page 117

Long Island Indicator Service Inc

Precision Tool Repairs, Sales & Spare Parts







Starrett 711 Last Word Indicator
special Internet repair offer


Your grand-dad probably had one of these. Maybe he even passed it down to you and you'd like to have it refurbished.

Long Island Indicator Service has been repairing these stalwarts of the American shop for decades and because the parts haven't changed substantially in all these years, even old Last Word Indicators can be returned to "like new" condition.

Starrett Last Word indicators were the first indicators we repaired when we opened Long Island Indicator Service in 1961 and, for a limited time, we're offering a special repair price to get these workhorses back in shape. The price includes everything needed to get them back into A-1 working condition, but we can not repair serious body damage. The cost does not include replacement of missing parts. If that's the case we'll issue a free repair quote.

For this special internet offer, please fill out the online order (see the link below) which will also ask for your credit card information. Submit the order and you will receive a confirmation by email. Print a copy of this e-mail confirmation and include it with your shipment. The credit card will not be charged until the repaired indicator is shipped back to you. Please allow up to 2 weeks.

Your total satisfaction is always guaranteed. Send as many as you like!

  • Last Word (model 711 or 711F) 2014 internet special repair offer ... $90 order now

Sorry, we can no longer repair the .0001" Last Word model 711-T1. These are obsolete.


711 Last Word Indicator


New Last Word indicators can be bought from any Starrett distributor and most catalogs carry them. There are numerous variations all having to do with the kinds of attachments that come with the indicators. The ABC part of the Starrett number alludes to these attachments. Darn if we can figure it out but a careful study of their catalog should shed some light on things. We are certain that the letter "Z" means the indicator comes in a storage box and these are usually red in color and have spaces for you to store the other attachments. The following are a few of the "complete" kits, one of which also includes a Starrett magnetic base.

Because we are not Starrett distributors, you will have to get new indicators elsewhere. could be your best bet. Check the Amazon prices to see if you can get a discount.


Starrett no.



List Price






check Amazon price



with magnetic base


check Amazon price


0.01 mm



check Amazon price

Last Word Attachments


  • The body clamp will slip over the indicator's body with considerable friction, to keep it in place. You will then be able to clamp it to any rod between 1/8" and 1/4" in diameter, using the thumb screw. PT07101F Body Clamp Complete (includes the thumb screw) ... order on page 32



  • Universal Friction Holder PT13175 (shown above). This inserts in place of the end plug at the top of the indicator body. The shank has a 3/16" diameter which will fit into chucks. It used to be sold under the part number 711EA. Order on page 32





According to the manufacturer, the accuracy of the Last Word 711 indicator is ±.0005" (though this rather significant detail is omitted in the Starrett catalog).

.001" vs .0005": They're the same indicator but have different dials. The .0005" dial is simply subdivided into smaller units. Both indicators have the same accuracy. You can mentally subdivide the .001" or you can have the dial changed on your old indicator when you send it for repair.


Some notes about using your Last Word indicator


How to change the contact point: swivel the clip, which holds the contact point, using a small screw driver instead of your finger nails. Position the new contact point and swivel the clip back into place. Starrett model 711 Last Word indicators have a contact point which swivels on a ratchet. Sometimes the ratchet doesn't fit well and the contact point will cause the lever arm to jam. You'll have to try another contact point. Sometimes the pivot screw protrudes too much and rubs against the contact point. Again, try another point until one fits. For proper operation make sure the reversing lever is fully engaged up or down and that the contact point is properly seated in the ratchet. (see contact points)

How to change the crystal on the Last Word indicator: remove the chrome bezel by prying it off with a screw driver and replace the crystal (see parts list). If your old indicator still has a wire spacer, throw the wire away. The new crystals don't need this spacer. A pair of jeweler's pliers will help you squeeze the bezel back into place.

If the indicator hand jumps on a regular basis, try de-magnetizing the indicator. If you don't already have one, a small demagnetizer can be bought from most supply catalogs. Spinning objects and motors can induce magnetic fields in the indicator. If magnetic fields are a problem in your shop environment it may be best to switch to a non-magnetic indicator. Mitutoyo, Bestest, Compac and Interapid are all suitable alternatives.

If the indicator hand hangs up on occasion, just tap the indicator and the hand will probably return to its normal setting. Don't let this upset you if it happens only occasionally. We're talking Starrett here.


Repairs - Last Word indicator


Unless the body is cracked or broken, these indicators can be repaired. We've been doing it for about 50 years. In fact, we're still repairing 711F indicators from the 1950's. They may not be the most sophisticated of indicators, but they do have staying-power.

“Spirit has fifty times the strength and staying-power of brawn and muscle
—Mark Twain

Repairs have a fixed price and if you use a credit card, turn-around is typically just a couple of days. We're always happy to get these little fellows back in shape. Check our repair service for details.


Repair it yourself


Repairs of the Last Word 711 indicator can be surprisingly tricky because new parts don't always fit as well as they should. You should be prepared to make minor alterations from time to time.

To do a satisfactory repair you'll need a pair of fine point tweezers, a small and a large screw driver, small jeweler's pliers, hand lifter, a loupe (or magnifying glass), de-magnetizer, cleaning solution (your choice), and lubricating oil.

Begin by completely disassembling the indicator. This is the only way you can examine each part and determine what needs replacing.

Remove the large cover screw on the side of the body. Remove the large cover screw on the end of the body (or the holder which may have been placed there). Remove the contact point (see instructions above) and unscrew the pivot screw. The lever assembly now slides out of the body. Remove the bezel (see instructions above) and the clear plastic crystal. Now you'll have to get the hand off and for this you'll want to use a hand lifter. You can improvise using two flat bladed screw drivers, but beware, you're likely to break the pinion if you're not careful. Remove the two screws which are revealed under the dial. Lift off the plate, the wavy washer and the ring. You're left looking at the hair spring attached to the spiral gear (center pinion). Notice that the hair spring is pegged into the body with a small brass pin. Push this pin out from the inside of the body. It can be tricky. When complete, remove the spiral gear, but there's no need to separate it from the hair spring. Leave these intact. Congratulations! Your disassembly is complete.

Clean all the parts by soaking them in a cleaning solution of your choice and then brushing them clean with a soft brush. Take extra care not to harm the hair spring. We like to use the mildest solution that will work, starting with an organic cleaner and moving up to a petroleum product if the grease and oils won't dissolve. It's imperative that all parts are immaculately clean and dry. If rust is present, now is the time to take out the wire brush and sandpaper.

As you reassemble in reverse order, you'll want to examine each part for damage and replace those with new parts. There's little chance that any part can be repaired, so you'll save time and effort by keeping a small stock of commonly used parts at hand. Use a tiny amount of oil on moving parts and don't forget to demagnetize these indicators when done. It can make all the difference.

On page 73 you'll find a parts breakdown to make identification easier.

There's quite a bit of satisfaction to be had upon the successful repair of one of these indicators, so enjoy!


How old is my Last Word indicator?


The exact age can't be determined because Last Word indicators have changed very little over the years. They did, however, go through several stages with distinct characteristics. Among the oldest models you will find that the end of the body was slanted (shown above). This is probably pre-1960. Subsequent models have ends which are squared off.


The oldest models also had dials which lacked the yellow band along the right hand side, as seen in current models. You will see .001" written as 1/1000" on the dials (shown above). Keep in mind, your indicator may have been repaired at some time and the dial may have been changed to the new style.


Q&A about the Last Word indicator


Q: Am I correct to assume that the hairspring is what tensions the spindle to stop it moving and that it should be attached?

Q: On the site in the disassembly instructions it mentions there is no need to detach the spring from the spindle yet the spring and spindle seem to be listed separately.  Can they be purchased assembled?

Q: If they don’t come together how are they attached?  What is the method of installation, how much tension is put on the spring and how is it retained while assembling the rest of the indicator?

  • Yes, the hair spring is attached to the spiral staff and then pegged in place in the little groove that you see in the body. When you engage the spiral with the lever (which may or may not have a ruby-colored jewel at the end of it, depending on the indicator’s age) there should be 1/4 turn tension in the spring in the OPENING direction. Common sense would want us to wind the spring, but in this case, the spring is opened (unwound) by 1/4 turn. This will solve the floating hand problem. It’s a bit of a challenge to get everything just right but it will work. Make sure that the jeweled end engages about half way into the spiral groove. If you go too far into the groove it will create resistance. Of course, the pivot screw has to be tightened just below the point where it will jam up. Again, it may take a bit of trial and error. As you have read, these are indicators from the age of dinosaurs. No one makes them like this any more, except Starrett of course.

These and other questions are answered in our new publication:

newThe Long Island Indicator Companion Reference Book on Dial and Test Indicators


Click on image for updated product information, discussions and special offers!

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14 Sarah Drive — Hauppauge NY 11788 — USA

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This page's most recent revision: 25 MARCH 2015
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