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Old 11-12-2017, 04:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How close is close enough?

At the recommendation of many folks here, I've started using a digital calliper instead of trusting the bushings. My question is how close is close enough before you stop? If you are within a few hundredths? Thousandths? More or less? Also, do you use any particular technique for removing a few hundredths or less?
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Old 11-12-2017, 04:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This sort of applies.

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Old 11-12-2017, 04:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Your fingers will let you know close or not immediately when fitted up, the final test, sometimes a small champher at the joins pays off in spades.

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Old 11-12-2017, 05:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I use calipers all the time .... never use bushings ....

If you're talking hundredths you are WAY off.

I try to get within a thousandth (oversize) of the measured hardware size at the ends of the blanks.

One tip .... learn which end of your blank, as normally mounted on the lathe, tends to get to the smallest size first. Go to that size on that end first and then flip the blank and repeat.

Your fingernail will help get you close, as Peter said.

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Last edited by magpens; 11-12-2017 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 11-12-2017, 05:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by chartle View Post
This sort of applies.

I’ve heard it as “if it looks right, it is right”
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Old 11-12-2017, 06:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If it feels right it is. Tolerance is about the thickness of a cigarette paper. I try to taper to dead on
Ken Vaughan
Old Apprentice Machinist - learning a new knee in Tucson
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Old 11-12-2017, 06:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thousandths - good sandpaper is your friend.

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(Unencumbered by the thought process.)
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Old 11-12-2017, 06:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I use between center bushings. I get it close to size and finish with 400 wet sandpaper. I also use calipers and test fit several times before assembling. But I usually only make sierra's
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Old 11-12-2017, 08:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Close enough

Back when I was in High School a friend of mine saw an article in Popular Electronics on building a radio to receive police calls. We stopped in a parts store on the way home from school to get some things he needed. My friend started to read off the list of parts. The first item the counter man said he didn't have that exact part, but he had something that was "close enough". The rest of the list went the same way with everything "close enough". My friend took the parts home and assembled the radio. Anxious to heat the police calls he turned it on and the calls started to come in. They were all taxi cabs. I told him, "I guess that's close enough".

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Old 11-12-2017, 08:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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It gets personal. How close is close enough TO YOU? For me, I am a little OC and will accept .001 and sometimes .002 over in some cases - and round over the ends the .002 oversized ends. I don't accept .002 undersize. I shoot for as close as I can get to .000. Did I mention that I am a little OC?

On some pens with center band designs, .001 or .002 differences are hard to feel, but on pens with smooth transitions on the end cap, nib end and center bands, the hand can tell .002 differences easily.

Now if you want to sell a slimline for $30.00 - $40.00 then .002 or .003 may not be a problem, but if you want to sell the slimline for $75.00 or more, MOST prospective buyers paying that price will inspect it for feel and quality, and that will be for perfectly smooth transition from the blank to the nib to the center band etc.
Hank Lee

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