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  • Gages?

    I always wanted to ask: Why do we have all these Gages when all they do is refer us back to a decimal size?
    Gages for steel, copper, Aluminium, Brass, Wire and on and on. Even for Body Tattoo we have a gage.
    Is it a traditional thing or is there a valid reason for it?
    See here: https://www.google.com/search?q=Gage...w=1250&bih=606

  • #2
    Originally posted by Juergenwt View Post
    I always wanted to ask: Why do we have all these Gages when all they do is refer us back to a decimal size?
    Gages for steel, copper, Aluminium, Brass, Wire and on and on. Even for Body Tattoo we have a gage.
    Is it a traditional thing or is there a valid reason for it?
    See here: https://www.google.com/search?q=Gage...w=1250&bih=606
    Usonians and other adherents to the inferial system are terrified of any nomenclature or measurement that makes sense, such as naming things by their actual size. That fear extends to anything that can be characterized by a mathematical formula. Vast tables are always superior to anything that can be written in a single line.

    It's an artifact of the guild system - hidden knowledge that must be memorized by the postulant so he can pretend to superiority.
    Regards, Marv

    Home Shop Freeware - Tools for People Who Build Things
    http://www.myvirtualnetwork.com/mklotz

    Location: LA, CA, USA

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    • #3
      Traditional, going back to european standards, actually.

      I have a book on metalworking that enumerates probably 40 or 50 different standards for sheet metal, and comments that there were many more. A bunch of French ones, German ones, lots of British ones, some newer American ones, etc. Most are different from each other, even in the same country or region. Differences are not always large.

      Simply because back when, the means to measure accurately may not have existed. So each company devised a set of sizes that they then made sheet material or wire, bars, etc to. Over time, some of them became standardized, so that the whole industry used the one gage.

      nce that was done, the tooling was made to work with whatever gage of material, and changing to a new size meant changing all the press tooling, as the clearances etc would be wrong. Since that was expensive and would take time, it was easier, as well as cheaper, not to do that, and so the gages persist.

      It is well to remember that these measurement units are not an american invention. Some of them are probably traceable back to european guilds of the 1600s or so, just the way the railroad track gage supposedly goes back to roman carts. Not, as suggested above, because it was hidden knowledge, but more likely because nobody could measure the stuff accurately, and the guild members were the only ones to have fixtures to chack the thickness with, each hand made to match the original.

      Certainly, the US, as a British colony, was originally using hogsheads, firkins, drachms, minims, and all that sort of nonsense that was in common trade use in Britain, and its colonies and presumably its trading partners. And virtually all european countries had similar nonsense units that did not agree with any other even if it had the same name.

      Napolean B. is the guy who probably dealt with that in europe. Metric seems to have followed him around. Nothing like a law that you have to use the new measuring system or get your head chopped off to ensure reasonable compliance.

      Anyway, what's the odds? You may feel free to express the sizes in mm, and all will be well.

      The biggest issue that many seem to have is demanding that each size must be some "rational" (logical, not fractional) size like 0.5 mm instead of 0.4957mm. I have no idea why that has to be the case, other than a sort of rigid mental attitude that it is just "correct" to do that, and all must be forced to change to what makes sense to some person.

      My view is that if it makes sense, it will happen. The US got rid of hogsheads, tuns, firkins etc,etc, because they were hard to deal with. And the US also formally adopted the metric system 150 years ago or so. If it is not in universal use, it must not be considered so necessary by most folks. Industry in the US uses the metric system (SI) pretty widely.
      Last edited by J Tiers; 10-26-2017, 04:38 PM.
      4357 2773 5647 3671 3645 0087 1276

      CNC machines only go through the motions

      "There's no pleasing these serpents"......Lewis Carroll

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      • #4
        Originally posted by mklotz View Post
        [...]such as naming things by their actual size.
        -Wait, so something one inch long isn't really one inch long? When I drive two miles to the gas station and buy twenty gallons of gas, i didn't really drive two miles nor purchase twenty gallons?

        All measurements are arbitrary, all names of measurements are arbitrary.

        Doc.
        Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Doc Nickel View Post
          -Wait, so something one inch long isn't really one inch long? When I drive two miles to the gas station and buy twenty gallons of gas, i didn't really drive two miles nor purchase twenty gallons?

          All measurements are arbitrary, all names of measurements are arbitrary.

          Doc.
          This ^^^^^^^^^^

          The metre was not laid down by fundamental laws of physics.

          Some arbitrary units do work better than others, for certain uses.

          The biggest issue is being sure everyone agrees on what a certain name of a unit really means in the physical world.
          Last edited by J Tiers; 10-26-2017, 04:43 PM.
          4357 2773 5647 3671 3645 0087 1276

          CNC machines only go through the motions

          "There's no pleasing these serpents"......Lewis Carroll

          Comment


          • #6
            Does a 12 gauge sheet of steel have anything in common with a 12 gauge shotgun?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 3 Phase Lightbulb View Post
              Does a 12 gauge sheet of steel have anything in common with a 12 gauge shotgun?
              Probably not as they are wildy different application and definition. Shotgun gauge "roots" or definition is at least known, many others are just a guess what the background is behind them. Wouldn't suprise me if you can trace some of them back to Pharaoh's Egypt.

              Barrel is another wildly variable "unit" with half a dozen official definitions.
              Location: Helsinki, Finland, Europe

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              • #8
                For the novice (including self in this) we often start out feeling that project needs a specific thickness or diameter of something; hence the mm or inch is where we start.

                However before we can purchase the stock (sheet, wire etc) we do need to talk the language of the supplier. The suppliers stock the stock in standard sizes that are more often than not described in "gauge".

                By way of example, I am presently working with son on the repair of a fire damaged telehandler. Me putting up the funds and sourcing parts and him spinning the spanners.

                We needed to replace the battery cable. After a quick measurement I determined the existing wire was 11.7mm (0.46") diameter. That did not help much in making the purchase; needed to convert that into the lingo of the trade ... so after a googling up a chart or two I find it is 4/0; also called 0000.

                Till I got that trade description I could not do the eBay lookup to find what I needed. Even then I had to refine my search as to the "variant" (4/0 or 0000) in common usage. The finding was that 4/0 is the most often used description.

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                • #9
                  Yes - it's the thickest steel a 12 ga. shotgun can punch through.
                  Kansas City area

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                  • #10
                    The shotgun gauge is based on the number of lead balls of that diameter to the pound weight, .410" excepted.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Toolguy View Post
                      Yes - it's the thickest steel a 12 ga. shotgun can punch through.
                      How come all of the shot bounced back and hit me in the face then?

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                      • #12
                        So our Math is to the Base 10 and we are told that Metrics is proper also because it is a Base 10 system, however, computer logic is to the base 2 ?
                        Since we are moving that way, why not change to that ?
                        Our bakeries use the Base 12 ( I'll have a Dozen Donuts")
                        and our Hardware stores use a Base 144 system ( Those nuts come in a "Gross" box.)
                        Our Gasoline and Oil come in barrels, and so do Cranberries or Sugar, or Butter and Cheese, all of which have different volumes ??

                        All this information is printed on Reams of paper---but that also uses another numbering system !

                        Rich
                        Green Bay, WI

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                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=3 Phase Lightbulb;1141276]How come all of the shot bounced back and hit me in the face then?

                          Silly boy - you have to use a slug for that, not shot.
                          Kansas City area

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                          • #14
                            Having a decimal reference for a gauge number is a lot better than some name like Jim, John, Mary-Lou or Sally.
                            I take my thickness dial indicator with me when I go to pickup sheet products. I can then check the sheet(s) against the list. I already know I want 18 or 20ga. 1008 CR and that's how it's sold. I want to make sure that's what I'm getting.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 3 Phase Lightbulb View Post
                              Does a 12 gauge sheet of steel have anything in common with a 12 gauge shotgun?
                              Hows about 12 gauge railroad?? JR

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