Centering Indicators

I'm considering centering Indicators. There are basically two choices,
the $210 original made by Blake, and the $80 no-name copy, both sold by
Enco. Phase II also has a $110 knockoff.
The Blake is model 607-4910:
.
The no-name is model 607-4907:
. (No image, but looks like the Blake. Or, see page 277.)
The question is if the Blake is worth the extra $120 over the no-name.
Does anyone have any experience with either or both of these units?
Thanks,
Joe Gwinn
Reply to
Joseph Gwinn
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No experience with them, but I'd tend to go for the $110 Phase II based on their decent reputation and the modest cost over the no-name.
Pete C.
Reply to
Pete C.
I've happily used the Enco no-name for several years. It seems well made. It is actually the "mrc" brand (Taiwanese?).
Reply to
Richard J Kinch
It probably depends on what you expect of it. I've had the Enco for years and have never wished for better -- but then, I don't expect or need it to be closer than a thou or two.
Opposite experience with boring heads. I had an Enco, then got a Centurion on a really good sale. World of difference there, well worth the $$$. They look identical but they sure don't work the same. Setting or adjusting the Enco was an iffy proposition at best, while it's easy to get within a thou or so with the Centurion.
Reply to
Don Foreman
I have the no-name, got it used on eBay. It had been dropped or something hard enough to jam the indicator, and put a tiny dimple in the ring the indicator reads off of. It still works well, and the dimple is small enough it really doesn't affect the accuracy of the centering. I've never used the real Blake, so I can't compare. The no-name is still pretty good, and I'm pretty sure I can center over a hole to .001" or maybe even better, if the hole was REALLY round. You probably have to either ream or carefully bore a hole to get it round and smooth enough to get the full accuracy of the instrument.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
Plus your spindle and collect or drill chuck runout are all in the "noise" too.
Reply to
Richard J Kinch
I have also used the no-name for years.
My son machines for a living. I had him center a part, he got mad at my POS. Brought his starret over and centered up in seconds. You do get what you pay for. His cost north of $500 - I'll still use my el-cheapo one UNLESS he's coming home. It will be worth the phone call to ask to borrow it for the weekend.
Karl
Reply to
Karl Townsend
============ Several things before you buy:
I bought the Enco no-name special and used it twice to locate 3 punch marks. Worked fine. Third time I took it out of its red plastic case and I could not get it to give any indication and it rattled when I shook it. Disassembled the unit and discovered the screw-in tip of the indicator had broken off flush with the stem. [Apparently hydrogen embrittlement] I found it impossible to unscrew the piece still in the indicator stem even with heating the stem, and Enco will not sell just the indicator.
I don't know how long my "repair" will last, but I cemented the tip back on the end of the indicator using superglue. I have been very careful to limit run time to keep heat buildup to a minimum [tip of indicator rides directly on rotating steel body in operation] and lubricated this area with spray-on teflon.
#2 -- A coax indicator is a "looong" tool and if you will be using this in a 3n1 machine or bench mill, you may find that you don't have enough spindle to table room. This is particularly true when the material is clamped in a vise. I have been able to [mostly] work around this by using a #2MT collet in my Emco Compact 10 which reduces the height to the minimum.
Product suggestion for any lurkers.
Make a short coax indicator that uses test indicator rather than a drop indicator with the indicator horizontal. True enough you will be limited to 10 or 20 thousandths of needle travel, but most people can get this close with just a pointed rod in the chuck. You can even sell this without an indicator but with provisions to use the dovetail clamps that most test indicators have.
I have take a picture of the Enco coax indicator [externally identical to the Blake] with a 6 inch scale for size comparison, and am sending it as an email attachment to the original poster. If anyone else wants one, send me an email or post request with a good email address on list. Total length from tip of probe to locate center/prick punch mark to end of shank is about 7_1/2 inches.
FWIW -- this was taken using a Fuji S700 which I just got as per the thread a few days ago about which digital camera to buy for use in the shop.
Unka' George [George McDuffee] ============ Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. president. Letter, 17 March 1814.
Reply to
F. George McDuffee
Just to put in my two cents worth, I have a Blake indicator and it works perfectly. It did need cleaning recently and I sent it back to Blake who rebuilt it good as new for a few bucks. Try that with Enco ..
I think in this case you get what you pay for. In other words, I vote to buy a Blake.
GWE
Reply to
Grant Erwin
I assume that it was out of warantee.
I wondered about the length. It looks very large in the photos you sent (thanks). I have a Millrite, so I can probably fit a Co-Ax, with some cranking of the knee.
Joe Gwinn
Reply to
Joseph Gwinn
======== Yes. But I didn't use it that often, only twice. Had it for maybe 90 days before the tip broke. This appeared to be chrome plated for wear and lubricity, and they may have failed to bake it after plating or left it in the bath too long. :-(
Unka' George [George McDuffee] ============ Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. president. Letter, 17 March 1814.
Reply to
F. George McDuffee

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