I know, I know, a Mitutoyo Micrometer and Caliper set for US $60, shipping included, can’t be true. Chinese tools aren’t so bad, but these Mitutoyo chinese counterfeits are a joke.IMG_3106IMG_3107IMG_3110The mic doesn’t even look like the real one, and the caliper is the typical chinese cheap caliper (well, a little bit better may be, but not a Mitutoyo). The mic is usable, but I think the caliper needs some tweaking to make it a worth tool. The seller, jingshengyang2088, has a 99% positive feedback. Lesson learned.

Things you don’t know you need

I’m quite tidy. But when I’m working, I should move from my chair to get any tool. So every tool I grasp ends on my table (because I’m too lazy to put it back), and after some days my work area turns into a mess, so later I should spend a lot of time putting everything in its place. But now I have this:


This is a really cool tool organizer: compact, cute, wheeled. Having your tools at hand, fast and easily, makes a difference. I’m in no way associated with Keter, and for sure there’re another brands similar products, but this is a great product.


After a almost three week home confinement because health issues (first my kid and then me) it’s great to take a travel through some hardware stores spread through the city. Yesterday was raining and today was sunny, so was a perfect day to walk. Here’s what I bought.


  • 6 mm two flute end mill. The size I most use. I ruin mine when it fell from my table; a small nick in some edge and say good bay to the good finish (I tried to resharpen it by hand… impossible).
  • 2 mm two flute end mill.
  • 3 mm two flute end mill.
  • 8 mm four flute end mill. As I understand two flute end mills works better for aluminum, but I use this size only for face/side milling and finishing, not for roughing.
  • 4mm tap set.  I have a set with one 4mm tap. But you always end up requiring the three set. Great Indian quality for the price.

Though usually I bought on eBay from sellers like NorthbayCuttingTools (great seller btw), there’s nothing as to look, touch and bought.


Usually I try to work the way I dont need to take too much care of my lathe runout, but its a good idea to have some reference values. Here are some simple measurents I take. I use a swiss 0.002 mm test indicator and some grounded steel rods.

  • Spindle internal tapper: 0.006 mm. Sherline specs states 0.0005″ (0,0127 mm) , so its ok.

  • Spindle play 0.005 mm. Again within sherline specs: 0.0002″ (0,0054 mm).
  • Spindle face: 0.014 mm. This suprise me as spindle face its the reference surface for chucks. There’s no spec for this, buts seems to much to me.

  • 2.5″ 3 jaw chuck: 0.094 mm. Sherline states a max of 0.003″ (0,076 mm) runout, so its a bit out of specs.

  • Another 2.5″ 3 jaw chuck: 0.124 mm. I buy it used and seems it has a lot of use, but don’t think this explain this value.

  • 2.5″4 jaw chuck: 0.080 mm. Almost within specs (buy used but in good condition).

  • 3.1″ 3 jaw chuck: 0.024 mm. Better. This is was also buy used. This was a surprise as visually jaws doesn’t look to met “perfectly” when closed.

  • WW adaptor: 0.006 mm. Seems this doesn’t add noticable runout.

  • WW 3/16 collet: 0.024 mm. This is a lot for this type, but to be fair may be I ruin this (never used) collet as I tight without the steel rod (of course this should never be done). Ups. Maybe should I order a new one.

  • WW 0.25″ collet: 0.014 mm. This time no mistake was made. I read somewhere that no more than 0.0005″ (0,0127 mm) is ok for this collets.
  • Chinese ER16 chuck: 0.040 mm, at 40 mm from spindle nose. That’s a lot; don’t now if its due to poor quality or larger distance from nose. I must say this cheap chuck looks well made, but I did correct back thread as this was so oviously deviated.

  • Threaded ER16 chuck: 0.006 mm. I buy this from a guy on ebay, not chinese, and must re-bore internal cone and front thread to make it usable, so this explain this good reading.

  • ER32 chuck: 0.016 mm. Accounting the spindle face “runout”, cost (around$50), the fact this is mounted in a faceplate and still don’t get the bolts,  this doesn’t seem to be a bad value (will take another reading when buy the bolts).

  • ER32 threaded chuck (“Beal Tool”): 0.006 mm. Sell as pencil chuck for the taig lathe;  I did must face the back (final adjustment was carefully made using sand paper). Its seems a good value, but as I remember there’s a small amount of axial deviation (don’t save those readings).

  • 6 mm milling collet: 0.016, 0.030 and 0.070 mm at 3, 13 and 23 mm from spindle nose.

  • 3/16 mm milling collet: 0.006, 0.004 and 0.010 mm at 3, 13 and 23 mm from spindle nose.


  • I buy ER chucks and collets looking for precision and avoiding marks on work. Now its doesn’t seem a great deal (collets add more runout). Nevertheless ER16 chucks are handy for the mill. And ER32 chucks can work great as vertical fixtures.
  • Jaw chucks seems to have too much runout. Measuring first chuck face runout on border gives me 0.032 mm, so may be I need to re-face spindle (I would lost ER16 threaded chuck precision tough).
  • I would like to buy precision pin gages to be able to measure ER and WW collets (and to take better measurements).

Anyway, how much runout is acceptable depends on your particular needs, and for killing precision a independent jaw chuck or a special-purpose-on-spindle-turned fixture should be the way.

Update: I re-face spinle nose and now face runout is less than 0.004 mm, and first chuck runout drop from 0,076 mm to 0.054 mm and second drop from 0.124 mm to 0.104 mm. Due to some chatter issues I take around 0.1 mm, but sure can be less if well done. I forgot to check spindle align, but it’s better do it before re-face (may be turning a test rod and measuring both sides).

New Order Arrived is a cool site with a lot of tools and accessories for the hobbyist machinist. This time I ordered:

  • Boring Bar Set, Carbide 3/8" Shank $15.95
  • Knurls, Fine Diamond $5.49
  • Dial Test Indicator, 0-15-0 x 0.0005" $29.95
  • Small Hole Gage Set, 4-Piece $12.95
  • Dovetail Cutter, 60° 3/4" Diameter $14.95>
  • Cutting Fluid, Re-Li-On 4oz $3.95>
  • Thin Parallels, 3" Long 4 Pairs $14.95

Boring Bar Set

Boring bars allows to work internal holes in the lathe or the mill.

This set has high endurance carbide tips. The dirty grease is to protect the shafts, that needs to fit fairly tight in the lathe or mill support.


Mounted in a tool like scissors (there are other types), they make these pretty tiny rhombus finish some round handtools have.

Dial test indicator

This nice tool allows you to measure small deviations using a tiny ball end tip. A common use is to center the head of the mill to a piece with an already done hole, to enlarge or finish it.

Although cheap, doesn’t look bad. I wish to get a mitutoyo some day.

Small Hole Gage Set

This tools provide you a cheap method for measuring internal diameters. They has an expanding head, so you can copy the size of a hole an then measure it with a micrometer.

Well, I have to say that quality of this item is not very good. To be usable, I was to spend a couple hours with a file and sand paper (even one of the tips gets stuck). But for 13 bucks, you get what you pay for.

Dovetail Cutter

This type of end mill is used to cut these common”V” ways.

Tough it looks a bit rough, you will not find any cheaper, and looks great for occasional work.

Cutting Fluid

I usually use current oil (sometimes), but for harder materials a good cutting fluid would be a great help.

Thin Parallels

In pairs, these are usually used to rise a piece keeping parallelism to the base surface.

I took measures of every pair at two sides. This is the result:

A B Nominal
7/8″ 22.230-22.234 22.230-22.229 22,225
3/4″ 19.051-19.052 19.054-19.055 19,050
5/8″ 15.888-15.881 15.880-15.879 15,875
1/2″ 12.705-12.705 12.703-12.703 12,700

Not bad (parallelism is more important than nominal accuracy). The other sides are not very flat, but these are not supposed to be used. My only complaint: some box or bag would be great, as this type of tools must be handled and stored carefully (please note that my mic has 0.01 mm reading; the last digit was approximated by eye).OverallAll these are cheap tools, but fulfills in more or less grade the desired function. High quality tools will cost several times this ones; for example, a mitutoyo dial indicator will easily cost more than this whole pack. Also, as widely know, more importantly than the tool itself is how you use them.