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Old May 23, 2013, 03:53 PM   #1
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Did I waste $5 on this Dial Indicator?

I went to a garage sale today & I bought this gadget for $5. What I was really after was the dial indicator to use for some hobby lathe work or as a reloading concentric gauge. The platform weights about 10lbs. The gauge only moves about 1/8" & it seems to have no return spring tension.

Gauge says: Fully Jeweled; Federal; Providence R.I.;Mod C71;.0005"
Is it ok to oil the shaft? Did I waste my $5


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Old May 23, 2013, 08:21 PM   #2
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What you have is a Federal dial indicator with a balanced dial. Without having it in hand, I would guess it is probably dirty.

Most likely the shaft is gummed up. They are actually quite good and accurate. The setup you have would be used as a small comparator. Set up with a gage block to the desired dimension and then pass the work pieces between the platen and the indicator tip and look at the variance from nominal.

If no parts are needed, you have a bargain.

Don't oil the shaft, it will make things worse. You might try a little alcohol and try to move the shaft in and out.

Take off the back and you should see the movement. There are two screws on the baseplate.

Don't loosen them. If you do, you will disengage the movement from the rack and you will lose the pretension on the hairspring.

Send me a PM if you want to know how to take it apart for cleaning. It not difficult but you do need to be careful.

You have a precision instrument and it should NOT have much return spring tension. There should be some. If you have the back off, you should see a long spring that provides return tension. It might have become disengaged.

Good luck!!

Carpe Cerveza

Last edited by geetarman; May 23, 2013 at 09:00 PM.
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Old May 23, 2013, 09:25 PM   #3
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geetarman, you are a genius! A little alcohol & a minute or two of in-n-out & it seems to be working great!


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Old May 24, 2013, 09:48 AM   #4
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Glad that you got it working. You got a great deal.
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Old May 24, 2013, 04:51 PM   #5
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The base would have been worth $5 to me. Good deal.
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