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Layout and Measuring Tool and their Makers


A Set of Marking Gauges for Pattermnakers - Casting Journal, Vol. 7, November, 1910, (Cleveland, OH: The Gardner Printing Co.)


I am sending sketches of a set of marking gauges made by me and which I have found very useful. They are light, yet strong, and le space in the tool kit.

A great many patternmakers do all gauging with one marking gauge, any measurement beyond the capacity of the gauge is marked either with a pencil at the end of a rule or with a large panel gauge.

It was one of these "short capacity gauges” that came near being the cause of a few angry words between me and the boss. There and then I made up my mind to make a set of handy gauges that would take in from zero to fifteen inches.

The Unwieldy Panel Gauges

I must confess that I allow one of these large, clumsy, unhandy, homely looking panel gauges to take up valuable space in my tool kit. The boss asked for a marking gauge to take in 13-1/2 inches. I gave him this gauge, not noticing that the brass liner under the screw was missing.

Setting the clamping screw down on the wood bar caused the gauge head to move. This so aggravated the boss that he flung the gauge to the floor, at the same time passing a few uncomplimentary remarks about a mechanic who would carry such tools.

This was the end of the panel gauge and start of the planning a new set. These have answered every purpose and the sketches herewith may suggest something in the marking gauge to my fellow workmen.

The heads are hard white maple. The dimension figures are clearly shown and require no explanation.

Through the center of A is a square hole which is a neat sliding fit on a ¼ by 1/4-inch machine steel rod, B and C has a 5/16 by 5/16-inch hole.

In A a hole is drilled and tapped at 45 degrees for a 3/15-inch No. 20 round head machine screw and in B and C for 1/4-inch No. 20 screw. A piece of 1/16 inch brass, shaped as in Fig. 1, is soldered into the screw slot.

I use a machine screw and I drill and tap into the maple just the same as if working in iron. D is a brass plug put between the marking bar and the end of the screw.

In Figs. 2 and 3 are shown the head and bar in detail. This is gauge C. The bar is 5/16 by S/l6 by 18 inches. A 1/16-inch hole is drilled through the end to receive the scratch pin. This I make out of the shank of a drill. Before inserting the pin I cut down and finish the end of the bar as shown at E. This clearance I call the scratch pin throat.

This allows the pin to clear itself and prevents the clogging of fine shavings on the end of the marking pin. I have never seen this on a scratch gauge before and I would not have one without it.

Before inserting the scratch pin I draw the temper to a blue so as to allow for filing. The pin is driven into the hole and is then cut of about 3/16 of an inch above the bar and about 1/16 inch at the scratch end, or in other words the pin is about 9/16 inches long.

The end of bar and side of pin are now filed off as shown at F, Fig. 3. The scratch pin is cut down to a knife edge as in Fig. 2.

To prevent rusting the bar is nickel plated a dull finish. One-half inch at the pin end of the bar is given a bright finish. This aids, when using a dirty rule or steel scale or when working in a dark place, in setting the gauge correctly.

The bar in A is 1/4 by 1/4 by 6 inches; the bar in B is 5/16 by 5/16 by 12 inches, and the bar in C is 5/16 by 5/16 by 18 inches.

Pointers for Patternmakers

The patternmaker who will take the time to make a set of these gauges, and make them correctly, will be more than repaid for his trouble. I will offer a suggestion to the younger men. Never point the scratcher like a cone, and never file a fiat or knife point scratcher taper on both sides.

The scratcher that has proven the most satisfactory to myself as well as others is shown in Fig. 2. The scratcher is thin yet strong. The outside as at C is perfectly straight with the taper (for strength) as shown. This makes a thin mark, at the same time draws the head close to the stock.

I have seen patternmakers put a mere nail in for a scratch point; and I have seen these same men spend two weeks making a tool which they never had any call for.

Casting Journal, Vol. 7, November, 1910,
(Cleveland, OH: The Gardner Printing Co.)

Wiktor A. Kuc
January, 2017
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