandrel Handle. Eventually you will find a use for one.

You can try making a few Bolts or Nuts for a particular, non critical job.

Do not become obsessed with delusions of accuracy. Unless you buy a VERY expensive Toolroom lathe, the sort of machines that we use will not equal such a level of accuracy or precision.

Think in terms of working in thous, not microns!

A micron is the sort of tolerance used in Fuel Injection Equipment subjected to pressures of 1,000 bar or more, which usually means a lapped fit so that only those two components will fit together properly.

A new 3 jaw chuck is likely to produce run out of about 0.003" (0.075 mm) Which is less than the thickness of a human hair! A sheet of writing paper will be about 0.003" thick.

Sorry to go on at such length, but do not want a beginner to become disillusioned because of failure to reach unrealistic goals.

Howard

Edited By Howard Lewis on 13/05/2021 22:15:40

Nigel Graham 214/05/2021 10:24:04
1525 forum posts
20 photos

If you are going to do a lot of marking-out involving a centre-punch, obtain a bench-block.

This is not the same as a surface-plate, which is an accurate measuring reference surface. The bench-block is just a large-ish, thick steel plate with a reasonably flat and smooth surface, to rest the work on for centre-punching, letter-stamping and the like, so you are not hammering anything on a surface-plate or machine table. If you try punching or stamping an item on a wooden bench, the bench absorbs much of the blow or can make the work-piece bounce, making accuracy more difficult.

'

A magnifying-glass - for verifying centre-punch marks, reading small rule divisions, the markings on tap shanks, etc.

A plain caliper, used with a rule, can be useful when you need measure the diameter of something too large for a vernier or digital caliper. You won't expect high accuracy of course, but it still has its place.

'

I use the Zeus book all the time, in parallel with one of those big conversion / tapping-drill charts sold by Tracy Tools. In fact I have two Tracy charts - one hangs up in the workshop, the other's by my computer for use in designing. You might say, "Well, why not look it up on line? " Very simple - it's much more direct for the majority of workshop conversions and sums, and does not demand my turning off all those blasted cookie filters each time!

Also keep a simple calculator in the workshop, wrapped in a freezer-bag to keep it clean. Your 15G How-are-we radio-telephone may have a built-in super-computer but again, the calculator is direct and you don't want to risk oily swarf on your costly 'phone.)

I must admit bias here. My portable telephone has neither Internet access nor a calculator worth the name. However, I do own a PC and use TurboCAD and Excel for my engineering, but I do keep a scientific calculator and look-up tables alongside the computer. They complement each other.

Nicholas Farr14/05/2021 10:55:09
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2808 forum posts
1274 photos
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 13/05/2021 15:13:35:
Posted by Nicholas Farr on 13/05/2021 12:12:20:

Hi, well I have a couple of the auto punches of the same design as the one in that set, they do produce a very small dot and when on the lowest setting it can be adjusted, but only a couple of times, mine don't produce a centre large enough for most drills above about 1.5mm, so after marking with one of these, I use either a hammer centre punch or a broader auto punch to produce a satisfactory centre punch mark.

[…]

.

It seems we may have different approaches, Nick ... which is absolutely fine, of course.

I use a small ‘dot punch’ to locate the position, and then the automatic centre-punch [on a high setting] to enlarge the dot ... anything beyond that involves a drill of some sort.

The very tip of my ideal dot punch sits nicely in a scribed line.

MichaelG.

.

Confession time: __ I currently use Eclipse scriber points as ‘dot punches’

**LINK**

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 13/05/2021 15:16:05

Hi MichaelG, I've no problem with different approaches, worked with many people who had many different approaches, some of which were quite bizarre to everyone else in the team, the main thing being we were usually all on the same playing field and got the jobs done.

Regards Nick.

SillyOldDuffer14/05/2021 11:10:23
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7229 forum posts
1593 photos
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 13/05/2021 15:13:35:
Posted by Nicholas Farr on 13/05/2021 12:12:20:

...

[…]

.

...

The very tip of my ideal dot punch sits nicely in a scribed line.

...

With my small sharp centre-punch I can feel the intersection between two scribed lines. Fingers are remarkably sensitive.

Having located it I mark the intersection with a light tap and confirm accuracy with a loupe. If the ding is off-centre, it can be corrected by tapping the punch tilted to move it. Then I use an automatic centre punch to enlarge the hole, partly because it's quicker, partly because I tend to wander the pop when whacking an ordinary punch with a hammer. If there's no particular need for accuracy, I go straight for the automatic punch.

Dave

bernard towers14/05/2021 23:46:08
188 forum posts
71 photos

Regarding the auto dot punches they do move as it does two operations to mark the material, I made the one from a 1940’s model engineer which is semi auto. The operation of it means that you preload it before putting the point on your material then press the button for marking, this gives no recoil = no movement. The body is quite chunky but it works.

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