Author Topic: Dial indicator repair  (Read 971 times)

Offline steamer

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Dial indicator repair
« on: July 14, 2019, 01:56:59 AM »
Well, I had this precision dial indicator, with 0.006" range, and 0.0001" increment, but it was partially stuck and lumpy and had issues. I got it for a project I was working on, but as it needed work, I did something else and it just disappointingly sat in my box for a like 8 years. Well, I just recently tore down some dial calipers to clean and repair, and decided that I had absolutely nothing to lose, as I didn't pay much for it, and it was broke any way, so I tore it down completely. I took some photo's as I went, so I could keep track of the orientation, and they are shown chronologically below, left to right. I found a bent needle pinion pivot, which I straightened, and some sort of goop on the plunger. As one can imagine, taking it apart was the easy part. It took me a while, as it's only about 3/4" in diameter, it's tiny....
 but I was able to get it all back together and clocked correctly, and it appears to function quite nicely! It's going back in the box, but it's ready to go! That was satisfying.
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Offline steamer

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Re: Dial indicator repair
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2019, 01:58:45 AM »
More photo's in chronological order

and some video of the finished job....the bezel is a bit crusty...but....its working

https://www.facebook.com/mcandrew.piper/videos/2343488355928557/?t=1

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Offline b.lindsey

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Re: Dial indicator repair
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2019, 01:23:46 PM »
Nice job Dave. You never know when it might come in handy!

Bill

Offline Mcgyver

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Re: Dial indicator repair
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2019, 03:56:41 PM »
Nice job servicing the indicator. 

I do some watch work as I guess you do as well which leads me also to working on indicators.  I've got several high quality ones like Federal and Helios with cracked jewels.  They're the same type as you've shown - large jewels in what a watchmaker would call a chaton, a brass setting. 

I'm hoping for ideas on where to get replacement jewels, either bare or in a chaton?  The jewels are quite a bit larger than you'd usually get for watches.  One I have apart at the moment has an ID of 1mm and chaton OD of 3.5mm for example.  They also need to be fairly low cost, I don't mind putting time into fixing nice old tools but don't want to spend $60 for a couple of jewels fixing a $50 indicator.

I debated making my own jewels, more for the experience as it would be a nice skill to have for watch work.   then I smacked myself in the head.....don't need another big time consuming project.  I could use bronze, but would rather maintain the original quality.  Or maybe getting 100 made through Alibaba...anyway, if you have any ideas I'd love to hear them.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2019, 04:02:09 PM by Mcgyver »

Offline steamer

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Re: Dial indicator repair
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2019, 05:54:20 PM »
Nice job servicing the indicator. 

I do some watch work as I guess you do as well which leads me also to working on indicators.  I've got several high quality ones like Federal and Helios with cracked jewels.  They're the same type as you've shown - large jewels in what a watchmaker would call a chaton, a brass setting. 

I'm hoping for ideas on where to get replacement jewels, either bare or in a chaton?  The jewels are quite a bit larger than you'd usually get for watches.  One I have apart at the moment has an ID of 1mm and chaton OD of 3.5mm for example.  They also need to be fairly low cost, I don't mind putting time into fixing nice old tools but don't want to spend $60 for a couple of jewels fixing a $50 indicator.

I debated making my own jewels, more for the experience as it would be a nice skill to have for watch work.   then I smacked myself in the head.....don't need another big time consuming project.  I could use bronze, but would rather maintain the original quality.  Or maybe getting 100 made through Alibaba...anyway, if you have any ideas I'd love to hear them.

Thank you for you kind comments, my experience is limited with this field, but I did enjoy a good couple of hours working on that indicator as it has annoyed me for some time.
I don't have a source for jewels , but I've been toying with the idea of doing metrology repairs on the side.   So finding jewels would be advantageous.   That said, as you stated, at the cost of these "expensive" indicators, the cost of the jewels would have to be low to make any sense at all.   

Hair springs make me uncomfortable, but I managed that one well enough.   It's staked in very stoutly to the post next to it, so getting it out was going to be near impossible, for me anyway, without destroying it, so I kept the lash quadrant with the back plate, and cleaned the jewel with a tooth pick pegwood dipped in some electronic cleaner solvent..   Though I am rather chuffed that I could rewind it appropriately before I put the back plate back on.   Like most things...your imagination is usually worse than reality.
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Offline b.lindsey

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Re: Dial indicator repair
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2019, 07:21:40 PM »
Not sure if it helps or not but ran across this
https://www.esslinger.com/hole-jewel-assortment-for-watches-100-pc/

Bill
« Last Edit: July 15, 2019, 12:07:37 AM by b.lindsey »

Offline mike mott

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Re: Dial indicator repair
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2019, 10:32:36 PM »
Hi Mcgyver and Steamer
I have these, and I received them from a friend who's Dad was a watchmaker. If they are of any use to you send me a PM and for the price of postage they are yours. I will know then that they will be used for the right reasons.

Mike
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Offline steamer

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Re: Dial indicator repair
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2019, 10:50:29 PM »
Mcgyver.   If you are doing watch work, these might work better for you.   Otherwise Id be glad to take them

Dave
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Offline b.lindsey

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Re: Dial indicator repair
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2019, 12:08:46 AM »
?? Should there be a link with that Dave.

Bill

Offline mike mott

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Re: Dial indicator repair
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2019, 12:46:40 AM »
Bill, these are mine I have them on my desk. That is if you are referring to the jewels.

Mike
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Offline b.lindsey

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Re: Dial indicator repair
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2019, 01:11:28 AM »
Ah sorry, thought Dave was suggesting something else Mike.

Bill

Offline steamer

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Re: Dial indicator repair
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2019, 02:31:06 AM »
I think what I was trying to say was I was giving Mcgyver first option on this very gracious and generous offer.
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Offline Mcgyver

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Re: Dial indicator repair
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2019, 07:12:27 PM »
Hi Mike,

Thanks very much for the generous offer.  I do watch work, but if Dave can use them thats great, if he can't I'd take them. 

The challenge with these indicators is still the size the jewels.   The indicator needs jewels with ID's around about the same as those jewels OD's!  Sizes on the box cover are hole and diameter state a 1/100 of a mm - for example the first jewel on the box cover is .003" ID and .031" (approx) OD.  Believe it or not watch pivots (think journal bearing on the end of a shaft) can be .003".   I've found these indicators with a typical bore of 1mm are larger than the largest ID you'd ever see in a watch selection.

For example, that indicator needs a 1mm ID jewel bearing, the largest in the selection is only 0.13mm ID.

cheers

Mike
« Last Edit: July 17, 2019, 07:18:43 PM by Mcgyver »

Offline mike mott

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Re: Dial indicator repair
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2019, 08:26:53 PM »
Ok So Dave if you want them I will send them if not I will send them to mcgyver.

mike
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Offline steamer

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Re: Dial indicator repair
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2019, 08:34:07 PM »
Thanks Mike     send them off to Mycgyver

Thanks again!
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Offline Mcgyver

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Re: Dial indicator repair
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2019, 08:52:25 PM »
Dave, if you ever need some, let me know.   Very generous of you Mike, thanks!

Offline steamer

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Re: Dial indicator repair
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2019, 09:07:39 PM »
Dave, if you ever need some, let me know.   Very generous of you Mike, thanks!
Thank you!
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Offline mike mott

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Re: Dial indicator repair
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2019, 09:25:38 PM »
Done.

Mike
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Offline Mcgyver

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Re: Dial indicator repair
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2019, 02:52:29 PM »
The items arrived, thanks very much Mike!

I'll try to get a photo of these compared to an indicator jewel so you non-watch guys can appreciate the size difference.

I also got an idea for bearings for my indicator repair.  I happen to be looking through an old issue of Horological Times and there was an article on using miniature ball bearings (like 1x3mm) instead rebushing for clock repair.  There are issues with authenticity re clocks, but who cares with an indicator repair, provided its an as good or better mechanically.  I've got some on order to experiment with

Offline b.lindsey

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Re: Dial indicator repair
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2019, 03:01:17 PM »
Wow!!!  Those are some small bearings. Would love to see pictures of them once they arrive too  :o

Bill

Offline steamer

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Re: Dial indicator repair
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2019, 06:59:56 PM »
The items arrived, thanks very much Mike!

I'll try to get a photo of these compared to an indicator jewel so you non-watch guys can appreciate the size difference.

I also got an idea for bearings for my indicator repair.  I happen to be looking through an old issue of Horological Times and there was an article on using miniature ball bearings (like 1x3mm) instead rebushing for clock repair.  There are issues with authenticity re clocks, but who cares with an indicator repair, provided its an as good or better mechanically.  I've got some on order to experiment with

Mcguyver,

I looked through a bit and found 1 company in the US that makes jewelled bearings.  Most the watch people, however, they also make precision orifices the same way.....I suspect if you were to contact them a "orifice" could be had ...and so what if it doesn't know it's a bearing!....

http://birdprecision.com/contactus/


Dave
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Damned ijjit!

Offline Mcgyver

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Re: Dial indicator repair
« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2019, 01:13:41 AM »
Hi Dave,

the problem becomes one of economics - there are places that make jewels in those sizes but they'll want $20 + shipping for a jewel so if you need to start replacing several in an indicator thats probably not worth much more than $50, you start to question doing the repair.

I bought some low cost miniature ball bearings, 3mm x 1mm that are about the right size.  If I turn a chaton to fit (brass ring they sit in) it might make a good replacement.  Using miniature ball bearings for clocks has some precedents, but is generally frowned upon as most clocks worth fixing deserve an attempt at authenticity....but who cares for a functional indicator.

Just to show the difference between watch and indicator jewel sizes, here's a shot of a Helios indicator with a cracked jewel (1mm ID), a cheapo ball bearing that just arrived and one the watch jewels Mike Mott kindly sent.  As you can see watch stuff is just too small.  The watch stuff takes practice (at the beginner end of the curve myself).  One of the most common watchmaking tasks is making balance staffs who's pivots (think journal on a shaft) must fit the ID of the jewel which can be as small as .003".   That's an exacto blade to give a sense of scale



« Last Edit: August 17, 2019, 02:41:45 AM by Mcgyver »

Offline steamer

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Re: Dial indicator repair
« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2019, 01:19:16 AM »
I like your way of thinking....where did you get the bearing?

Dave
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Offline steamer

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Re: Dial indicator repair
« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2019, 01:32:17 AM »
I see them on Ebay.....
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Offline Mcgyver

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Re: Dial indicator repair
« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2019, 02:40:23 AM »
yup, ebay, very inexpensive.  SKF also makes this size, but don't know their price.