Questions & Answers
Questions posed by customers and readers, answered to the best of our ability.
Q: Which screws should I order for the slider stop? I need to replace the slider stop, the black plastic piece at the end of the caliper beam. It fell out and I lost it.
Q: I need a thumb roller hook for a Mitutoyo caliper model 500-351.Your parts list shows that I need thumb roller hook 145120 that is discontinued without replacement. The parts list also shows thumb roller hook P/N 141941. Will this work or am I screwed?
Q: I have an old model Mitutoyo caliper and I'm not sure if I can use the dial from a new model. Will this cause problems?
Q: Do Mitutoyo calipers get oiled when reassembled?
Q: One of my gauges (Kafer digital indicator) has developed a binding in the spindle. I have confirmed it is not the external linkage that is binding but rather the vertical shaft that runs through the gauge. The spindle will move but not without some “coaxing”. Before I try to add some lubricant to the spindle, I wanted to check with you to see if this is the recommended procedure.
Q: Why is it that sometimes spare parts listed on invoices have a discount and sometimes not?
Starrett digital calipers
Q: We have a Starrett digital dial indicator 2600-1. One of the digital digits is missing the left hand vertical element. Took it apart to clean the contacts. One of the contact springs bounced out of my tweezers. Can't locate it. Can I buy a replacement/or set of spring(s)? Seems pretty accurate and I only paid 65 bucks for it. Worth repairing if cleaning the contacts didn't work?
Q: I was looking for an industrial standard to reference in my calibration program and happened across your very useful site. You have very specific standards for verifying the condition of, for example, dial calipers @ .001 up to 4", .0015" up to 8", etc. Where do you get these figures? Is this from a commonly available standard? Can you tell me what the standards are and where to get them?
A recent customer was unhappy because she just bought an 8" dial caliper from us and it's off by almost .001" at 4 inches. Although the manufacturer would claim that this is within allowable tolerance, we rarely see such an error in a new caliper. It turned out that the customer was using measuring rods that had been kept in a warm storage area and the calipers were in an air-conditioned room. Sure enough, after she let them acclimatize to the same temperature, the error was gone! Lesson to remember: be sure that your measuring rods and your calipers or micrometers are both at room temperature. If you don't think this matters, just try an experiment. You can easily be off by .001" over 4 inches.
Q: When measuring hysteresis on my dial indicator, do I have to reset the dial to zero before I measure the down stroke?
Q: Why do there appear to be no standards for hysteresis on indicators with more than one inch of travel?
Q: My questions it to Starrett, and now to you. Where can I locate the specs and stated accuracies of the individual dimensional tools that I see come through our Calibration Lab? For example, we see many Starrett 25-441 Dial Indicators, 436.1XRL-1 Outside Micrometers, 124 Inside Micrometers and 445AZ-6RL Depth Gages but I cannot locate any published specs or accuracies for any of them.
Q: We use a lot of AGD indicators and they often come in contact with water soluble oil that we use as a coolant in our milling machines and lathes. This coolant when it dries leaves a sticky residue on the indicator stems on both ends. I have tried alcohol and starting fluid to clean this sticky stuff off of the indicators but it only seems to help for a little while. Do you have any recommendations of a good solvent that would easily remove the residue and help keep the stems moving freely?
Q: Is there anything you can do to the indicators to keep the coolant out?
Q: I have a Microrapid micrometer which has had someone's initials engraved into the printed frame. is there any way to remove these and repaint the frame?
Q: I have a Tesa pin style micrometer where the lines and numbers on the revolving barrel are worn off and difficult to read. Is there any way to fix this?
SPC and wireless transmission are constantly evolving. It would be best to contact the manufacturers directly for up to date information.
Q: What is the blue button on the Input Tool used for?
Q: I am looking for confirmation that model 500-464 is equipped to load data directly into Excel database. Does it come with connecting cable and Input Tool or do those need to be ordered separately?
Q: If you are not in a spreadsheet when the data send button is pressed, what will happen?
Q: It seems that Mitutoyo and Tesa offer similar systems for data collection but Tesa doesn't need an Input Tool. Isn't that more economical?
Q: The transmitter hanging from the caliper seems cumbersome. What are the dimensions and weight of the transmitter?
Q: Are there any special handling procedures to assure the transmitter does not break away from the caliper during measurements?
Q: We have been using Mitutoyo SPC data for a couple of years now. We LOVE it! However, we have run into an issue lately where the data is not being input into Excel. If I hook up the calipers into another computer it works fine..... any suggestions on the laptop we have been using for the last couple years? I'm ready to pull my hair out!
Q: I need something like the Starrett 260M Groove Micrometer to measure o-ring groove width and axial position. Would you recommend this product? If not, can you recommend one?
We were asked: "Not sure about the + or minus on the accuracy. Not quite sure how this would apply to my application. Any advice?" If the hole to be measured is exactly .500" then a pin which is .500" +.0002" wouldn't fit, but a pin which is .500" -.0002" would slide in. I assume this is the kind of application you have in mind. You are measuring a bore (in a shell) by seeing which is the largest pin that fits. In that case, you will want the pins with a negative tolerance.
Starrett Last Word indicators have problems which are as unique as their design.
If you encounter a hand that sticks on rare occasions and refuses to budge, try tapping the indicator with a screw driver or bang it lightly on the surface of a table. The hand will probably dislodge and go back to normal. This can happen when you have moved the contact point too quickly. If the hand always skips at a certain spot, you will need to have it cleaned or repaired. Refer to page 117 for a more complete details.
Q: I have a nice, functional .0001" Starrett 711-T1 (which is apparently obsolete now) and the bezel is a little loose; it rocks out of the plane of the dial. There are three, small flathead screws evenly distributed around the bezel. Will gently tightening these tighten up the bezel? If not, is there an alternative means of doing that?
Q: I just received a measuring rod from your company, and I was wondering about the proper way to store it. It came with a greased plastic protective cap for each end, and I was wondering if I am supposed to throw these caps away, or keep them to store the standard when it is not in use. Also, I am assuming that I need to wipe the grease off before using them to standardize a caliper? Sorry for the basic questions, I’m new to calipers.
Q: What happens when the micrometer is calibrated at 70° but subsequently used at different temperatures? Will the readings be accurate?
Q: What is the frequency of calibration for measuring rods?
Micrometer lapping is tricky only because results aren't always good. The micrometers should be repaired and lapped at the same time to assure accuracy. If the spindle bushings are loose, for instance, your micrometer anvils will never remain parallel. Yes, we can perform "lap only" (which means the anvils will be flat and lie parallel when the micrometer is not in use) but the gage will not be guaranteed to read accurately. It's always best to request a complete repair.
Q: My digimatic caliper jaws attract metal filings. Is it okay to run these through a demagnetizer?
Q: I have an electronic caliper, Mitutoyo Model CD-8”CS, Code 500-197. There is a problem with the battery connection. I can put in a new battery, but get no display when I press the “power on” switch. The battery contacts are definitely making contact with the battery. Maybe you have come across this problem previously (if this particular caliper design has a repeating failure mode). In your experience, what should I expect to pay as a typical repair cost?
Q: I am emailing to ask if you have had any experience with the Brown & Sharpe Valueline 6” calipers, built in China? I am apprehensive to add them into our system. If you can share your opinion of these, I would greatly appreciate it.
Q: I have noticed some of the 579-5 calipers don’t have the nice smooth action that I find with the 579-4 calipers. Are they different in some way? They appear to have the same parts, mechanically, so I’m guessing it’s in the assembly between the rack and pinion gears.
Q: Is it possible to order an inch rack with the scale already on it?
Q: I read that you guys recommend the white face on the Brown and Sharpe calipers unless people have experience with the black face. Why is this?
Q: We have some B&S dial calipers where the cover is loose and there is now roughness in the travel.
Q: I have a pair of Brown & Sharpe dial calipers that I recently had to repair and reassemble. Upon getting everything back together and timed correctly they do not seem to repeat. I assume it has something to do with the coil spring on the front gear needing the be pre-wound to preload the dial.
Q: The biggest problem I have with Peacock test indicators is that the flanges for clamping are somewhat narrower than the normal size so I have great difficulty stabilizing them to check their accuracy, which usually isn’t too bad if I can keep them in 1 place long enough to check a few points. Is there another standard size, other than that I’ve seen on Interapid, Mitutoyo, Starrett, Fowler, etc?
Q: I am wondering why you do not have any info at all about the Moore & Wright products? They used to produce very good quality measurement tools. Perhaps now a lot of their tools, like Starrett, are made in China too, I am not sure.
Q: We recently purchased a 0.500" Set Master Ring for setting chamfer gages from you. Can you forward the procedure for recovering the "Set To" value if this value is not known, using this setting ring?
Q: I am inquiring whether or not the Mitutoyo 7322S Thickness Gauge with the 4.74" throat can be fitted with nylon ball tips. The item will be used to measure plastic ophthalmic lens thickness.
Q: I am measuring the thickness of rare stamps where a few .0001" difference in paper thickness can translate into thousands of dollars in value. I'm concerned about the anvil force since I know nothing about Newtons.
Q: I have 5 very lightly used Etalon mics (older style with metal locking levers). They must have sat around for a long time because the friction thimbles are all gummed up and the barrels are stuck so I cannot zero them.
Q: I just received my replacement anti-backlash gear for our Starrett 120A calipers, but when I went to replace it I realized that it’s not as easy to get at the gear as I had assumed. Is there an instruction sheet available somewhere that I could use?
Q: I am considering lengthening the spindle of my plunger-type (i.e. in and out) dial indicator and wonder if that would effect the readings? It seems to me that your considerations on tip length and cosine error on your web site (page 15) refer only to the “lever”-type of indicators. Would I get the same readings if I lengthened the plunger-type spindle from its original length of about 2 inches to 4 inches?
Q: I need a new bezel with crystal for my 25-631 starrett dial indicator, I see you have two listed. One is plastic and the other is metal, will either work on my indicator?
Q: I want to ask if you have a instructions for the correct use for the inside dial caliper gage, that we use to measure grooves? We have a real problem because some mechanics say they get different measurements with the same instrument and we want to know what is the correct way to measure.
Q: I have an old B&S micrometer. It doesn't appear heavily used, but there is a tiny bit of looseness where the main shaft passes thru the sleeve near the spindle lock. It has maybe about .001 or so side-to side wriggle. I'm not sure if it was because there used to be rust on the shaft, and this rust reamed out the sleeve. Anyway, I wanted to ask if this was normal, and if you happened to sell a replacement sleeve that I could press in myself.
Q: My Uncle gave me an old micrometer. It still spins, but it has rust on it. Can you recommend an appropriate action for me to take?
Q: I recently bought an older pair of Tesa dial calipers. On the OD jaws, there is a very small gap at the thiner part of the jaws--the end portion. The flat portion of the OD jaws is parallel and has no gap. Is this normal for these calipers?
Q: We use a test indicator to qualify radial runout of the work rolls on a cold rolling mill. This check is made with the machine in ‘jog’ – so that the work rolls are preloaded. Unfortunately, the test indicator is exposed to the oil used for coolant. The one we are using now has oil inside the dial, and we are looking to replace it.
Q: Do you have or know of any needles for an Interapid test Indicator that are not attracted to a magnet? I know there are ones where the tip is ruby or carbide, but I am looking for something where the whole needle is immune to magnetism.