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Thread: Buying a Used Micrometer

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
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    Calipers; dial or digital? And at what price for either?

    As a retired electronix instrument calibrator/repairman I have an embedded distrust of electronic stuff so I always stuck to dial or vernier calipers. Several years back I was a long way from home and needed a caliper, quick. So I'm off to Harbor Freight where they had a "sale" on their 6" digital calipers for $10. I said what the heck and I got one; to my surprise, it quickly became my favorite. Years later, it's still working fine but I finally bought another for back-up when it fails. I love well made precision tools but, considering the benefit/cost differences, I'll live with reality.

    What I love most about the digital calipers is the lack of an exposed, fine tooth rack gear that collects debris and can be hard to safely clear. Digitals have no such gear and are fully as accurate as my dials ... and much easier to read than my treasured very accurate old Swiss vernier caliper.

    Remembering how reluctant I was to spend I needed to equip myself with the basics for .30-06 and .30 Carbine when I ordered my first press and dies in '65, I cannot in good faith recommend a noob buy professional grade machinist tools for reloading. I tell them to buy a HF caliper first and then, if/when it finally fails, buy what they really want and maybe can more easily afford.

    Fellows, the world we grew up in is gone and we'll never totally regain it, only old folk can even remember it. I would like to buy everything I need made in USA but ... that's nearly impossible today, at any price. "Liberal" politicians have "helped" us so much and for so long that much of our old economic foundation has withered and died forever.

    Check the "Made in xxx" labels on your stuff; cell (or any other type) telephone, radio, TV, computer, copier/printer, clocks and watches, GPS, bulbs and light fixtures, nuts/bolts/screws, kitchen appliances, hand and power tools (including brands with trusted U.S. names!), shoes, clothes, outboard motors, ballistic chronograph, etc. It'll probably make you want to weep!

  2. #22
    Boolit Master Drew P's Avatar
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    My fav brand is Brown and sharpe. Swiss goodness. Made by Tesa, so they also reign supreme. I have cheap Chinese tools also, and my experience with the harbor freight calipers is that they used to be much better than lately. 20 years ago they were well worth 20$ But the last many Iíve seen werenít worth the box they come in. Anyway, those arenít mics so thatís off topic sorry.

  3. #23
    Boolit Master
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    I have an old Johansen (spelling?) I bought from a pawn shop for $20 way back in the late 60's. Took it to a local machine shop near the house with a box of donuts and asked the manager if they could check it out for me. We went to their calibration shop and had it checked out. Checked out fine and he did a little cleaning some oil. Thanked him gave them the donuts and was told come back anytime I needed to have something checked. Still have it and a 1" standard. Over the years most if not all of my precision measuring stuff has been bought one or two pieces at a time when the money was available. Starret, Brown and Sharp, and Mitutoyo. And all together would make a good down payment on a truck. Frank

  4. #24
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    I hope this is not too far off topic but I have been looking at micrometers on Ebay. Not that I need any more since I have several, including a B&S 0-1", a tube mic, a disc mic(for fabric stock) and a blade micrometer. I ran across an interesting B&S multisleeve micrometer. Not sure how it works but cheap enough if I don't get into a bidding competition. I don't need it but it caught my eye.

    I also ran across a V anvil micrometer. Can anyone tell me if it would be appropriate to measure slugs from a 5 groove barrel(S&W)?
    John
    W.TN

  5. #25
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    I have two sets of 1"-3" B&S mikes (one set of which I use) just about every day. My 3"-12" mikes are Starrett. I MUCH prefer the Brown & Sharps. They were both bought brand new, and when purchased, cost me a weeks' wages each. I have had bad experiences with Mitutoyo 6" Digimatic calipers. Brand new, they were not accurate and when I called Mitutoyo service, they wanted $10 less to fix them than when I bought them brand new. I no longer buy Mitutoyo ANYTHING. I have used them in shops where I worked, but don't like their service.

  6. #26
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by alamogunr View Post
    I hope this is not too far off topic but I have been looking at micrometers on Ebay. Not that I need any more since I have several, including a B&S 0-1", a tube mic, a disc mic(for fabric stock) and a blade micrometer. I ran across an interesting B&S multisleeve micrometer. Not sure how it works but cheap enough if I don't get into a bidding competition. I don't need it but it caught my eye.

    I also ran across a V anvil micrometer. Can anyone tell me if it would be appropriate to measure slugs from a 5 groove barrel(S&W)?

    As I understand it, that's one of the intended purposes of a V-anvil micrometer. I believe there is also an algorithm that must be applied based on the number of grooves, but I don't know as I've never done it.

    I looked at my "everyday" set after this thread started and they have gotten contaminated and/or damp somehow while stored away and it appears they are now expensive paperweights. My like-new 1", 2" and 3" set are still in their boxes in my Gerstner oak tool chest, so they are fine, as is the 1" Mitutoyo that always sits on its little shelf at my lathe. Neglect is not good because rust never sleeps.

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
    As I understand it, that's one of the intended purposes of a V-anvil micrometer. I believe there is also an algorithm that must be applied based on the number of grooves, but I don't know as I've never done it.

    I looked at my "everyday" set after this thread started and they have gotten contaminated and/or damp somehow while stored away and it appears they are now expensive paperweights. My like-new 1", 2" and 3" set are still in their boxes in my Gerstner oak tool chest, so they are fine, as is the 1" Mitutoyo that always sits on its little shelf at my lathe. Neglect is not good because rust never sleeps.

    Froggie
    I guess I'll keep looking for a V anvil mic as well as trying to find out how to use it. The one I was watching on Ebay went from 13 bids with the highest being about $20, to 31 bids and sold for $49. I decided to stay out of that competition.

    Sorry about your micrometers. I keep mine in a tool chest(not a Gerstner) too. It is in my heated and A/C shop.
    John
    W.TN

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by alamogunr View Post

    I also ran across a V anvil micrometer. Can anyone tell me if it would be appropriate to measure slugs from a 5 groove barrel(S&W)?

    To measure 5 grooves or flutes with a V anvil micrometer it needs to be 108 degrees

    https://www.shars.com/0-2-1-108-degr...vil-micrometer

    NO eBay links, PERIOD

    https://www.amazon.com/Shars-Measure...8&sr=8-2-fkmr1
    Last edited by Pressman; 02-22-2020 at 04:13 PM. Reason: eBay Links
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

  9. #29
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    Thanks, M-Tecs. Most everything I looked at on Ebay did not specify the V angle. No matter. I'm not interested enough to pay almost $100 for one. I have a machined V block that a member here machined several years ago with instructions for use. I just have never had a lot of confidence in my use of it. There are other ways to measure slugs from a 5 groove barrel. There have been discussions here on different methods.
    John
    W.TN

  10. #30
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    Most v micrometers are for measuring thread pitch dia. for different thread fits, 1,2 or 3. You can also measure with wires but have to be the correct size for particular pitch. Could also use thread triangles to measure pitch dia. Most people use go-no go gages now.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by owejia View Post
    Most v micrometers are for measuring thread pitch dia. for different thread fits, 1,2 or 3. You can also measure with wires but have to be the correct size for particular pitch. Could also use thread triangles to measure pitch dia. Most people use go-no go gages now.
    V anvil mics and thread mics are not remotely the same thing.

    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

  12. #32
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    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

  13. #33
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    I am not a machinist. Get that disqualification right out front. I do like micrometers (because they are COOL machines that appeal to my engineering mind in this reloading and casting hobby) and have both a 0-1" Starrett (purchased for $15 at a Flea market...yes!) and from an estate a 0-1" unnamed digital (sticker number D308) with its rotating 4-digit number counter.

    The digital must be inexpensive as they were not proud enough to put the manufacturer's name on it or its wooden box or its included instructions (numbered JG87) for reading the dial. It looks very "similar" to the $20 Altrco pictured below, but mine is rounded in the yoke and dogeared black plastic yoke "panel", where the Altrco pictured is "cornered" and "trapezoidal" respectively. It isn't worth your time to ID (unless you "just know") or I would picture the one I have instead...

    FleaBay is good for something - providing a host of pictures (and pricing) to scroll through in the hope of identifying which digital micrometer I have. What is the included "tool" used for?


    Last edited by Land Owner; 02-22-2020 at 06:17 AM.
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  14. #34
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    I happen to have several precision ground pins of a specific diameter that I check a mic with after looking to see that it closes and works properly. I check several specific sizes and 99 out of a 100 times I get a winner. Generally unless someone has tried to use a mic as a vice grip it will generally test well.

  15. #35
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Land Owner View Post
    I am not a machinist. Get that disqualification right out front. I do like micrometers (because they are COOL machines that appeal to my engineering mind in this reloading and casting hobby) and have both a 0-1" Starrett (purchased for $15 at a Flea market...yes!) and from an estate a 0-1" unnamed digital (sticker number D308) with its rotating 4-digit number counter.

    The digital must be inexpensive as they were not proud enough to put the manufacturer's name on it or its wooden box or its included instructions (numbered JG87) for reading the dial. It looks very "similar" to the $20 Altrco pictured below, but mine is rounded in the yoke and dogeared black plastic yoke "panel", where the Altrco pictured is "cornered" and "trapezoidal" respectively. It isn't worth your time to ID (unless you "just know") or I would picture the one I have instead...

    FleaBay is good for something - providing a host of pictures (and pricing) to scroll through in the hope of identifying which digital micrometer I have. What is the included "tool" used for?
    The tool is for adjusting the spindle if the micrometer does not zero properly.
    Spell check doesn't work in Chrome, so if something is spelled wrong, it's just a typo that I missed.

  16. #36
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks ulav8r. I got to poking around on the Net, still trying to find the Mfg for this digital [like the one pictured below]. I found a "How to..." article and took the Starrett apart, cleaned it, oiled it, put it back together, assured zero, and lo and behold - it (still) WORKS!

    I tried to take the digital apart too but couldn't figure out how to get the spindle out of the frame. It comes nearly out, then is captured by something. I didn't force it out thinking there are some gears that mesh with the digital counter and I don't want to mess with those pieces I think.

    I took out the two set screw though. One in the top of the frame above the spindle lock (there's a second hole there with nothing in it, so think that is for light machine oil. The other set screw came from the sleeve. Nada. Didn't help pulling the spindle. Put them both back in, but do not feel as if either are now "set" against anything and both seem to "float" in their respective holes. If I set either screw the spindle in its working position locks up. That, I think, is not how it should work.

    Put it all back together and using the friction rachet find at times there is a negative 0.0002" delta from zero (below). Had that before too. Guess I am going to have to use the "Zero Tool". I don't use either micrometer regularly and practically everything I measure is inherently inaccurate as I am no machinist, though I can take an accurate measurement to my own satisfaction.

    Last edited by Land Owner; 02-22-2020 at 11:40 PM.
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  17. #37
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    Learn something every day, never saw a set of v anvil mics before. Been out of the machine shop since the early 90's.

  18. #38
    Boolit Master
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    Apropos of nothing, you can get a reasonably accurate read on groove diameter of a slug with an odd number of grooves by placing it carefully between a pair of thin plates of known thickness. While holding the plates carefully parallel measure the total thickness with a micrometer, then subtract the thickness of the plates. No guarantees that your personal technique will work, but it works for me!

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
    Apropos of nothing, you can get a reasonably accurate read on groove diameter of a slug with an odd number of grooves by placing it carefully between a pair of thin plates of known thickness. While holding the plates carefully parallel measure the total thickness with a micrometer, then subtract the thickness of the plates. No guarantees that your personal technique will work, but it works for me!

    Froggie
    Another method that has been posted at various times is to us a piece of shim stock(thin!) wrapped around the slug and measure. Same as Froggie's method except calling for shim stock instead of thin plates. I've got too many thumbs to handle the slug plus a couple of plates.

    "Put it all back together and using the friction rachet find at times there is a negative 0.0002" delta from zero (below)."(Land Owner) If I could get within .0002" of the correct measurement, I hope I would be satisfied. I admit, though, that knowing that there was an error, no matter how small, my confidence might be lessened.
    Last edited by alamogunr; 02-23-2020 at 09:36 AM.
    John
    W.TN

  20. #40
    Boolit Master Drew P's Avatar
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    I thought it was something like 30į v block or something? I think the shim stock method would be very hard to get any decent results. I’d almost trust a drinking straw or something that was pre bent in a tube shape more. I made my own v block and calibrated it with a dowel pin. Pretty easy.
    Last edited by Drew P; 02-24-2020 at 02:25 AM.

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