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Which Vernier caliper?

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by winjim, 10 Jan 2018.

  1. Profpointy

    Profpointy Guru

    A nice story a pal of mine had back in the day. He was a machinist or engineer of some sort at the time and a workmate came in with a component - essentially a cylinder of some precise size and asked him to measure it with his micrometers. "I don't need a micrometer" he says and holds in between finger and thumb and pronounces "450 thou' ". "don't be a n arse just measure it's got to be right". Mate stood his ground and the bloke went off huffily and found someone more helpful. Of course it was 450 thou and the whispers soon went round the factory on how this guy was within a thou just with his fingers. My mate had recognised the item as a spacer off a mini and had himself made one for his own car and remembered the dimensions. He never let on to his workmates
    keithmac and slowmotion like this.
  2. SkipdiverJohn

    SkipdiverJohn Well-Known Member

    Old tools are frequently better than modern ones, tend to be more nicely made and are often made of higher quality steel. Given that almost all tools are now made in the Far East down to a price, if I'm on the lookout for quality tools my first port of call is the car boot sale, where much of what you find will be ancient, British or USA made, and of decent quality.

    I've got some nice old M & W Inch micrometers (I don't *do* metric if I'm measuring the parts in an old engine), and dual scale verniers including a digital Mitutoyo. However there are occasions where a cheapo tool will do the job better than an expensive one, such as where a 6" no-name Chinese Vernier is more convenient to use than a foot long top quality one that you don't want to lose, have stolen, or get damaged. For typical cycling use, such as measuring the size of a seatpost or wheel rim, any cheapo thing is good enough. You only need a ball-park figure, not a precise one - because the thing you are measuring is going to be one or other of a number of industry standard sizes. All you need is sufficient accuracy to determine which size category it falls into, you don't need to know the actual size down to a thousandth of an inch. Even a 99p plastic one is generally good enough for that!
  3. youngoldbloke

    youngoldbloke The older I get, the faster I used to be ...

    very true - in fact an adjustable spanner and a rule are usually quite sufficient :okay:
  4. meta lon

    meta lon Guru

    As the saying goes..engineer and a flagger chatting
    Engineer, i work to within a micron sir..
    Flagger, everyrhing i do is spot on pal
  5. OP

    winjim A youth of interminable age

    It's arrived and I'm very excited. Comes in a lovely orange box:
    with a nice reassuring message on the soft case:

    Lovely and smooth with a nice action, although I'll give it a drop of oil before I use it in anger. Good positive close with no zero error. Here's the business end:

    Time to start measuring things...
  6. Tim Hall

    Tim Hall Guru

    <little moment>
    Gravity Aided and winjim like this.
  7. slowmotion

    slowmotion Quite dreadful

    lost somewhere
    If you had one of those ^^^^^^ , you would have a reasonable chance of knowing how little.
    smutchin and PhilDawson8270 like this.
  8. OP

    winjim A youth of interminable age

    You'd need a torque wrench for that.
  9. C R

    C R Regular

    Ooooooh, shiny. Bloody ebay, I still haven't received my cheapo one, now I am really jealous.
  10. OP

    winjim A youth of interminable age

    Well no, it's a sort of satin. That's what makes it easy to read.
  11. lutonloony

    lutonloony Über Member

    I remember as an apprentice causing the Machine shop supervisor to almost have a fit, when having asked to borrow some verniers, he asked metric or imperial, "Its only to undo a big nut I said" :laugh: