View Full Version : what is a "planer gage" used for???

03-30-2005, 08:47 AM
i see these on ebay all the time. what are they and what are they used for?


andy b.

03-30-2005, 08:58 AM
Just saw your post and I am glad you asked the question. I can't answer it but I too have wondered what their specific function is. Apparently, if the name is related to the tool it is most likely considered obsolete by todays standards but I'll bet it is still useful!

03-30-2005, 09:04 AM
Planer Gauge
Measuring instrument, used to precisely check slot widths, consisting of two inclined adjustable planes that can cause the assembly to become thinner or thicker and are then locked in place to use as a gauge.

03-30-2005, 09:50 AM
Planer Gauges are used for setting tool height on shapers and planers. Using a mic or height gauge, the gauge is set to a specified height, and the tool is brought into contact with the gauge. They can also be used as adjustable parallels, for gap measuring, height gauge, scriber, and with other accessories (indicators etc.) using tapped holes on the working surfaces of the gauge.

Paul Alciatore
03-30-2005, 10:16 AM
As said, many uses. I won't repeat what has been said.

I have two, a good Starrett and a cheap import. I have set up the import with a 6" piece of flat ground stock on the top as a tool height gauge for my lathe. The ground stock sticks out several inches and it's botton is set to the center height of my lathe. I just set it on the saddle flat and bring the tool up to touch it. It is long enough to reach almost any position I may have a tool mounted in.

The Starret is handy for a number of uses. I have a scribing tip for it and use it when laying things out. I can set it for some common dimension like 1/4" or 1/8" with the height gauge. Then I don't have to reset the height gauge as much.

One thing, the Starrett and the imports do not use all the same accessories. Starrett used a non standard screw for mounting accessories. The imports use a standard metric screw. Going one way, the screw won't fit: going the other, it will but very poorly.

Many uses.

Paul A.

03-30-2005, 11:02 AM

Great idea about using it as a center height gage!

FWIW, Starrett used nonstandard thread dimensions for many years in an effort to frustrate companies who wanted to copy their designs. Haven't seen this so much lately. Just mounted one of their circular carbide scribers on an offset holder I made for my Etalon (now Brown & Sharpe) height gage. Standard 4-40 flat head allen capscrew.

Barry Milton

Mark Hockett
03-30-2005, 11:27 AM
My Planer Gauge gets used to set the height on my sine bar. I do the math to determine the height setting, set a micrometer to that dimension adjust the guage to fit inside the mic, lock it in position and place it under the sine bar.
Mark Hockett

Dave Opincarne
03-30-2005, 11:32 AM
Check the archives, this has been asked before

03-30-2005, 12:24 PM
I use a pair, one on each side of the milling vice. They are great for supporting longish work pieces and not having to rely on the bottom of the vice being truly parallel to the table.

kap pullen
03-30-2005, 03:58 PM
Used for setting tool height as ERB said before.

When you set your height, start with the tool a little bit low and creep the slide up till the gauge just slips under.

Then lock the slide.

This keeps the backlash in the up direction minimising the likelyhood that it will creep down while you are in cut.

This will also eliminate the crushing of the gauge stated by Forrest in another post.

When you start a planer from a stopped condition the table will rise in the neighborhood of .005 on the oil film.

Most planer tables ride on v ways and float when in operation.

You may want to add a couple thou to the gauge height for this condition.

Also may want to let the table cycle a couple of strokes to let it levitate before you engage the feed.

The planer gauge can also be used to set mills on the milling machine, as well as the other uses mentioned above.


04-03-2005, 08:00 PM
Thanks guys. As always,great and useful information

04-06-2005, 10:53 AM
I use my old starret model from my dad to measure the cnc milled pockets in dies. Then i create a gauge block stack relative to the planer gauge height and fine tune the blocks to fit the milled pockets to about a half though. THEN I USE THE BLOCKS ON THE SURFACE TABLE AND FINISH GRIND TO SAME SIZE.I also use it as a door wedge.

04-06-2005, 03:05 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Dave Opincarne:
Check the archives, this has been asked before</font>

I am sure we are all aware that the archives are a wonderful resource but asking "the question" again serves the purpose of letting newer knowledgable members respond with what might well be a different take than has been stated before while allowing new (and older) not-so-knowledgable members an opportunity to learn. I have been a member here since within a couple of weeks of the board's beginning and have never before seen the suggestion that a planer guage might make a good doorstop. See -- there is much to learn with re-asking questions. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

04-06-2005, 03:25 PM
I use one to set tool offsets on a CNC Mill - and to determine tool offset changes when necessary.