Thread gages work because they are threaded and screwed into position via their threads. That means that these gages also suffer some of the same issues as screws, such as thread wear, bare threads, and loosening after continued use. However, there are ways to prevent rapid deterioration of the thread gages. Here are three things you need to do to keep your gages in excellent working order.
Thread gages should be greased or oiled when they are in use. This makes the gages easier to turn, close, and open, and it helps them to last longer, too. Their threads are not going to rub or grind down when the gages are properly greased or lubed with oil. Make sure you have the correct lubricant or grease for the gages you are using in your factory, and that the lubricant or grease is compatible with any other fluids that may come into contact with the gages when they are engaged.
A couple times a year, have all of the thread gages in the plant re-threaded. This involves removing them and winding them through a thread-cutting machine. The machine sharpens the thread edges of the gages and does so without cutting the threads down, without cutting the distance between the winding threads, and without removing any of the threads as they are. When the gages are maintained in this fashion, they remain sharp and they easily screw in and out like they should.
Swap out the Female Parts of the Gages
Thread gages are "male" components screwed into "female" components. Looseness comes as a result of the threads inside the female components wearing down. You can try to re-thread the female part of the gage, but it is just easier to replace the female components. You will find that if you replace the female components, the male components are no longer loose or acting as though they are threadbare.
When You Should Replace the Thread Gages Entirely
While the above actions will keep your thread gages in excellent working order longer, the gages will eventually give out. You know that it is time to replace the gages entirely when none of the above measures cause the gages to continue working effectively. If you plan ahead, you can buy and stash your gages by the gross. Each of those gages, when taken care of properly, will provide you with years of nonstop service.
For more information on thread gages, contact a company such as WESTPort.