Tooling a Starrett Master Height Gage - what uses?
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    Default Tooling a Starrett Master Height Gage - what uses?

    I have another rookie question...
    The list of tools that I've gotten cheap at auctions, because lots of shops have them, without knowing what they do, and then later learned about them and really liked them, is long. Today's edition of "help educate the newbie" is about height gages.

    I have a Starrett Master Height Gage (in metric), but it didn't come with any accessories, like scribes. I also didn't have a granite inspection plate, but have now acquired a small one. So now that I have the granite, I'd like to get the accessories I need to make the height gage useful, since it seems like they go together. Or, at least, the only time I've seen one in use, Mr Pete used it to scribe layout lines on a workpiece, and they were used together for that application.

    So, does anyone have a good resource (manual from Starrett, maybe?) that explains the uses and accessories for a height gage? I can see two obvious ones, which are scribing layout lines, and then measuring the height of a workpiece to make sure it came out right (cylindrical part off of the lathe, standing on end, for example). That second use could (more precisely than calipers?) measure the length of a workpiece that is longer than my biggest micrometer, up to the height of the height gage.

    Those two uses seem fairly useful-ish, but I assume I'm missing others. In a manual job shop like mine, am I going to get much use out of this, and if so, what accessories will I need?

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    I have a "Metric" scribe here that may fit your height gage. Might cost a fortune to ship to your address though.

    I have a similar model I use occasionally. Usually, I have a mount for mounting one of my test indicators on to check heights on what ever and compare to gage blocks. Hardly ever use the vernier scale on one.

    Ken

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    Layout as you said.

    Measuring height, relative flatness, relative distance, etc.

    You need to get some carbide scribes and an indicator holder that fits your height gage.

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    I keep a lowly plain version by them on the big lathe. The scriber in it is set on tool height from flat way (13.640") - and it stays there

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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonPAtkins View Post
    I have another rookie question...
    The list of tools that I've gotten cheap at auctions, because lots of shops have them, without knowing what they do, and then later learned about them and really liked them, is long. Today's edition of "help educate the newbie" is about height gages.

    I have a Starrett Master Height Gage (in metric), but it didn't come with any accessories, like scribes. I also didn't have a granite inspection plate, but have now acquired a small one. So now that I have the granite, I'd like to get the accessories I need to make the height gage useful, since it seems like they go together. Or, at least, the only time I've seen one in use, Mr Pete used it to scribe layout lines on a workpiece, and they were used together for that application.

    So, does anyone have a good resource (manual from Starrett, maybe?) that explains the uses and accessories for a height gage? I can see two obvious ones, which are scribing layout lines, and then measuring the height of a workpiece to make sure it came out right (cylindrical part off of the lathe, standing on end, for example). That second use could (more precisely than calipers?) measure the length of a workpiece that is longer than my biggest micrometer, up to the height of the height gage.

    Those two uses seem fairly useful-ish, but I assume I'm missing others. In a manual job shop like mine, am I going to get much use out of this, and if so, what accessories will I need?
    Upload a pic and serial/part number and we can help a little bit better.

    Without knowing the actual model these are the general 'bits' you will need -

    the clamp for the scriber SPI Protractor Accessories; Type: Height Gage Attachment Clamp; For Use With:... | eBay

    the carbide tipped scribe (price is outrageous but its for reference anyways) Mitutoyo scriber (520 Series Standard Height Gauge Accessories) H560 900282 4946368199177 | eBay

    adapters for using an indicator Rod Height Gage (gauge) Holders + more accessories | eBay

    Hope that helps!

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    Thanks, everyone. It's either a C454M or 254M. I can't remember which I sold and which I sent, but am looking through pictures to confirm. I would've kept whichever I thought was nicer, lol. If I can't confirm, I'll wait until I'm back in Africa, and then have someone carry the accessories over in airline luggage, since they'll be pretty small.

    4GSR, I'm in the US right now, and have a shipping container leaving to go over to Africa in a few weeks. So for now, I'm in range of cheap USPS.

    The clamp seems pretty easy to make, unless I'm missing something? Don't know why that's a $30 part - other than that it goes on an instrument that costs $6000 new?

    The scribes need to be a specific height, correct, to correspond with the arm on the height gage?

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    The scribes just need to be able to touch the surface plate when the head is all the way to the base. For zeroing purposes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonPAtkins View Post
    Thanks, everyone. It's either a C454M or 254M. I can't remember which I sold and which I sent, but am looking through pictures to confirm. I would've kept whichever I thought was nicer, lol. If I can't confirm, I'll wait until I'm back in Africa, and then have someone carry the accessories over in airline luggage, since they'll be pretty small.

    4GSR, I'm in the US right now, and have a shipping container leaving to go over to Africa in a few weeks. So for now, I'm in range of cheap USPS.

    The clamp seems pretty easy to make, unless I'm missing something? Don't know why that's a $30 part - other than that it goes on an instrument that costs $6000 new?

    The scribes need to be a specific height, correct, to correspond with the arm on the height gage?
    There sin't much to the clamp, other than hard to make square corners unles you have edm or make it 2 pieces. Actually, since you are going to be looking for bits and pieces (likely from different manufacturers) a shop made clamp would probably be better. Make it longer and tap the top for whatever screws you have available and you will get more adjustment out of it than a store bought clamp.

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    -A 'z' shaped scribe that (as mentioned previously) reaches down to touch the plate for scribing
    -A good 'tenths' indicator (like an Interapid) or a 'thou' indicator (like a Best Test) for making comparative measurements
    -A gauge block set for giving you block stacks to compare to

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    I have two height gauges and I find them quite useful.

    1. The obvious use is to scribe layout lines on a part. For this you will need the scribes. These are usually Z shaped so that they can be in contact with the surface plate when the height gauge scale is reading zero. They have an edge, often a tungsten carbide insert that is brazed on the bottom end, that is sharpened at about a 45 degree angle, that is used to scribe those lines. My Starrett 24" height gauge came with two of these scribes, a short one a couple of inches long and a longer one that is about 9 or 10 inches. I have not had any situation where the longer scribe was needed - yet.

    2. The second use is to measure parts that are sitting on the surface plate. Most often, the same scribes are used to take these measurements as their flat bottoms zero against the surface plate. Readings can be easily made at a variety of places on one part by just moving the height gauge around.

    3. They can be used to set a device to a known dimension. For instance, an adjustable parallel could be set to a desired value. Other forms of height gauges can also be set in this manner. This can be useful if you are scribing lines on a number of parts and one dimension, like screw holes at a short distance from various edges, is repeated a number of times for those parts. I have two Planer Gauges that also accept scribes in addition to other accessories. I have often set one or both of these gauges to a dimension that is used more than once (1/4", 3/8", 1/2", etc.). Then I can use one of my regular height gauges for the rest of the dimensions while saving the time needed to set it to those repeated dimensions.

    4. With suitable accessories other devices can be attached to the arm of the height gauge. I have made a small aluminum bracket that will hold a dial indicator on either of mine. That gives me an instant inspection stand that I can use to check a number of parts to see if they are in tolerance.

    Beyond that, you are only limited by the power of your imagination.

    Accessories for height gauges can include:

    1 A clamp for attaching the scribes and other accessories to the horizontal projection provided for that purpose.

    2. One or more scribes.

    3. An arm for mounting a dial indicator.

    4. Inspection/measuring arms of various designs. My Starrett came equipped with a vertical probe that can reach inside holes or depressions of a part to take measurements there.

    Those are the ones that I am aware of. I am sure there are others. Companies like Starrett, McMaster, MSC, and others will have listings of these accessories.

    Since the mounting arm on most of these height gauges is a simple, rectangular arm with a simple clamp, you can easily design and build any number of accessories that you find a need for. Anything that would be used on a calibrated vertical scale.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonPAtkins View Post
    Thanks, everyone. It's either a C454M or 254M. I can't remember which I sold and which I sent, but am looking through pictures to confirm. I would've kept whichever I thought was nicer, lol. If I can't confirm, I'll wait until I'm back in Africa, and then have someone carry the accessories over in airline luggage, since they'll be pretty small.

    4GSR, I'm in the US right now, and have a shipping container leaving to go over to Africa in a few weeks. So for now, I'm in range of cheap USPS.

    The clamp seems pretty easy to make, unless I'm missing something? Don't know why that's a $30 part - other than that it goes on an instrument that costs $6000 new?

    The scribes need to be a specific height, correct, to correspond with the arm on the height gage?
    PM me your mailing address and I'll get it in the mail to you in a day or two. The scribe was given to me many years back, the man was getting rid of stuff and offered it to me. It's yours if you want it. We'll work out something on postage.

    Ken

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4GSR View Post
    PM me your mailing address and I'll get it in the mail to you in a day or two. The scribe was given to me many years back, the man was getting rid of stuff and offered it to me. It's yours if you want it. We'll work out something on postage.

    Ken
    Thanks, Ken - PM sent.

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    Thank you all for the information. I'll watch some youtube videos to catch up, but I appreciate all of your ideas to get me started. Sometimes it's hard to do a good search when you don't know what you're searching for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonPAtkins View Post
    Thanks, everyone. It's either a C454M or 254M. I can't remember which I sold and which I sent, but am looking through pictures to confirm. I would've kept whichever I thought was nicer, lol. If I can't confirm, I'll wait until I'm back in Africa, and then have someone carry the accessories over in airline luggage, since they'll be pretty small.

    4GSR, I'm in the US right now, and have a shipping container leaving to go over to Africa in a few weeks. So for now, I'm in range of cheap USPS.

    The clamp seems pretty easy to make, unless I'm missing something? Don't know why that's a $30 part - other than that it goes on an instrument that costs $6000 new?

    The scribes need to be a specific height, correct, to correspond with the arm on the height gage?
    The clamps are a nuisance to fab, no more than that - but try for those and dodge the wasted time.

    Can't get the right scribers, use HSS blanks and/or what you CAN find and do some math.

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    You don't need to do any math. For most scribing work you're going to be more than ½" off the granite plate, so no need for a z-shaped scribing point, just use a straight piece of HSS. Grind the scriber to a one sided wedge and clamp it to the arm underneath so the point is flush to the bottom. Now the point of the scriber and the reference surface of the arm are at the same height. Read height directly off the scale. For those cases where you need a low line you can either set the part on 1-2-3 blocks and add an inch to your scale reading or go the z-shaped route.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonPAtkins View Post
    Thank you all for the information. I'll watch some youtube videos to catch up, but I appreciate all of your ideas to get me started. Sometimes it's hard to do a good search when you don't know what you're searching for.
    I've got about half a dozen of these critters. B&S & Scherr mostly, and up to IIRC 42". Gave one duplicate away a few years back.

    For small money, they make GREAT measuring tools - not always vertical or off a plate.

    That said, not ONE of my tribe has its kit of add-ons. BFD. I have PLENTY of toolblanks that are good enough to extend the line of the "jaw". Same again the "base", and you have a device as can be used for lots of things no other measuring tool under a poor man's roof is as good at.

    It's only when yah hafta apply a "foreign" dog leg yah need to do some math.

    How to check for that "number" for an odd offset?

    Well...the B&S Height-Chek and the Cadillac Gage Pla-Check were ALSO great value for money!

    If nothing else? No steenkin' BATTERIES needed, ANY of this kit!

    I'm good with that part most of all, given the whole lot of them mostly just sit and WAIT for a task.


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    Quote Originally Posted by eKretz View Post
    You don't need to do any math. For most scribing work you're going to be more than ½" off the granite plate, so no need for a z-shaped scribing point, just use a straight piece of HSS. Grind the scriber to a one sided wedge and clamp it to the arm underneath so the point is flush to the bottom. Now the point of the scriber and the reference surface of the arm are at the same height. Read height directly off the scale. For those cases where you need a low line you can either set the part on 1-2-3 blocks and add an inch to your scale reading or go the z-shaped route.
    That's a good idea. It raises and interesting question. I've never gone looking for 25-50-75mm blocks, but I suppose someone must make them. An application like this where you're subtracting an inch from a metric height gage reading would be annoying.

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    Thanks all, I did find the old pic, the one I kept was the 254M. (I think because I didn't know anything about them and that one had "master" in the name, so it seemed like it must be the better one, haha...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonPAtkins View Post
    That's a good idea. It raises and interesting question. I've never gone looking for 25-50-75mm blocks, but I suppose someone must make them. An application like this where you're subtracting an inch from a metric height gage reading would be annoying.
    Well... it is a great deal less annoying if you subtract 25.4 mm, instead.


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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonPAtkins View Post
    Thanks all, I did find the old pic, the one I kept was the 254M. (I think because I didn't know anything about them and that one had "master" in the name, so it seemed like it must be the better one, haha...)
    The "better" ones are the TALLEST ones. Used bargains are good for seldom-used kit.

    Bad day, you have to work over 24" and have to go from a precise vernier or electronic all the way down to an ignorant carpenter's steel tape- nothing in-between.

    Whatever you use OFTEN, is OK to have battery-powered that can pushbutton zero, switch US and Metric, etc.


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