Simple Steps for Thread Gage Care
Thread gages are critical for machinists to inspect and verify the precision of their finished work. These delicate instruments must be maintained in tip-top condition. Let’s look at some ways to keep them in good working order.
Choose the right gage. Buy quality gages. Have separate sets for in-process measuring and inspections and keep the inspection gages and master gages separate. Mark gages for specific use. Do not force a gage into a piece.
Train your inspectors. Machinists who understand how to use a gage correctly perform their jobs better and extend the life of the gages. Training time is a sound investment.
Calibrate your gages using wear tolerance charts and manufacturer instructions. Keep records of service time, piece counts checked, and wear life.
Preparation. This applies to both workpiece and gage. Inspect the workpiece and remove all dirt, grime, debris and residues. Likewise, be sure the gage is clean and free of any particles. Wash your hands before using a gage — skin oil is corrosive — or wear gloves.
Never use a gage for anything else that measuring and testing. The gage is not a hole finisher or wrench or pry bar.
If you drop a gage, inspect it immediately for damage, and recalibrate it before use.
Cleaning and Storage. Thoroughly clean gages after each use. One option is a pressure wash. Store in a cool dry environment (avoid extreme heat or cold which can expand or contract the gage and skew results), preferably in a closed compartment on a soft cloth. Some machinists wrap gages in soft, peelable wax as a protective coating.
Gages are fine instruments. When cared for and used properly, they function as a “source of truth” for the quality of your work.
BlackHawk Partner Spotlight: Emuge
Emuge has been a leader in high-performance taps, mills, drills, tool holders and clamping devices for nearly a century. Emuge thread gages help you to maintain the integrity of your production processes. Emuge offers more than 40,000 machining tools, including stock and custom-made items.
Precision Fixed Limit Thread Gages — Comprehensive line includes GO/NO GO plug gages.
- Highly accurate, hardened tool steel
- Inch, metric sizes in coarse, fine, UNC, UNF, UNS, NPT, NPTF and Self-Lock forms
- For 2B, 3B, GH fit classes
- Stable thread start for easy insertion
- Certificate of Accuracy (DECOM UGK GmbH) with each gage
Thread Depth Plug Gages
- Manual (GT-GR-LD Series) — Measure threads and thread depths simultaneously. Can be fitted with torque limiters on request.
- Automatic (TD-Bit-GUT Series) — Use with air screwdriver or drill to read threads and thread depths at once. Automatic gaging delivers constant torque for repeatable results.
See the BlackHawk/Emuge catalog. For more information, contact BlackHawk at 855-610-1001.