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ddickey

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#1
Let me know what you have.
 

RJSakowski

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#2
I bought mine from Enco several years ago. I have a .061 -.250 plus set and a .251 0.500 minus set. The plus set was a mistake in ordering on my part. I had intended it to be the minus set. Ideally, I would have both plus and minus sets. In my experience, the pins have checked out at nominal + .0002" for the plus set and nominal - .0002" for the minus set. Having both essentially gives you half thousandth increments.

The pin gages are some of my most used tools. They are my go-to tool for measuring small holes. I would add the .501 - .625 and .626 - .750 sets but they start to get pricey in that range. There a lot of other items in front of it on the want list.

MSC has the SPI class ZZ sets on sale this month and next.
 

mikey

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#3
I bought the small import minus set because it is a real pain to accurately measure a small hole. However, I admit that I've used it maybe twice in the last 15 years. Haven't needed to bore a really small, precision hole in a long time.

I find a gauge block set to be vastly more useful but I suppose it depends on the kind of work you do.
 

chips&more

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#4
I have many sets of gage pins. And should use them more than I do like once in a blue moon. I will go to my drill sets and use the drill bit shanks instead. I’m not making NASA parts and it’s my hobby shop. My projects turn out just fine without the use of gage pins. But I won’t sell them, you never know.
 

RandyM

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#5
I have many sets of gage pins. And should use them more than I do like once in a blue moon. I will go to my drill sets and use the drill bit shanks instead. I’m not making NASA parts and it’s my hobby shop. My projects turn out just fine without the use of gage pins. But I won’t sell them, you never know.
That's funny. Now, mind you I don't have a gage pin set, but I use my transfer punches when needed or as you do, drill bit shanks. Works great for my projects as well. :aok:
 

RJSakowski

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#7
I used to use drill bits, dowel pins, etc. for checking small holes. However, if you are boring a precision hole, it is really nice to select a pin a few thousandths undersized to determine how much more material has to be removed. Fractional drill bits go in .016" increments. Numbered drills in irregular increments, and dowel pins are only available in limited sizes.
 

Bob Korves

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#8
When you are reaming or boring a hole to a close fit, gage pins are the answer for sneaking up on it. I have .061-250, .251-.500, and -501- .625", all minus sets, the way to go, IMO. I bought them all previously owned, but essentially unused, at fire sale prices. I really would like to have them up to 1.000". I am not sure I will ever find those larger sets at a reasonable cost.

I have gage blocks, too. The pins and the blocks are my referees for any confusion as to what size something is.
 

RJSakowski

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#9
One thing that I have noticed with the Asian pin gages is that they are not necessarily 2.000" long. I have some Meyer class Z pins (one grade better than class ZZ), American made and NIST traceable calibration which also deviate from the nominal 2" although with less deviation than the Asian pins.

When I first noticed this, I did a search to see if there was a spec. for pin gage length and did not turn any up.

I mention this because I have seen vendor copy where they say that pin gages are used to measure diameters and length. McMaster Carr states
"Also known as pin gauges, these are used for precision go/no-go measuring of hole sizes and depths, checking hole location and distance, and setting micrometers." Travers Tool and MSC make a similar statement. While you can use the pin to measure depth, it should not be assumed that the pin is 2"00 long. Mike it first to get the exact length.

Here is a link to Meyer that might be interesting..
http://www.meyergage.com/abcs-of-gages/
 

Bob Korves

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#10
One thing that I have noticed with the Asian pin gages is that they are not necessarily 2.000" long. I have some Meyer class Z pins (one grade better than class ZZ), American made and NIST traceable calibration which also deviate from the nominal 2" although with less deviation than the Asian pins.

When I first noticed this, I did a search to see if there was a spec. for pin gage length and did not turn any up.

I mention this because I have seen vendor copy where they say that pin gages are used to measure diameters and length. McMaster Carr states
"Also known as pin gauges, these are used for precision go/no-go measuring of hole sizes and depths, checking hole location and distance, and setting micrometers." Travers Tool and MSC make a similar statement. While you can use the pin to measure depth, it should not be assumed that the pin is 2"00 long. Mike it first to get the exact length.

Here is a link to Meyer that might be interesting..
http://www.meyergage.com/abcs-of-gages/
My sets do not have brand or tolerance listed on them. They were sourced separately, the boxes are all different, the smallest ones say M-1, minus, China. The next ones just say M-2, minus. The largest set says nothing but the sizes of the pins. I have checked them with my mics, and the ones I have checked measured about -.0001 or a little less, as best as i can determine. Like I said, I use the pins and gage blocks for masters, not the mics... I also use my calibrated and certified surface plate for my master flat, and my cylinder gauge (self proving) for my 90 degree reference. None of this would be up to snuff in a metrology lab, but they keep my other precision things honest. The pin and gage sets are in great condition, and I have VPI paper in the boxes to keep them that way, and do not abuse them.

I did not know that the length of the pins was precision as well. I will have to measure some of mine to see if that is the case with them. Thanks, RJ!
 

Uglydog

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#11
I've got some boxes of misc pin gages.
They are not sorted, I don't know the quality.
Sizes run from wire gages up to maybe an inch. I'm not pretending they are complete sets.
Come get them. Make an offer.
Likely any offer will be accepted.

Daryl
MN
 

RJSakowski

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#12
If I had a set of gage blocks, I would use them as my local primary standard. Unfortunately, I don't.

I check my mikes and calipers against each other, figuring that it is highly unlikely that two measurement instruments would go out of calibration by the same amount so if they both read the same, they are most likely good. It's making some assumptions but that's what I have.

This is a hobby for me. I do very little work that would affect the outside world and what little I do isn't that critical in terms of tolerances. Any machining that I do using either the Tormach CNC or the DRO's on my lathe and mill drill agrees with my endearment instruments so I am happy.

Here is an idea though. I think it could be nice if we had a travelling set of gage blocks, ring gages, pin gages, etc. which could be loaned out to HM members so they could calibrate their metrology tools. A tutorial thread could be posted to teach people how to properly run a calibration. There could be a nominal charge to cover shipping and calibration costs. A reduced charge could be used as an incentive to become a premium supporter.
 

ddickey

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#13
Thanks for the replies guys. Gage blocks are used to set up angles, correct? Do they have other uses?
Thanks for the offer Daryl.
 

RJSakowski

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#15
Gage blocks are usually the local primary standard for calibration of other instruments. They will usually have a calibration precision at least ten times better than your micrometer which would a maximum of 10 micro-inch (.00001"). They would normally be reserved for calibration work as using them for machining setups could possibly damage them.
 

wa5cab

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#16
The problem with using drill bit shanks for substitute pin gauges is that over the years I have noticed that the shanks are always about 0.001" to 0.003" smaller than the drill bit nominal size. And that they are not consistent as to how much under size they are. The reason that they are under size is so that they won't tend to seize up if you run the shank into the hole while drilling.
 

RJSakowski

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#17
The problem with using drill bit shanks for substitute pin gauges is that over the years I have noticed that the shanks are always about 0.001" to 0.003" smaller than the drill bit nominal size. And that they are not consistent as to how much under size they are. The reason that they are under size is so that they won't tend to seize up if you run the shank into the hole while drilling.
I have seen this as well. I always miked the drill shank that I used first.
 

Bob Korves

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#18
The problem with using drill bit shanks for substitute pin gauges is that over the years I have noticed that the shanks are always about 0.001" to 0.003" smaller than the drill bit nominal size. And that they are not consistent as to how much under size they are. The reason that they are under size is so that they won't tend to seize up if you run the shank into the hole while drilling.
Drill shanks make pretty poor pin gages.
 

RandyM

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#19
This thread had me thinking over the weekend. What is everyone making as a hobbyist machinist that requires you to need a set of pin gages? The closest I have ever come is a caliper and a boring head. I haven't yet found the real need for reamers much less pin gages. Though, I am pretty sure that given enough time I will want a set of reamers. I guess for that matter surface plates are another thing I am struggling with for a hobby machinist. Just what is all the precision stuff you guys are making, it apparently is a secret as I have not seen any postings, OK other than the watch makers and the engine builders.
 

Cactus Farmer

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#20
I have pin gauges from .010 to .500. Three sets plus spares. They are always handy and used daily. The spares are gathered from old tool boxes and ordered to stay with certain special use tool sets. I also have several that are used to measure cylinder alignment on revolvers. These have a softened end and a long set screw to allow a rod to be attached. Sets in 22,32,38,40 and 45 caliber. Simple way to find accuracy issues!
 

chips&more

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#21
This thread had me thinking over the weekend. What is everyone making as a hobbyist machinist that requires you to need a set of pin gages? The closest I have ever come is a caliper and a boring head. I haven't yet found the real need for reamers much less pin gages. Though, I am pretty sure that given enough time I will want a set of reamers. I guess for that matter surface plates are another thing I am struggling with for a hobby machinist. Just what is all the precision stuff you guys are making, it apparently is a secret as I have not seen any postings, OK other than the watch makers and the engine builders.
I think we have some people on this site that are in cognito and really work for NASA…LOL. And yes of coarse a drill bit shaft is not a nominal size. And it could be all screwed up to if you spun it in the drill chuck. Use common sense when accuracy is at question…please.
 
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RJSakowski

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#22
You can make all sorts of useful stuff with no measurements at all. Medieval blacksmiths made exquisite lock and key sets long before precision measurements were available. When you are trying to make parts that are going to fit something someone else has made, measurements become important. If I want to bore a hole for a tight slip fit on a shaft, I will need to measure. If I want a light press fit, I will need to measure. If I am going to make a part for my neighbor's lawn mower, I will need to measure. It all depends on what kind of projects you work on.

Over the years, I think that I have become more inclined to make things to print, even if the item is perfectly functional if it isn't. It is a good quality to develop as it requires more discipline in machining and there will be a time when that discipline will be needed. Besides, it's a good feeling to draw up a plan for a part and finally have a part in yoour hand that matches the plan.

Bottom line it's each to his own. As hobbyists, we only have ourselves to answer to. If you can get by without ever making a precision measurement, that's great. And if you feel that you have to have all your measurement instruments in current calibration, traceable to NIST, that's great too.
 

rgray

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#23
What is everyone making as a hobbyist machinist that requires you to need a set of pin gages?
Gunsmithing tools.
want to make a mandrel for a 700 remington? Not gonna measure that with something that's not round.
I find the pin gages real handy for getting a hole to size by using a smaller gage to know when you're getting close.
Or in the case of the rem action to gage the hole size to machine the mandrel to size.
 

Bob Korves

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#24
What is everyone making as a hobbyist machinist that requires you to need a set of pin gages?
If you have a shaft and need to bore a nice snug sliding fit hole for it with no wobble at all, how do you do it? I measure the shaft and then sneak up on it using pin gages to see where I am after each pass. It goes quickly, no fancy measuring stuff used, just any mic and some gage pins with accurate .0010" increments. Most other approaches allow you to very easily blow right past the fit you want while boring. It is actually the lowest tech way to do that particular job relatively quickly and expect to get a good result.

Next, you want to test a part to see if it is flat. How are you going to do it without a surface plate? The surface plate will do the job quickly and with predictable results.

Those are not high tech, snooty jobs, just someone trying to get it done...
 

ezduzit

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#25
I have 4 sets of pin gages that handle the full range from 0.011" through 0.750". They are very useful for measuring center to center distances for transferring hole patterns. Also for measuring drilled/reamed hole diameters.
 

RandyM

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#26
Thank you everyone for your responses. I think I have been a little misinterpreted. I completely understand what gage pins and surface plates are used for and thank you for the examples of use, however other than gun making (thank you RGRAY) and my already mentioned watch and engine making I am not convinced I need either of these items as of yet. Sure, they are nice to have in the toolbox, but as for having on my want and needs list I have not been give good reason. I find I can still do all of the things that are described here with the measuring equipment I currently have, calipers, micrometers, and straight edges. As a hobbyist I am convinced that these are tools that I may want when I have more money than I know what to do with and an empty spot in my toolbox. I have a lot of other things I would want to spend my money on before adding them. And, I was not making any Snooty Job implications, you arrived at that conclusion all on your own. I did not intend to upset anyone here. I am just trying to understand if I actually have a need for these tools, and unfortunately so far you guys really aren't making the case. I am thinking that unless I get surface and tool post grinders, surface plates and gage pins are something I can (and so far) do with out. Again, these tools look like items that are more of a luxury for a hobbyist. Sure, I'll concede that the examples you are giving make the measuring process easier, but again, I can do it with the trusty measuring tools I already have. Sorry, just my conclusion from what has been presented so far. Now granted, I was making some of my projects with hacksaws and files prior to a mill purchase. Did I need a mill? One could argue that I didn't. And yes, it has definitely improved the quality of my projects. Other examples are CNC and Variable Speed Drives. Now, I do understand WANTS and this looks very much like these tools fit into this category. Also, one could make the case, my hobbyist machining is all just a want and not a need as well. HHHMmm, I think I just answered my own question.

Carry on everyone.
 

Eddyde

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#27
Thank you everyone for your responses. I think I have been a little misinterpreted. I completely understand what gage pins and surface plates are used for and thank you for the examples of use, however other than gun making (thank you RGRAY) and my already mentioned watch and engine making I am not convinced I need either of these items as of yet. Sure, they are nice to have in the toolbox, but as for having on my want and needs list I have not been give good reason. I find I can still do all of the things that are described here with the measuring equipment I currently have, calipers, micrometers, and straight edges. As a hobbyist I am convinced that these are tools that I may want when I have more money than I know what to do with and an empty spot in my toolbox. I have a lot of other things I would want to spend my money on before adding them. And, I was not making any Snooty Job implications, you arrived at that conclusion all on your own. I did not intend to upset anyone here. I am just trying to understand if I actually have a need for these tools, and unfortunately so far you guys really aren't making the case. I am thinking that unless I get surface and tool post grinders, surface plates and gage pins are something I can (and so far) do with out. Again, these tools look like items that are more of a luxury for a hobbyist. Sure, I'll concede that the examples you are giving make the measuring process easier, but again, I can do it with the trusty measuring tools I already have. Sorry, just my conclusion from what has been presented so far. Now granted, I was making some of my projects with hacksaws and files prior to a mill purchase. Did I need a mill? One could argue that I didn't. And yes, it has definitely improved the quality of my projects. Other examples are CNC and Variable Speed Drives. Now, I do understand WANTS and this looks very much like these tools fit into this category. Also, one could make the case, my hobbyist machining is all just a want and not a need as well. HHHMmm, I think I just answered my own question.

Carry on everyone.
First, I think the term "Hobby" is rather broad, while technically it means "non professional" that definition often gets blurred, especially when it is also a potentially lucrative skill.
Like most endeavors, It means as many different things as there are people practicing it. So my point is, what is not necessary for you could easily be a must have for others, it's just a matter of perspective and how one practices their craft. I for example, would find very difficult to work without my surface plate and height gauge, yet I don't have a set pin gauges... yet.
 

chips&more

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#28
Everyones hobby machinist needs are going to be different. Everyone has a different approach/idea on how to complete the projects they have. Everyones pocket book is different. Not everyone is a toolaholic, like me. But is ranting or pounding the key board about having a set of gage pins really going to be heard by everyone? If you are a true hobbyist (THAT INCLUDES BEING CLEVER), then I think you can work around it and do without a set. If you are a toolahloic, then I need not answer. If your hobby work has a definitive purpose for a set, then by all means get a set of gage pins…Dave

PS: I just checked eBay, you can get a new set of gage pins for measly 50 bucks! I don’t know about other folks, but the wife and I spend more than that on a night out for dinner in the Bay Area. So just get a set and then get back to us and tell us how you like them and how often you use them.
 
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RandyM

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#29
First, I think the term "Hobby" is rather broad, while technically it means "non professional" that definition often gets blurred, especially when it is also a potentially lucrative skill.
Like most endeavors, It means as many different things as there are people practicing it. So my point is, what is not necessary for you could easily be a must have for others, it's just a matter of perspective and how one practices their craft. I for example, would find very difficult to work without my surface plate and height gauge, yet I don't have a set pin gauges... yet.
Correct, I am specifically talking about Hobbyist, so I am respectfully in disagreement with you on this.

On your second point, I agree with you, you may find it a little more difficult, but not necessary for the hobbyist.

hobby1
Examples
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural hobbies.
1.
an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation:
Her hobbies include stamp-collecting and woodcarving.

Now, Chips&more and I are definitely on the same page.
 

Chippy

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#30
Didn't really want to respond to an old thread, but just goes to show you how awesome this forum is, have you ever read a more entertaining and educational "want ad". I completely forgot I was in the classified section.
 
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