Watching a mechanical engineer work with their repertoire of tools can be quite fascinating, especially if you have a keen interest in mechanical processes. One of the smaller tool types you will see an engineer reach for the most while they work are various forms of gages. Gages are used for all kinds of different measuring purposes, and there about as many gages out there to learn about as there are types of major hand tools. Take a peek at some of the types of gages you will see a mechanical engineer use while they are working on various tasks.
Thread gages are pretty interesting in their design, and you may not know it if you were holding one in your hand. Some thread gages fold into themselves like a pocket knife, and others for larger measuring practices come in sets. These gages have a set of measuring devices on them that are designed to slip between the threads of a piece that has threads bored in the shaft, such as a screw or a bolt. A mechanical engineer may pull out a thread gage to measure the distance between threads on a bolt to ensure it is going to seat properly in a bored hole, for example.
Ring gages, sometimes referred to as circular gages, have a telltale ring shape. These gages serve several different purposes, but they are almost always used to measure the circumference of an object that is shaped like a cylinder. For example, if a mechanical engineer is working on a piece of metal pipe and needs to quickly check its diameter, they may grab a ring gage, slip it over the pipe, and get a quick look. These gages are far more efficient and accurate than using standard measuring methods and tools, such as tape measures.
Depth gages are tools used to measure the precise depth of a piece. For example, a depth gage may be used if a mechanical engineer is trying to determine the exact depth of an indentation in the head of a screw to best determine what bit should be used to maneuver it. Depth gages often come in sets, and some of them have telescoping heads that can be extended into a piece with a measurement reference along the side. However, depth gages can also be in sets with each gage being an exact depth.
For more information about the aforementioned gages, reach out to an industrial equipment and part supplier near you.