View Full Version : Mitutoyo Height Master

bob ward
12-02-2012, 06:34 PM
I've just bought this on ebay, I'll pick it up in a day or 3.

It ticks a few boxes:-

Its interesting and was once obviously expensive
Its a good conversation piece
Its cheap
Its local

Apart from that, will it be useful in a home shop? Can I somehow use it as a height gauge or is it more of a QC tool to check lengths/heights of existing features?

12-02-2012, 07:43 PM
good price. I've got one holding down the corner of my bench....of course you can can use it but I agree it would see more use in say QC where need to indicate many pieces to a known height. set it on a surface plate, and indicate with a tenths indicator mounted in a surface gauge your work/top of one of the lugs and compare. I just don't have that many occaisions to measure things to a tenth other than say diameters for bearing fits so there it sits.

I've got scads of stuff like that - expensive, interesting, beautifully made.....but I admit to myself its more collecting and tool appreciation than useful, or at least usefull on a regular basis.

uncle pete
12-02-2012, 08:41 PM
That was a hell of a good price. New original cost was probably $1200- $1800. Normally they would be used on a good surface plate. There usually not used as a height gage, but just two of it's uses are to preset a normal standard height gage or a height gage with a dti attached to the height gage for checking part dimensions. Indirectly there's a lot of other uses for them since they can be used in a home shop as your main reference. Industry has their metrology equipment calibrated and recertified on a regular basis. Mostly were not all that concerned in a home shop if our equipment reads to the accuracy levels industry requires for interchangeable parts and or measurements that agree with the NIST standards, but it is important that all our measuring equipment agrees with each other. Personally I think a good high quality reference that can be used to check just about anything else your likely to buy isn't optional. I use a set of Mitutoyo gage blocks, but your height master can probably do most of the same jobs my blocks can. You may or may not know it, but risers for these are available usually in 6" increments or roughly the same in metric There very expensive at the new price too.


12-02-2012, 09:58 PM
Following on form other/previous posters and in my own situation it is more a "nice to have" than a need to have" item that would be a good show-piece and discussion item.

A very good price never-the-less.


12-02-2012, 10:30 PM
They are great. I used one quite frequently when at work for measuring steps and shoulders from a "0" point (the surface) when there was shouldered shaft work to be done.
They are very useful when doing a range of work that falls outside of Jo Block work. You can go up and down the scale w/out doing math or re-stacking Jo's.
And the price you paid is shameful. I hope you don't have to declare Capital Gains on it.
For risers I use 1-2 3 blocks,

12-02-2012, 10:33 PM
Another benefit is you may either work over or under a shoulder or ledge.

12-03-2012, 07:46 AM
It is probably not a tool that you will use every day, unless you have lots of inspection to do. However, when you do need it it is a very useful addition to your workshop. I have a similar one, Trimos not Mitutoyo which I have used specifically for getting accurate measurements off existing complicated machined castings.
This is a similar usage to what I did many years ago in a engine inspection reference room. Unless you have a handy CMM, this is a good tool to use for that type of work.

If you are going to use it for real, then I would say that it is essential that you get it calibrated. This is not particularly expensive if you choose your calibration lab carefully (in UK anyway). This type of tool can be used to measure to tenths, but if you intend to rely on it for that type of accuracy, you really need to get it checked out first. The feet on them can get slightly worn from sliding around on surface plates, and of course that makes for a systematic error. That can be fixed with recalibration if the wear is not too great. Recalibration should also show you whether there is wear on any of the gauge surfaces that would mean that specific steps may be in error. Let me know if you want any more info on this.