Recommend a micrometer

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by POWERSTROKE, Mar 8, 2020.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. For the new NAWCC home page
    Click this image at the upper left corner of this page.
  1. POWERSTROKE

    POWERSTROKE Registered User

    Jan 11, 2011
    855
    56
    28
    #1 POWERSTROKE, Mar 8, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2020
    Preferably affordable and from amazon. I usually use go-no go method. But I like to just use this for ordering bushings I don’t already have.
    And offhand in the meantime. does anyone know what the diameter of a baduf 2nd wheel pivot is on average About? It’s less than 1mm because that’s the smallest I have.
     
  2. Simon Holt

    Simon Holt Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Mar 21, 2017
    481
    61
    28
    Male
    Retired
    Shaftesbury, UK
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Look for Digital Caliper rather than Micrometer. They all look so similar they are probably made by the same factory and the cheapest ones are very cheap. I use one all the time when checking pivot size and they are more than accurate enough.

    Simon
     
  3. JTD

    JTD Registered User

    Sep 27, 2005
    7,252
    443
    83
    I bought mine from Lidl supermarket. Cost very little and works fine.

    JTD
     
  4. Vernon

    Vernon Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Dec 9, 2006
    654
    62
    28
    Gardener/Arborist
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I use my digital caliper all of the time for everything. Think that I bought mine at Harbor Freight for $18 so not top of the line for sure but has served me well. My micrometer was a gift and is only used to to check pivot evenness (parallel) only.
     
  5. Altashot

    Altashot Registered User

    Oct 12, 2017
    144
    32
    28
    Male
    Country Flag:
    I can’t recommend a cheap measuring device. If you want something that’ll last, that takes accurate measurements with repeatability, I’d opt for a Mitutoyo.
    Caliper or micrometer. I prefer the former. If you choose the micrometer, make sure it has a clutch or ratchet or thimble stop or whatever they call it for repeatability. It prevents over tightening.

    I’ve had a cheap $59.99 calliper that gave me nothing but trouble. The finish on it was not good, burrs, parallelism, as well as repeatability issues made it useless for clockmaking. Good enough for the garage but not for my horological shop

    Just my opinion.

    M.
     
    Jerry Kieffer, gmorse and dad1891 like this.
  6. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    42,769
    1,126
    113
    Male
    Self employed interpreter/clock repairer
    North Carolina
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Ball bearing ends will increase your accuracy on things like mainspring thickness. Worth the extra $
     
  7. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
    Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    6,642
    569
    113
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    You know the general rule about tools I'm sure. Buy the best you can afford and save money in the long run. I like the digital with instant conversion between metric and imperial but they tend to be cheaply made and changing the button battery can be a pain.

    If you think you'll be fabricating parts, get something as accurate as you can afford. If you just need it to size pivots for bushings, something accurate to a tenth of a millimeter will get you close. Your broaches will do the rest. Metal work requires accurate measurements.
     
    Altashot and POWERSTROKE like this.
  8. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 13, 2011
    6,342
    691
    113
    oakland, ca.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    what other bruce said... i use mine primarily for bushings, etc... and occasional but light lathe stuff. i am not making precision parts.
     
  9. POWERSTROKE

    POWERSTROKE Registered User

    Jan 11, 2011
    855
    56
    28
    Thanks guys!
     
  10. glenhead

    glenhead Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    1,111
    154
    63
    Telecom Engineer
    Williamson County, Texas
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    In answer to your question, here's a micrometer available on Amazon that will get the job done without breaking the bank. https://www.amazon.com/General-Tools-001-Inch-Graduation-Micrometer/dp/B00004T7UD/ref=sr_1_7?keywords=micrometer&qid=1583704262&sr=8-7 It has the more-important features - a ratchet to use until you develop the feel of how to use a micrometer and the zero point is adjustable. Sure, you can spend five to twenty times the money for a Starrett or Mitutoyo. They'll do the same job. From my experience the really-expensive micrometers might be smoother or have a better finish, but my dirt-cheap micrometers are just as repeatable as my Mitutoyo (which was a gift).

    If you also want a digital calipers (both tools have their uses) then again, the really-expensive ones might have benefits, but a decent inexpensive one like the one Bruce recommended can be just as repeatable and get the job done.

    I use a micrometer nearly all the time for diameters, calipers for things a micrometer doesn't measure or for a quick non-critical measurement. (Hole diameters and depths, lengths of things, arbor diameter to choose rod stock, etc.) That's my approach.

    If you decide that super-precision machining is your gig you can drop the money on really expensive ones once the money starts coming in.

    Hope this helps.

    Glen
     
  11. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    22,259
    319
    83
    I work at the Veritas Tools machine shop.
    Nepean, Ontario, Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I am old school. I buy good and not cheap. Have had experience with cheap measuring tools at work in a machine shop. Go with Starret, Mititoyo. Cost more last a very long time when cared for.
     
  12. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    12,774
    983
    113
    I like the Starret brand. Good products at a reasonable price. I can get the Starret number tomorrow, I keep a spare, and still have one in the box.

    My 'go-to' verneer caliper is an old Craftsman. It's beat up and the glass is cracked and the bezel clamp is broken but it still works like a charm. It has a much better 'feel' than newer ones.

    I only use mechanical calipers. They won't suddenly die on you and you can easily split a thou with a good dial caliper.

    Willie X
     
    Kevin W. likes this.
  13. Chris D

    Chris D Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Sep 8, 2009
    460
    17
    18
    Coplay, PA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    For deciding what bushing to use, if you can afford it, this is great! KWM Pivot Gauge
     
  14. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    22,259
    319
    83
    I work at the Veritas Tools machine shop.
    Nepean, Ontario, Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    We had a Fowler vernier calliper at work. What a piece of junk, lasted about 2 months.
     
  15. glenhead

    glenhead Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    1,111
    154
    63
    Telecom Engineer
    Williamson County, Texas
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    With respect:

    High-end measuring devices are great if you're creating something from a drawing, or if you're measuring an item so that someone else can replicate the item as accurately as possible using another measuring device. For the vast majority of repair work, there's no need to let "best be the enemy of good". The primary thing you need to look for is repeatability. If you have a micrometer that measures a diameter a 0.637", it's way more important that the same micrometer get the same reading at the same point if you measure again. It's not particularly important whether the measurement is 0.636" or 0.638" if all you want to do is match the diameter of an existing pivot. Which is really more important: being able to measure and match the diameter of a broken pivot or being able to say "wow, I have a Starrett"? If you can't afford a Starrett or Mitutoyo for repair work but you can afford an inexpensive micrometer with great repeatability, then in my book it makes more sense to get the repeatable inexpensive one and move on. Frankly, what the inexpensive one measures isn't particularly important, as long as it lands at the same spot every time. Maybe you can get the fancy one when the inexpensive one has made you enough money in the interim.

    I understand about calipers having issues with repeatability. That's why I use a micrometer - repeatability.

    Just my opinion.

    Glen
     
    David S and JTD like this.
  16. tom427cid

    tom427cid Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Mar 23, 2009
    1,617
    86
    48
    Cabinetmaker,clock repair
    Moultonborough,NH
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I might add that measuring SS for 400 day clocks the only way to go is a vernier micrometer. Dial calipers just don't measure up! (pun intended)
    Also look for Brown and Sharp,their tools were as good as Starrett (the older models)
    Hope this helps.
    tom
     

Share This Page