View Full Version : Poor man's height gauge

02-03-2009, 12:22 AM
Working on a flame engine I needed a height gauge, never needed one before. I thought about it for a while and decided the Z axis DRO on my mill would do the job. cut a piece of drill rod, milled a piece for the scribe and screwed it togther and low and behold it actually worked. The piece the cyl. is mounted is just for test measurement, not the base of the engine. Hope this helps someone in the same pickle I was in.

02-03-2009, 12:37 AM
Very creative and I commend you for your thought process. When a need comes up it's best to stop and think just what does the tool do and how can I substitute something for it.

The mind is a wonderful thing but I am afraid not many use theirs as they should.

You can also make one out of a dial caliper by making a base for the fixed jaw and using the movable jaw to measure the height. Of course you would have to buy or make a round pointed part for the movable jaw so it would clear the fixed jaw.

02-03-2009, 01:25 AM
I thought about clamping a dial caliper to a 123 block and putting an extension on the moving jaw but thought that might be a little shakey. The measurement calls for a number of readings.

Mark Hockett
02-03-2009, 01:49 AM
Was that a kit or are you building it from plans? You know if you really get bored you can make two and send one my way ;) Yeah, I didn't think so.

02-03-2009, 11:28 PM
From plans, by now I almost wish it was a kit.

02-03-2009, 11:54 PM
gr8life...You can also use a surface gage to mark precision lines. Use a planer gage and mic to get the exact dimension and set the scriber on the surface gage to rest just even with the surface. This should get you within a thou or two, depending on your eye. ;)

02-04-2009, 10:01 AM
Hi All

As I am building a new steam engine, I needed to make precise marking on the main engine shaft.
So I made a highgauge as shown here


The scriber can not go all the way down to the surface, but mostly the part can/need to be placed on some sort of reference surface, and as you can zero the caliber at any given point it is really no problem


And here is a pic of my engine so far


02-04-2009, 02:26 PM
And you can also use your caliper as a depth guage.


02-04-2009, 03:48 PM
Ash Tool, in Tampa, used to sell a kit to turn a standard vernier caliper into a height gage. I bought one and used it until a fellow worker got tired of the space that his 10" Helios height gage took up in his tool box. We traded and everybody was happy.

The fact that the moveable jaw does not come down to the table can easily be remedied by making a clamp on jaw extension in an "L" shape, with a carbide piece silver soldered to the bottom and ground into the shape of a flat bottomed scriber.

Spin Doctor
02-04-2009, 04:17 PM
I thought a "Poor Man's Height Gage" was a square head and 12" blade :rolleyes: