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Thread: Lathe Tool Height Gage

  1. #11
    rossbotics rossbotics's Avatar
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    Well metric_taper
    you can use your height gage on any machined surface to measure anything, I wouldn't advise using it on a concrete floor though, just make sure your machined surfaces your measuring from are burr free and rust free.
    Comments are always welcome

    Doug

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  3. #12
    metric_taper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rossbotics View Post
    Well metric_taper
    you can use your height gage on any machined surface to measure anything, I wouldn't advise using it on a concrete floor though, just make sure your machined surfaces your measuring from are burr free and rust free.
    I guess I fall back on my methods previous to having the gage. Typically, the datum is the surface of what ever the "sacrificial" material is. And your 'carving' away relative to that surface.
    I can't think of to many operations where I would measure height (or distance) where the HG would be efficient. But lathe center to some carriage surface clearly is a proper usage of the tool. My main use of the HG has been with an adapter that replaces the carbide scribe that holds a test or dial indicator, on a surface plate. I've made parts for years without using a plate, so I'm in learning mode, and it's a new world of much more accurate measurements.

  4. #13
    rossbotics rossbotics's Avatar
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    Your doing just fine sir, hope this was a learning experience for you, cheers
    Comments are always welcome

    Doug

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    metric_taper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rossbotics View Post
    Your doing just fine sir, hope this was a learning experience for you, cheers
    Going from 'thousands' to 'tenths' is the biggest change in the hobby moving forward. Life is at its best when I learn new things. And this is an unexplored machine shop 'space'.
    Thanks for passing your knowledge to others.

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    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by metric_taper View Post
    Thanks for describing this technique. I've only had a height gage for a few months, and only think of using it on the surface plate.
    Don't forget that the height gauge can be used as a very large capacity calipers allowing precision measurement over lengths that most calipers could never accommodate.

    Typically this requires clamping the part to a right-angle block and then using a square to ensure that it's held perpendicular to the surface plate.

    Fitted with a DTI they can also be used to check squares for perpendicularity.
    ---
    Regards, Marv


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    metric_taper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mklotz View Post
    Don't forget that the height gauge can be used as a very large capacity calipers allowing precision measurement over lengths that most calipers could never accommodate.

    Typically this requires clamping the part to a right-angle block and then using a square to ensure that it's held perpendicular to the surface plate.
    This is a setup I would never think of doing.
    Luck has it I have a 24" Mitutoyo dial caliper. It's a dual beam design. I got it from my companies 'inventory disposal' sale. It was broken. Some smart guy, ran the moving jaw up and down many times and fast, that it caused the pointer needle shaft to fail on the bearing just below the scale. So the pointer was sitting under the crystal with what was left of the eroded shaft. This shaft was the same shaft of the gear that was part of the rack and pinion drive. I think I was able to grind a new shaft from some O1 drill rod, and then machine this in a spin indexer on the surface grinder. It's not perfect, but within .001". It was way beyond my skill when I did the repair..


    Quote Originally Posted by mklotz View Post
    Fitted with a DTI they can also be used to check squares for perpendicularity.
    This setup I've seen, but have not done. I know this is for a cylindrical square. That's one of the projects I want to make. Seems it's good check of the lathe, and machinist.

    I just got a granite square last week (triangle 1" thick, 10" on long side), damn their pricey. Even a cheep import.

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    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    Wow, a 24" Mitutoyo caliper! That must have been a pricey bit of kit to buy initially. Since most hobbyists couldn't afford it or have the space to store it for that matter, I'm glad I mentioned the height gauge approach. Future readers may not think of it so a written reminder is in order.

    The height gauge can be used to check conventional as well as cylinder squares for orthogonality. Angle plates too. With its accurate measurement of height, one can mathematically verify shallow angles as well.

    It does often require some sort of protruding foot on the base of the gauge to space it a fixed distance from the object to be checked but that's a lot less work than making a purpose-built device.
    ---
    Regards, Marv


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    metric_taper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mklotz View Post
    Wow, a 24" Mitutoyo caliper! That must have been a pricey bit of kit to buy initially. Since most hobbyists couldn't afford it or have the space to store it for that matter, I'm glad I mentioned the height gauge approach. Future readers may not think of it so a written reminder is in order.

    The height gauge can be used to check conventional as well as cylinder squares for orthogonality. Angle plates too. With its accurate measurement of height, one can mathematically verify shallow angles as well.

    It does often require some sort of protruding foot on the base of the gauge to space it a fixed distance from the object to be checked but that's a lot less work than making a purpose-built device.
    It is a monstrous size item to store, very heavy. It came with it's original Styrofoam packaging, that used to have a cardboard sleeve, thus making it larger to store, but it acts as a dust shield. It's buried on a shelf over the lathe, under bore gauges and Clover brand lapping compound cans. Clearly not a very often used item in the shop. I have a 500mm digital caliper (Harbor Freight) that is typically what I use for large measurements, as I can hold it in one hand.

    It's a mindset change to use the height gage. Thinking about it, it is a caliper that measures from an inside edge (surface plate, angle plate; reference datum) to an outside edge.

    I purchased the granite square to calibrate a test indicator setup for measuring orthogonality.

    My company (former Collins Radio and where I got the caliper from) had a world class manufacturing shop. They produced everything in house during the moon mission. They have sold off most of the machinery, long before I retired, to where engr. prototypes had long lead times. It's all outsourced CNC shops now. I never could get my hands on a large lathe (16X60) when they were being auctioned off. There were rows of them. They all went to a Chicago machinery dealer. The machines were in pristine condition from only running aluminum their whole life. That was in 96, and $15K was out of my budget. I recall LeBlonde and other mainstay manufacturing names. they all had DROs. They were mid 50s to 60s age.

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    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by metric_taper View Post
    It's a mindset change to use the height gage. Thinking about it, it is a caliper that measures from an inside edge (surface plate, angle plate; reference datum) to an outside edge.
    Indeed. And mindset changes are what "thinking outside the box" is all about.

    Little mental exercises such as thinking of a linkage as a device to hold two holes a fixed distance apart can really help to develop the sort of mental flexibility needed to originate new and improved tools.
    ---
    Regards, Marv


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    [email protected] tonyfoale's Avatar
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    Lathe Tool Height Gage

    Quote Originally Posted by mklotz View Post
    Don't forget that the height gauge can be used as a very large capacity calipers allowing precision measurement over lengths that most calipers could never accommodate.
    Even better when you need to take several measurements on a complex object is a mill with a DRO, and an edge finder or probe. That is, if like me your budget doesn´t run to a CMM.

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