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Gauge pins....where have you been!

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  • Gauge pins....where have you been!

    I've wanted some for a while but put it off until a month ago! I bought three sets .011" - .06", .061" - .25", and .251" - .5"

    I can't believe how much I've used them already. What a handy little instrument. Of course I'd love to have gotten the Mit or Starrett brand but for my needs these are fine.

    Anyone else use them?

    Ontario, Canada

  • #2
    The butt ends of drill bits are adequate for my minimal needs.


    • #3
      I use them somewhat daily at work. For the little money they cost, they provide a lot of value. IMO minus pins are more versatile, but there are cases for plus pins. For those buying for the first time, with the intention of gauging internal features, go for the minus set.

      I don't have any in the home shop yet, but they are on the list of upgrades I would like to buy.


      • #4
        I have similar 3 sets of minus pins and use them frequently. In many cases it is the only way to accurately measure the hole diameter.


        • #5
          Originally posted by fiddle fixer View Post
          The butt ends of drill bits are adequate for my minimal needs.
          I use a cheap set of transfer punches for similar rough work.

          I keep my set of gage pins in reserve for more precise hole measuring, as I don't want to get them all dinged up when, say, testing a through-hole for a common bolt size. Remember to use a holder for the pins so your body heat doesn't make em' expand!


          • #6
            I have the set with the wood drawers up to 1".
            Much better to gauge small holes than try to measure them.
            Anything over 1", tri-mikes are the way to go.
            Over 2", indicating bore gauges are great.
            (Tri-mikes over 2" are mega expensive).

            I also have the C.E. Johanson rectangular gauge blocks and the
            P&W square gauge blocks with the hole, with the stacking accessories.
            Also handy is a calibrated 1-2-3 block kept seperate from the shop work 1-2-3 blocks.

            Last edited by Doozer; 03-10-2023, 08:59 AM.


            • #7
              Yup, very handy.


              • #8
                we have a huge set of go-no gauges from a local manufacturing company.. They come in handy but are a pain to find what you need. (obviously not every size I might want) So a nice gauge pins would come in handy.



                • #9
                  Yeah, I've got from 0.011" to 3/4. The smallest get used the most....larger holes are easier to measure. Largest hardly ever.

                  One use I've employed a few times is to find the one that tightly fits a tapped hole, and use it to find the centre of it.
                  located in Toronto Ontario


                  • #10
                    Yep, for the smaller holes, it is hard to find a better method of hole measuring. I have two sets, one by thou, and one that is in drill sizes. Super handy, even for gauging metric, as you can, at the least, bracket the size to within .025mm, which is usually good enough.
                    CNC machines only go through the motions.

                    Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
                    Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
                    Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
                    I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
                    Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.


                    • #11
                      Not totally related but...
                      I have a bunch of ID ring gauges,
                      used for setting bore gauges and air gauges.
                      They are great to use as circular parallels on
                      the rotary table. Sometimes straight vise parallels
                      are really combersome on the rotary table, and
                      rings for use as parallel spacers are really handy.

                      Click image for larger version  Name:	image.png Views:	0 Size:	406.5 KB ID:	2039289

                      Oh, and I guess you can use them as actual ring gauges.
                      It is nice to test the ID jaws on your digital caliper to see
                      how close they are. It lets you know how precise of a measurement
                      that you can use your calipers for. I have a 20 year old (gosh!) Mititoyo
                      6" caliper, that I trust like a micrometer. Well almost. But when you prove
                      it out with gauge blocks or ring gauges, especially right at the size you are
                      measuring for a particular job, you can have more confidence that it is correct.


                      And yes I have a rotary table large enough to use a brake rotor as a curcular parallel.
                      I have used cast iron pulleys too.
                      Last edited by Doozer; 03-10-2023, 10:15 AM.


                      • #12
                        I've got them up to .500 and wonder how I ever managed without them. Great for sizing small holes.
                        Larry - west coast of Canada


                        • #13
                          You can measure hole sizes larger than the largest pin in your set by using three pins. This depends on the mathematical fact that three mutually tangent circles of differing diameters can be circumscribed by a single tangent circle ( the so-called outer Soddy circle).

                          The trick is deciding which three pins to use to provide a given measurement. I've written a program to do this and it's on my page. Look for the PLUG.ZIP archive.​
                          Regards, Marv

                          Home Shop Freeware - Tools for People Who Build Things

                          Location: LA, CA, USA


                          • #14
                            Oh that is clever !



                            • #15
                              With your program to pick pin sizes that is an outstanding adder for a great tool set!!!!!!

                              Happily working on my second million Gave up on the first