View Full Version : Books on inspection technique?

05-05-2007, 04:00 AM
I find myself interested in expanding my knowledge of inspection techniques and tools. I understand direct measurements well enough (I think). I can get good (I think) and repeatable measurements, within the level of my needs anyway, with micrometers, calipers, DIs, and DTIs. But to be able to say "these 2 surfaces are flat within 0.000x and square within 0.000x" is pushing my abilities and I would not be able to state my findings with any real confidence. I'm also guessing there are many more uses for things like gage blocks than what I can imagine. The handbook and all the other books I have are strangely limited or completely silent on these matters.

Any suggestions for books, educational web sites, anything?

05-05-2007, 07:31 AM
look under 'metrology'

05-05-2007, 10:48 AM
My favorite is:

Metrology for Engineers
J. F. W. Galyer, C. R Shotbolt

05-05-2007, 01:42 PM

Rusty: I did search "Metrology" on Amazon, Ebay, and a few others. Prices from $100 to $200 exceded my casual interest in expanding my understanding in that direction. So I wanted to check into the public library. Or if I do an intra-library loan, I want to know what book is worth asking for before I rent one for $10-15.

That's also why I specified exactly the types of info I'm looking for. To me, temp controlled rooms and measuring to 6 decimal places is of no practical interest, and little intellectual interest.

05-05-2007, 02:22 PM
BadDog, The Galyer & Shortbolt book is still in print (it's an English publisher), but you can get the 4th Ed (1980) for around $7:


05-05-2007, 02:38 PM
Interesting, and much better than the $50 I found earlier. But all the good prices seem to be in the UK. $50 was US, $86 in CA. Looks like I may have to wait on a bood from the UK. I'll check the local library system first. Then buy UK if necessary since I'll have about the same in it as renting it through intra-library. Thank you!

05-05-2007, 02:50 PM
Forrest Addy had a good article on the surface plate and layout in the March/April 2005 issue of Home Shop Machinist. This would be the next step in shop measurement and layout. IIRC he also had some reading/reference suggestions.

05-05-2007, 02:50 PM
Unless you are intending to do serious demention inspection I would think that using common sense, thought and good instruments would do the job.

When I was in Ca. in Jan. I visited a shop that has a digital comparator. Once the machine is zeroed a stilus travels all over the surface of a part and then displays the part in 3D and all the dimentions. I can't remember if it was 4 or 5 places but it was extremely accurate and would be far better than any method I have seen. The problem was how much it cost but in the case of that shop it was a necessary machine to have not a luxury.

05-05-2007, 03:06 PM
Thanks, that HSM is from before I got interested and bought a subscription. Maybe Forrest will see this and provide some thoughts, at least on the reference material. I may call HSM on Monday to see if they can get me a reprint.

What I'm looking for is a better understanding. Just over a year ago, I never thought much about anything beyond linear dimensions of about 1/100th of an inch. Better than carpenter mentality; but no more than what I needed for metal fab stuff, frame straightening, etc.

Then I bought that darned lathe and nothing has been the same since...

I have no interest in the extreme stuff, but as I said, I want to be able to do things like determining (with confidence) that my mill vise/part/thing is square/flat within spec. I *think* I have an idea how to do things like that, but how accurate are my methods? I have no confidence in my findings without some reference. Sometimes I don't really care; sometimes I do. I also have tools I bought, tools that I know how to use in one way or another, but that almost certainly have useful modes of operation I have never conceived. I see it again and again on these forums where one of the more experienced guys starts talking about ways of doing this-or-that, and I'm thinking to myself, "Wow, I've got all the stuff to do that, but would never have thought about doing it that way!" Things like using a DTI/DI with a classic height gage and ball tip rod to check a cylinder for square. So now I'm trying to get a bit ahead of the curve on those revelations instead of waiting for them to fall on the ground in front of me.

05-05-2007, 04:38 PM
A useful starting place is the Starrett Catalog. It is free from most suppliers and offers a good deal of information on the use of their products.

05-05-2007, 06:58 PM
My bad,uh, Bad. I like to use Abebooks and Amazon. They usually give you a range of prices and the new price as well.

05-05-2007, 07:05 PM
Interesting, and much better than the $50 I found earlier. But all the good prices seem to be in the UK.

Those prices are all in USD. So there are a couple of ex library copies of the 4th Ed for $7 USD plus shipping, which is cheap by Royal Air Mail (around $4-$6 dollars).

If you're looking for more of a hands-on guide, the Starrett Student Handbook is really good too: