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Indicator

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Stephen Follows24/03/2022 14:07:26
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I'm looking to buy a new dial indicator. I've seen a Neotek 0-20 mm on Amazon priced at £42.99 including stand.The reviews seem to be for the digital version though.

Has anyone got any experience of Neotek stuff?

Maybe you could recommend a decent indicator, (not DTI).

My budget is in the £40 to £60 range.

Tony Pratt 124/03/2022 14:34:07
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Hi, not sure what you mean a 'decent indicator' (not DTI as in dial test 'indicator'? Anyway Mitutoyo are a decent brand.

Tony

Edited By Tony Pratt 1 on 24/03/2022 14:34:46

Edited By Tony Pratt 1 on 24/03/2022 14:35:32

JasonB24/03/2022 14:42:55
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Do you mean a plunge type indicator which the 20mm range would seem to suggest as opposed to a lever dti?

Never heard of that make before, ARC one does OK for me.

Edited By JasonB on 24/03/2022 14:45:50

Stephen Follows24/03/2022 14:45:29
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A dial indicator has a greater range than a DTI. More suited to truing stock in a lathe.A DTI has a range of typically 0 - 0.8mm in both directions whereas a Dial Indicator has a typical range of 0 - 10mm.

MikeK24/03/2022 15:04:07
226 forum posts
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I have no experience with that brand, but I do have several Chinese indicators that work just fine. You might be surprised how terrible they aren't. And the low cost lets you have several of them...I have one of the Chinese indicators permanently attached to a carriage stop for indicating Z depth. I also have a Mitutoyo that is good, though I use the Chinese ones most of the time. For centering round stock in the lathe I use a DTI, because I want the extra precision. I can dial in the 4-jaw to within 0.010" (0.25mm) by using a pointer or lathe tool for reference and then bring it in with the DTI. For square work I do use a standard indicator.

Sorry if that was a distraction.

Mike

Nigel Bennett24/03/2022 15:25:54
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If you want it for setting up work in a 4-jaw, don't get a digital one - buy an analogue one. If you're using it for actual measurement, then a digital one is a good choice.

Tim Stevens24/03/2022 15:32:54
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1598 forum posts

Confusion can arise - especially in steam circles. an indicator is a device to measure (on a dial) and record the steam pressure in an engine cylinder as it produces power under load. A calculation then gives the 'indicated horsepower'. But that is not what is required here.

If you ask a vague question you are likely to get a vague answer - sorry.

Cheers, Tim

Andrew Johnston24/03/2022 16:14:50
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To avoid confusion on the left is a dial indicator, on the right is a dial test indicator (DTI):

test gauges.jpg

The dial indicator is intended to make precise measurements with the plunger moving axially. Using it to indicate while applying a side load is inaccurate.

If the greater movement of a dial indicator is needed to centre work in a lathe chuck then the technique being used is wrong. One can get well within 0.5mm by aligning the jaws on the chuck with the concentric rings on the chuck body, or by eye against a lathe tool. Or just note where the DTI touches and where it doesn't and adjust according. Then fine tune position using the DTI; I normally aim for less than 0.02mm total runout. I only use a DTI for aligning parts in the lathe chuck. I find it to be fast and accurate, given the correct technique.

Andrew

PS: I acknowledge MikeK beating me to it smile

Edited By Andrew Johnston on 24/03/2022 16:15:54

Bazyle24/03/2022 16:20:03
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99% of the time you are not using it for measurement, just centering - unless you are using it to measure infeed as a poor man's DRO. So accuracy is not as important as smoothly returning to zero.

It is the sort of thing that you can pick up sometimes at a club auction or sales table if you have one at your club. My best one was a raffle prize at the club Christmas meal raffle - much more use than a bottle of wine.

old mart24/03/2022 16:26:26
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I have both, but only use the lever type DTI for centring, they are much easier to use. Also, I am suspicious of the accuracy of the plunger type used in a horizontal attitude, the slightest bit of friction and the tip can loose contact with the workpiece.

SillyOldDuffer24/03/2022 17:31:48
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Posted by Andrew Johnston on 24/03/2022 16:14:50:

To avoid confusion on the left is a dial indicator, on the right is a dial test indicator (DTI):

test gauges.jpg

...

Another quagmire I fear!

Whilst Moore & Wright and Mitutoyo agree with Andrew:

  • Draper call their 'Dial Indicator' a Dial Test Indicator
  • Brown and Sharpe call their Dial Indicator a 'Dial Gage'.

For unknown reasons I've always called the left-hand item a DTI, and the other one a 'Lever Dial'. Andrew has outed yet another of my mistakes!

Fortunately we can all agree 'Gage' is unforgivable. I'm sure Americans really do know how to spell and deliberately get English wrong just to annoy the grown-ups!

devil

Dave

JasonB24/03/2022 18:20:07
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The long travel of the dial indicator can be handy for setting square stock in the 4-jaw as you can leave it in contact and there is enough movement for it to rise over the corners, can't do that with a lever one unless you keep moving it out of contact and back again.

I use whichever suits the job in hand as sometimes the shape of the work gets in the way of where the mag bases can be fitted or if setting up say a flywheel to turn the second side then both get used, one for concentricity and the other to eliminate wobble

JasonB24/03/2022 18:25:06
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And what do you call a dial gauge or indicator when it has a digital readoutdevil

Edited By JasonB on 24/03/2022 18:25:31

Brian G24/03/2022 20:26:41
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Posted by JasonB on 24/03/2022 18:25:06:

And what do you call a dial gauge or indicator when it has a digital readoutdevil

Edited By JasonB on 24/03/2022 18:25:31

A Vernier? (It seems popular with calipers) cheeky

Incidentally, Gauge vs. Gage provides written proof that English and American are different languages as Starrett UK and US use different spellings in their catalogue / catalog.

Brian G

elanman24/03/2022 20:58:20
42 forum posts
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DTI, Indicator or dial indicator????

Where I was an apprentice they were all just known as a "clock". LoL.

Cheers

John.

Hopper25/03/2022 04:48:13
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Clock on the left. Finger indicator on the right.

Michael Gilligan25/03/2022 07:29:13
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Posted by Andrew Johnston on 24/03/2022 16:14:50:

To avoid confusion on the left is a dial indicator, on the right is a dial test indicator (DTI):

test gauges.jpg

The dial indicator is intended to make precise measurements with the plunger moving axially. Using it to indicate while applying a side load is inaccurate.

[…]

.

A useful clarification, Andrew yes

But, I must add a pedantic footnote for those who call them gauges

As shown; both instruments can only considered to be indicators [the clue is in the names]

In the absence of a zero reference they cannot qualify as gauges.

MichaelG.

JasonB25/03/2022 07:43:40
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Surely they both have a zero ref that can be used. Either by adjustment of the stand so that the fixed zero can be used or by turning the adjustable one on the outside. You can then measure movement from that zero.

Andrew Johnston25/03/2022 08:02:57
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The zero references are arbitrary, not absolute, so MG is correct.

Andrew

Michael Gilligan25/03/2022 08:54:00
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Thank You, Andrew

MichaelG.

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