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  • Surface Gages

    These are simple and common devices so I thought it would be easy to locate lots of documentation on various uses of them and how to exploit all the features, but you know what? There's bumpkis out there. They seem to be very popular with claymation people but nothing much exists as to how they're used in all the design modes built into them. Certainly nothing that approaches a how-to manual. I was hoping to come upon a 100 ways to exploit your Lufkin 520! Instead i discovered how to poise my clay Godzirra monster with wire wrapped around a stick stuck into a lump of clay.

    Where are the great works of layout experts? I'm serial, to quote the manbearpig. There isn't much to be found - certainly nothing I've found to explain the square scribe on the wand of a Starrett SG.

    My questions are founded on my acquiring a new to me Lufkin 520 and while I know how I'd like to use it, I was hoping to learn more ways it can be used. These are similar to wigglers and edge finders where the vendor presumes you already know more than they do in how to use the product.

  • #2
    I think more uses are listed in general texts..... I have a booklet on layout techniques with a number of uses, and shop texts show others. But you are correct, there isn't much I have ever seen as far as a "how to use" book.

    Dare I suggest that this is something covered in apprentice programs?
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

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    • #3
      Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
      I think more uses are listed in general texts..... I have a booklet on layout techniques with a number of uses, and shop texts show others. But you are correct, there isn't much I have ever seen as far as a "how to use" book.

      Dare I suggest that this is something covered in apprentice programs?
      I'm 66, Jerry - I'm not an apprenticeship program candidate

      I'd hoped to find some gems in older books at google books, but didn't really turn up much. It is more a matter of curiosity than need as I like to know the minutia of many of the tool that have been in shops for generations. There's a reason they're successful and still produced, but oddly lacking in documentation.

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      • #4
        This is a copy of a cut that is in early Starrett catalogs showing some applications of the surface gage. It was originally used for scribing and transfer of dimenions. It has been adapted for many other applications since. I would have to see a photo of your square scribe, it is possibly an addition by a previous owner as these were frequently used as a base for other tooling.

        http://www.gutenberg.org/files/22298...llus-fig43.png
        Jim H.

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        • #5
          This is the base end of the rod. In a simple case I presume one would set it like a depth gage and scribe a layout line from a register surface. This is a Starrett part.

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          • #6
            That is a Starrett feature, your description did not register with me. The primary purpose of the surface gage is transferring and scribing dimensions, there are no hard and fast rules as to their use. The scribe at the base of the spindle can be used in applications where the scribe on the snug would not be feasable. It simply adds additional utility to the gage.

            Many of the older texts and handbooks dating to the 20's & 30's are a good source of information on using these instruments. The Starrett No. 26 catalog with the red cover which was published for many years and is fairly easy to obtain illustrates and describes the application and use of many of their products.
            Jim H.

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            • #7
              That little pentagon thing on the end of the surface gage mast is not only a stop but a scribe. Use it to score line near or below the base of the surface gage. The ball on the other end is used to convert the surface gage into a comparator square. The uses of a surface gage is many and probably a good topic for a chapter in a trade text. I wrote and artiicle on layout tools for HSM in 2004 but I didn't give the surface gage the treatment it deserved because of the space I had. I forget which issue.

              I class the surface gage among what I call "violin tools" - simple seeming items but incredibly versatile in the hands of a virtuoso capable of making full use of its capabilities.
              Last edited by Forrest Addy; 04-03-2013, 03:31 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Forrest Addy View Post
                I class the surface gage among what I call "violin tools" - simple seeming items but incredibly versatile in the hands of a virtuoso capable of making full use of its capabilities.
                That's what I think, too, so it was a big surprise to see so little mentioned about it.

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                • #9
                  Maybe check out a DVD called "Rudy Kouhoupt - Using Layout Tools". But I think it only covers the basics.
                  You can find this, and other Kouhoupt video courses to download on torrent sites (if you know how) e. g. PirateBay.


                  .
                  Thomas

                  Problems worthy of attack prove their worth by hitting back
                  - Piet Hein

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dp View Post
                    I'm 66, Jerry - I'm not an apprenticeship program candidate
                    Oh, that's not the point....... my expectation is that BECAUSE the subject was covered in apprentice programs, nobody bothered to write a book about it.

                    On the other hand I picked up somewhere a very extensive book on a huge number of uses for the old style carpenter's framing square.... so don't despair, there may BE a book somewhere on everything you can do with a surface gage.

                    Even if you WERE a candidate, there is no apprentice program for you to attend in any case.... we are past that stage in this country, yah know.......
                    1601

                    Keep eye on ball.
                    Hashim Khan

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