1. I once had an antique brake shoe "arcing" machine I never used and finally
parted out (vital step for everything headed to the garbage can). I remember
it had about a 5000 RPM belt driven speed with a 4" dia sanding drum around 50
2. I have one of those cheap (but amazingly accurate) $14 six inch Chinese
dial calipers that hangs out near the belt sander and the band saw.
Especially useful on the belt sander. When the little cast iron "table" on
the belt sander finally broke I rebuilt it with a nice piece of 1/4"x 4" wide
steel plate. Set the outer edge parallel to the belt using the dial caliper
to measure it before welding. I found a rusty old 4" machinist's square at a
swap meet for a buck and keep that nearby to guide parts at 90 deg to the
belt. Can easily hold +/-.001 on small parts with this rig. If I were going
to try to cut a brake pad here I'd probably put on a 40 grit belt and build a
little plywood fixture with a cutout to hold the pad. Also set up the shop
vacuum to catch the dust and wear a dust mask. Then periodically check the
thickness with the dial caliper to insure parallelism as I cut it down.
3. The sharp measuring ends on the caliper are great for scribing layout
lines for hole drilling in soft steel, aluminum and plastic. They are 58-60
Rc hardness and hold up to that treatment amazingly well. Couldn't bring
myself ever to do that with a Starret caliper.
Tricks like this can greatly postpone the purchase of a milling machine
leaving more resources for important things like nitro and tires.