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Form Setup - Indicator Points


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In all the books and frequently on the list, mention is made that the 60 degree point on your depth indicator can be quite fragile and needs to be in good condition in order to remain accurate.  I haven't seen any discussion on the list that would give me an idea of how frequently most of you are replacing your points.  I'm sure some of you bought your first and only point from Noah's Shipbuilding and Industrial Supply - no financial interest.  (Sorry, I couldn't resist that one.)  Others, I'm sure, may go through several a year.

So, how often do most of you replace your points so I can get a feel for how "expendable" 60 degree points are?  (Tim Wilhelm)

    The point on the 60 degree is only good if it is perfect. It is hard to keep it that way so I don't use the point tip at all. Set your calipers to .1155. Set the point in the .1155 space with the block flat on the caliper jaws,  zero the depth gauge. This will give you accurate readings of the groove depth.  (Tony Spezio)

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I guess old timers know this but the new guys might not.

I very recently received a new set of plane forms from Bellinger and I allowed about 24 hours for them to acclimate to the house temperature before I set them for my next rod.

Well, that was two days ago and today I went to begin cutting cane and checked the forms for any differences  to the taper I had set. Good thing I did, I averaged about 5 thousandths difference across the entire length of the forms. Glad I checked.

BTW, last night I shoved a splinter under the nail of my index finger while rough planing. The piece rode up over  the top of the cutting blade and buried itself ¼” into my finger, under the nail. Major “Ouch”….

Off to resetting the  forms and  start on another  rod.   (Ren Monllor)

    Well, that's a pretty big chunk of steel to acclimate in 24 hours.  I'd keep checking though, maybe something else is going on.  (Neil Savage)

    I've had the tip in my indicator come loose before, too.

    Now, the first thing I check before setting my forms (actually, my MHM) is that the indicator point is in nice and tight.  (Chris Obuchowski)

      Funny, I had this happen last week. It about drove me nuts before I found what was the matter. I reset the forms about four times before finding the problem. In the years I have been making rods, this is the first time I have run into this.  I will be checking the point from now on.  (Tony Spezio)

        Perhaps a job for the Loctite that's removable??  What is that, the red?  (Art Port)

          Blue, or the green wicking grade - red will work, as long as you never plan to take it apart!  (Larry Blan)

          I'm not sure about Loctite.  Some kinds need quite a bit of heat and/or torque to remove & that's a pretty small screw (4-40).  OTOH, you probably wouldn't want to remove the point anyway unless the indicator failed.  The ones from Harbor Freight are cheap enough to have a couple more for other applications.  (Neil Savage)

      As it turned out, upon checking the forms I noticed that the collar on the gauge was loose. I reset and retightened and the forms went back into alignment.

      Boy if it’s not one thing it’s another.  (Ren Monllor)

        When you use your indicator be sure to pick it up and move it from station to station, and be sure not to slide the indicator from station to station on your forms. Sliding the indicator is often the cause of the point coming loose. Then things can get ugly.  (Jim Bureau)

      A drop of nail polish (or varnish, or shellac etc.) on the threads of the point should keep it tight.  (Neil Savage)

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