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There isn’t just one kind of measuring tool when working with metal; you need a wide variety of instruments for various applications. Knowing the different types of metalworking measuring tools will allow you to determine the size, shape, depth, and weight of metals more accurately. Having this equipment at your disposal will streamline projects and provide you with precision to ensure everything is high quality.
Occasionally, you may work with a metal piece with a bore that you must fit something into. But without making the hole yourself, you can’t know its dimensions. This is when you need to use a bore gauge, which lets you measure the depth and radius. With holes so small, it’s challenging to get a correct reading with other tools, but these meters go directly inside the bore to gather measurements.
There are many different types of calipers, but they generally serve the same primary function, and their design allows for linear measurements up to 0.01 millimeters. When you need to know the precise dimensions of an object—whether that’s diameter, depth, or thickness—calipers are the go-to tool for the job. They also make the task of measuring pieces with irregular shapes easier.
An easy-to-use tool that identifies the clearance between two metal components are feeler gauges. They ensure there are no complications between moving parts. Any clearance issues will result in damage or the malfunction of constructed parts. The design of a feeler gauge is simple. It’s a selection of differently sized metal prongs that slip in between your pieces.
These tools are far more advanced than the previous three, as it uses complex sensors to calculate the geometry of an object. The CMM uses optical, lasers, and white light to determine the dimensions of an object, meaning no physical stress is placed on the object. The purpose of a CMM is to test a metal component against the intended design in the blueprints, identifying any irregularities or imperfections.
Not every tool is best for every job, and not every tool is best for your shop. Know the different types of measuring tools in metalworking and be aware of what you can benefit the most from. Don’t invest in equipment until you know it’ll pay for itself in the long run.
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