Author Topic: The combination square building kit  (Read 702 times)

eskoilola

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The combination square building kit
« on: June 02, 2018, 10:41:09 AM »
My combination square building kit arrived today.



The kit comes as readily assembled combination square. You are expected to take it apart and then do the final machining on the supplied pre machined components.

This building kit is available on eBay. I do not recommend to buy this building kit in any circumstances.



Actually this kit is really stainless .... it is not stainless steel as one would expect but rather stainless aluminium and nickel plated screws accompanied with one zinc casting and brass nuts. The only part that is really stainless steel is the ruler. It is actually quite good with metric and imperial scales. It feels quite good and is probably quite accurate. It is not hardened but the material itself is rather hard. The scales are encraved or etched and their readability is really good. The ruler alone is worth over the half of the packet price which was 22 Euros. Actually, this is what this combination kit is worth for as rest of the components are not that good.



The proctractor is the most accurate pre machined part of this kit. The supposedly flat face is not flat at all. It is much higher on the ends, the center being about 0.3mm low. Checked this with the supplied ruler two ways getting a similar result. The reason for this might be the machining and how the protractor was held in the machine. Either the mill was badly rammed or the piece was not held straight while milling it. This should not be too bad to fix ... oh excuse me ... it should not be too bad to complete this part of the kit as the material is stainless aluminium.



On the premachined protractor body casting there is glued the stainless plastic degree scale. It is quite easy to peel off during the time this part of the kit is finished. The scale is glued there just to show where it belongs so it is not accurately placed. It should be carefully aligned after this part is finished. There is a taper in the center hole. The taper on the other side is leaning in and the other side it is leaning out. It is like a big hole that was not bored straight but in a 10 degree angle. It is a bit unclear why the hole is bored like that. Maybe the intention was to make the protractor center jam semi-permanently when tightened, which it does.



The center part casting of the protractor is made of stainless zinc. For the builder the degree witness mark whereabouts are pointed by having a recess in the casting and then painting that recess with a blob of white paint. One is supposed to remove all paint from that side and then fill in the recesses and after that paint the surface and then fine-paint the accurate degree witness marks. No additional machining is needed for this component as it jams in the center hole really well.



The last two castings of this combinations square building kit are made of stainless aluminium. The center finder and the square. They are both supposed to be machined to 90 degree angles the square having an additional 45 degree angle. These parts should also be machined to be exactly the same width. Luckily there is some extra material on the center finder which can be milled or filed off. The angles of these casting are not exactly 90 degrees and that kind of accuracy is the responsibility of the builder of this kit. Actually there is one millimeter gap when these two parts are aligned together. Also there is more than one millimeter fluctuation on width of these castings. A lot of milling to do with these.

Here starts the serious part.

I actually need a good combination square. The eBay seems to be filled with this crap and it seems to be utterly difficult to find decent devices there. I have now learned my lesson and I really hope that nobody else falls into this crap-trap. Actually the product description does not speak about aluminium or zinc. It only talks about "Edelstahl" which is stainless steel. The ruler is good - that I must admit. The rest is stainless crapnesium.

In case You have suggestions on where to get a good metric + imperial combination square with a 300mm (12 inch) ruler and a round going protractor, please slap Your suggestions here.

Thanks in advance !

eskoilola

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Re: The combination square building kit
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2018, 12:13:40 PM »
Well .... I found a few of them ... one has to be prepared to pay a tad more than 20 euros and one has to accept imperial only.
On the other jand, it is my belief that it is possible to get metric blades on Starrets.
Currently bidding on this one. Price for a new is well above 200 euros.

Edit: In case You are wondering why I go into an old tool. The reason is very simple. I suspect that the "Starrett"s sold by for example Amazon are probably good but nowhere near the quality of their older tools which built company reputation to what it is today.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2018, 12:40:16 PM by eskoilola »

Offline Jo

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Re: The combination square building kit
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2018, 02:15:35 PM »
Thanks for warning us that poor quality sets are on Fleabay. I would have never guessed that anyone would try selling aluminium ones  :loco:

Thankfully in the UK good sets turn up regularly at about 10 a set as most people don't know what they have have and think it is just a cheap wood working tool   :clap:

Jo
So many engines to build and yet so little time.

Offline philf

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Re: The combination square building kit
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2018, 02:38:46 PM »
I have an old Starret catalogue and a 1974 price list.

A C443M Combination Set - Forged and hardened Square & Centre Heads and 300mm rule (1/2mm & 1/32" one side; 1mm & 1/64" the other) cost 17.38!

They made a range of rules (they refer to them as blades) from 150mm to 600mm with totally Imperial 1/32" & 1/64" or 1/100" & 1/50"; mixed as above; 1mm and 0.5mm both sides - one side reading left to right and one right to left.

I have Moore & Wright and Chesterman versions.

Phil.

Phil Fern
Location: Marple, Cheshire

Offline PK

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Re: The combination square building kit
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2018, 06:05:22 PM »
Yeah, I've bought a couple. They are spectacularly bad. I felt like correcting the vendors English, telling him that the correct name of this tool is an Almost square..

eskoilola

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Re: The combination square building kit
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2018, 11:09:23 PM »
Won the bidding on the Starrett imperial combination square in FleaBay. As always there was a last minute bidder who also wanted this particular tool for him/herself. Still, the price was acceptable assuming the tool in in the condition described. Hopefully this ends up my adventure in the combination square territory.

Online awemawson

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Re: The combination square building kit
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2018, 03:31:52 AM »
. . . which is why I always use a sniping service . . it also controls my urge to win and 'auction fever' as I've committed to a maximum price I'll pay usually a few days earlier . . . also it covers the 'forgetting' issue.

Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

eskoilola

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Re: The combination square building kit
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2018, 12:02:16 PM »
Actually I used the eBay automation where I had put my highest price I was willing to pay. In case that would not have worked out ... well ... this particular product is perhaps the most manufactured piece of Starrett tools so the next would appear soon enough.

The sniping services are sort of relics from the time eBay did not have the automatic bidding service. Now their downside is that they have no chance against the eBay automatic bid raising system. If the service makes the raise last second then there is no time left for rebid.

I am pretty sure I won this item against a sniping system.

Online awemawson

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Re: The combination square building kit
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2018, 01:06:19 PM »
The advantage of the external sniping service is that other potential bidders, and the seller, are not forewarned of your interest in the item as no bid is placed until the time before the auction ends that you have specified. Mine is set at 5 seconds.

The ebay system declares your interest immediately



 
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

eskoilola

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Re: The combination square building kit
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2018, 01:41:39 PM »
<snip>
The ebay system declares your interest immediately
</snip>

Aaaaaa......

So this is the reason. I understand. With this service one might get away with a lower price. It is not that much avoiding Your own 'auction fever' than avoiding to spread this fever to other bidders.

Online awemawson

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Re: The combination square building kit
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2018, 02:54:47 PM »
It's classic negotiation skills training, or poker playing for that matter - don't disclose your hand until you have to  :clap:

Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

eskoilola

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Re: The combination square building kit
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2018, 12:16:01 PM »
The combination square episode is over.



The real combination square arrived today. It seems to be unused. It also has been sitting for a time that has been long enough to jam the protractor. I gently opened it and cleaned with Ballistol. Now that thing is smooth and feels like an accurate measuring device. The blade is imperial but I have ordered a blem from this eBay seller. This blade has satin chrome plating and is metric.

Although this Starrett tool is excellent it was not good enough to convert me into imperial system. I will, of course, try to learn the imperial system but at the end I am a metric weirdo and will always fall back to metric system.

In the picture there is the blade from the crap chinese device.