Archive for March, 2009

This week’s tip: Caring for your calipers

Posted in Tool Tips on March 24, 2009 by Peter

There are three basic types of calipers:  Vernier, dial, and electronic.  Verniers are the easiest of the three to take care of because they have only one moving part, the moveable jaw.  You only need to wipe down the beam, and keep an eye out for nicks or burrs on the beam and jaws.  

On the negative side, verniers aren’t very popular in six- to twelve-inch sizes because they’re more difficult to read than dial or electronic calipers.  It takes a while to learn how to read the vernier scale, and it can be open to interpretation.  It’s a lot easier to get a definite, direct reading with dials or electronics.   However, since they’re more complicated, we’ll take them up one at a time over the next two weeks.

Next week:  Dial calipers.


This week’s tip: Keep your tools clean

Posted in Tool Tips on March 17, 2009 by Peter

It’s the most basic and most important thing that can be done for any tool — and the most neglected.  Dirty tools don’t measure properly, are difficult to repair, and don’t last long.  Here are two suggestions:

1) Wipe your tools down immediately after use, with a clean rag or paper towel — DO NOT blow them off with an air blaster; you might force chips and other foreign material into the inner workings.
2) Keep your tools covered when you’re not using them.  Shops have all kinds of things flying or drifting through the air:  Chips, dust, aerosolized coolant, and so on.  If your tools are exposed, they’ll get any or all of these on and in them.  Keep them in your toolbox, or at least in the cases that came with them.  You’ll get more life from your tools, and save on costly repairs.

Next week:  Calipers