Hello. I bought a digital caliper from Advanced Auto Parts last year with a lifetime warranty. They lasted 1 time and were returned today. They were the Ampro brand. I then went to sears to see what they had, and they only had plastic ones, although you can get the craftsman brand online. The feedback for their digital calipers "online" were the same as the current ones... not very accurate and not made well. So, I went to other places and looked at what they had. No luck. Anyhow, what's the best calipers that you can buy today, and who makes them, and where did you buy them? I don't want cheap plastic or digital ones anymore (because they usually are plastic...) But, I need them now, because my caps are all worn, and my bearings are worn, and I need a measuring tool to figure out what size rods/caps that I need to buy. So, please let me know what you think.
Mitutoyo Digimatic, from MSC (mscdirect.com)
I've enjoyed my Mititoyo digital caliper for about ten years now. It works great for initial checking of things. But, for more accurate measuring, you can't beat the old Starrett micrometer.
I have a Mititoyo non-dial that was given me about 40 years ago. It is marked like a slide rule, and I've never found it to be wanting for accuracy.
I doubt the dial or digital is any more accurate, just easier to read, and maybe more to go wrong.
Don't use calipers to measure these. Use a micrometer. All "mics" come with a standard. You can use this standard to check to make sure the mic is reading accurately and even the cheapest will measure down to .0001". If your eyes are good, you can even wrangle a .000025 out of them. All the digital calipers I've seen are accurate to only .001" and have a +/- error of .0005". And fewer yet will give you the same reading twice in a row.
While some may argue that Ford cut the bearings with a knife and accuracy isn't necessary, he also burnished (burned) the bearings in afterward. A half a thousandths makes a big difference when cutting a bearing to size from the get-go.
I agree that micrometers would be more accurate, but for measuring the diameter of crank journals to know what undersize rods to buy, what could be wrong with using calipers? Isn't Michael going to order standard, 0.010", 0.020", or 0.030" under? Final fitting is going to be with Plastigage, and not by measuring with calipers or micrometers.
Yeah, you're right about that Seth. I guess I'm too anal or thinking I'm cutting the bearing. ;)
Not too anal, but mighty "independent" with all those skills of yours!
Eric; I prefer Brown & Sharpe micrometers.
I have a Mitutoyo 8" and a Starrett 6" digital for roughing on the lathe or general measuring. You couldn't give me one of those from Auto Zone or other chain stores. For anything serious I've got Starrett micrometers, however I've got some larger imported ones that do pretty good for the price. Brand name mics get really pricey when you go over 3-4".
As Jim said, B&S is good stuff too. Some of my dial indicators are B&S and are great.
Yes Jim, the Brown & Sharpe 3" mic that I picked up used at an auction works nicely too. It's just not a size that I use very often.
B&S analog's I use them every day and don't like anything else. Tried starret's did not care for them don't remember why, too many years have gone by. You can usually get a B&S for less than $100 in the MSC sale fliers.
Watch Ebay. You can find lots of good deals on older B&S and Starrett stuff on there for pennies on the dollar. Very seldom find a worn out mic or caliper. I bought a lot of "old Starrett tools" on there a couple years ago for $17.00. Pictures sucked but I bought it for the 0-1" Starret mic that I could see in the pictures. When I got it, there was also a 2-10" Starrett bore mic in the box. You just never know what the tool fairy will bring!
No, Seth...I dint steal it!
Eric; I have one Starret that I like, it has a sliding anvil and is a 0-2". I use it for rough work. When Dad died, I gave my son his set of B&S micrometers from 0-12" along with the inside micrometers. Also has a 24" B&S vernier. Dad went First class all the way.
I may never live that down.
Lads you forgot to mention Moore and Wright...
Mind you I can't argue with Mitutoyo...their verniers or digital calipers are great.
Jim I belive your son must be a lucky bloke.
I read an article from a fellow who worked for B & S and his advice was to purchase the old dial calipers you see from time to time on eBay. He said that his company and Starret are competing with the cheap tools from China and the quality suffers. I can attest to that having owned four B & S dial calipers. The older ones are better in that the measurements don't vary when you take multiple readings and when you increase the thumb pressure a bit. I have owned others, including the M brand but like older B & S ones the best. I have never tried the digital.
Thanks everyone. I bought a set of Mitutoyo's today.
I have B&S, Starrett & Mitsutoyo for precision measurement. These tools are pricey but one way to save is with a vernier caliper rather than or in addition to a micrometer. The vernier will do inside and outside diameter and depth. The jaws open a few inches but they only have a 2-3 in throat. Vernier indication which is somewhat cheaper than dial or digital in a caliper given the ID/OD and depth. The vernier micrometer is pretty much obsolete. I used to have a B&S one. Vernier guages are close to indestructable, a little harder to use until you get used to the method, but just as accurate as the digital or dial of the same type.
Another good thing I have discovered is they slow you down when making critical measurements. Most have metric above and English below. In precision work slow is sometimes better, you know measure twice, cut once.
The best thing I found when taking shop classes is they are seldom stolen. What do you steal, a boom box or color TV....if given the choice.
Last month an neighbor had his flat panel stolen and he saw them going out the back yard gate. Didn't catch the guys but he got his TV back: To big to run with. It was easy though to recover his stolen items. A couple of trips back to the house with the pieces.
Here is a wiki article with a picture:
Any Body have any thoughts on the digital bore guages that MSC and Enco sell.
Been working with B&S plus Starrett's micrometers for too many years now to mess with something with a dial on it...Can Model T people adapt? I still keep all my precision guessingsticks in a Gerstner toolbox as well.Standards cannot be lowered- Still have my Pickett slipstick, but havn't used it lately- better get it out again!
I have to have both, mikes and digital calipers. Most of my machining work doesn't require tolerance of less then a .001 and a good caliper can give me that. What I like about a digital caliper is it's ability to get quick measurements as a inside, outside and depth measuring device without of a lot of brain power which I'm a bit short on. Take for example getting a center to center reading for a set of holes to be drilled using the original to obtain your measurements. First measure the hole diameter and then zero this reading while holding this size then take a measurement on the two holes distance apart at the outside edges of the holes and there you have your C to C measurement as the reading on the caliper. Another one is zeroing the caliper to the final diameter size of a piece to be cut to on the lathe then measure the stock and that will give the total amount to be removed. This probably sounds very elementary but when used with equipment that has digital readouts it makes the job a lot faster then the other methods and lessens the chance for an error. I have a mike that reads 6 places to the left of the decimal point, wipe the piece with a rag and you can get a second reading smaller then the first one taken before you wiped it. :-)
Bob, that is my favorite part of digitals...being able to read and zero, then go from there. I haven't used a dial caliper in probably 10 years. Thats probably why I'm getting dumber and dumber. We have all these toys that keep us from having to think
Well,I watched the harbor freight papers and when their 39.99 digital set went on sale for 15 or so I bought 1.Easy for me to use,and if something I am doing needs to be "right" I go to freind and let him measure.I just check simple stuff.
You git what you pay for.So far a years time has passed and those things still work fine.I aint so sure how accurate they are.
Make yourself some "standards"! Find some hardened steel pins around your shop and take them to someone that can measure the ODs with micrometers. Record the values and where measured then you'll always have something to check your calipers against.
Were all of you aware that Henry hisself was the guy responsible for bring "joey" (Johanssen) blocks into the US as precision calibration blocks? Over the years, I've found perhaps a dozen with the "Ford" logo on them, but the Holy Grail is still a complete set in the wood box- anyone got a set out there?
Actually CE Johansson went to the US himself to sell & manufacture his invention. He started a company there in 1919.
Henry M. Leland was the first in the american automobile industry to buy a set after they were introduced on the world market in 1907. A set was as expensive as a medium sized car at that time.
In 1923, Johansson's american company was in financial trouble, so he wrote a letter to Henry Ford proposing cooperation. Ford knew Johansson well - decided to buy Johansson's american company and hired him to improve Ford production. Johansson stayed with Ford until he retired in Sweden 1936 (though he had crossed the atlantic 22 times during his life)
The Swedish company is still running http://www.cej.se/en/about/history/
How about this "sale", Mack? I got this flyer today. Maybe I should buy so that when I measure I can get a second opinion!