Luthiers & woodworkers- calipers?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by tea312, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. tea312

    tea312 Member

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    Any suggestions to a good quality & dependable caliper- either digital or dialed??? Any luthier's, woodworkers or hobbyist out there who had good & bad experiences with them- please chime in! Thank you.
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Member

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    Generic imported digital calipers. I've been using some old Craftsman dial calipers for years. I cut a little notch in one jaw with my Dremel and a thin cutting disc that allows me to measure fretwire crown height (the notch is for the tang).
     
  3. PB Wilson

    PB Wilson Member

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    You certainly don't need a top of the line Starrett for luthiery. Wood moves more than the difference in accuracy between a decent one and a top dollar one. Digital is the way to go, but a dial caliper is good too.
     
  4. Ron Thorn

    Ron Thorn Gold Supporting Member

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    Brown & Sharpe with a black face dial has been my best friend for many years. I never was a fan of the Starrett on account of the shape of the jaw tips...too blunt, you can't get into anything.
    I do not recommend digital calipers of any type in a woodworking environment, they won't last a week with all the dust.

    Ron
     
  5. suhr_rodney

    suhr_rodney Supporting Member

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  6. DamianP

    DamianP Member

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    I`ve used my Mitutoyo digital calipers for considerably longer than a week. No problems at all.

    ,Damian.
     
  7. Soapbarstrat

    Soapbarstrat Senior Member

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    I bought these at an Aldi store in Germany for 15 euro (one time limited offer type of thing). It's got a bigger screen than the one I bought in the US. And then I modded it for fret-work, and it's got one important mod that even the Stew-Mac ones don't have : the end of the jaws are ground thinner so I can measure the tangs on the frets (without the tang beads getting in the way)

    http://community.webshots.com/photo/551976565/2136119240061584286EkPOaT

    Also modded it for checking height of installed frets (like the Stew-Mac ones have) :

    http://community.webshots.com/photo/551976565/2806868800061584286ioKNww

    Well, when I find a tool useful, I tend to buy an excessive amount :

    http://community.webshots.com/photo/551971326/2809656230061584286hKXLow

    The plastic dial ones (swiss made)were the first I bought many years ago, and were way more expensive ($29) than any of the digital ones I've bought since, and even thought the digital ones are every bit as Chinese as a pointed hat in a rice field, they work great (so far)
     
  8. tea312

    tea312 Member

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    I appreciate all of the response & your time!! Arnold
     
  9. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Supporting Member

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    Mitutoyo Absolute Digimatic. We use em at Taylor by the bucketload. Resists ebony dust produced by sanding fretboards, super glue, water, sweat, dropping, you name it. Practically bullet proof, I wouldn't be suprised of some of the guys use them for pulling nails. My personal pair has been going strong for 4 years. We have a pair at Lentz thats been going for 5 years or so. Most important tool in the shop I don't work a day without grabbing it at least a dozen times.

    $80 at Enco or Airgas.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. tiltrite

    tiltrite Member

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    Those look handy. If you've had a chance to use them a lot, what is your impression of their overall build quality?

    Anyone know what company makes them for stew mac?
     
  11. Rich Rice

    Rich Rice Member

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  12. patpark

    patpark Member

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    grizzly industrial has some good ones for cheap. i just picked up a digital on w/ a large display for $19
     
  13. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    I use decimal dial and recently bought a fractional dial indicator - sweet.
     
  14. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

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    I use my Stew Mac digital caliper all the time, one of the handiest guitar tools I own. Very handy to be able to check fret height. I have had no problems with durability or quality issues.
     

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