An accurate and precise gage block is a necessity when it comes to setting up a comparative measuring device. It is key to use a gage block that will properly match the desired size; however, purchasing a specific gage block can be costly. Although these costs can be intimidating, they should not be avoided or worked around.
Specialized gage blocks reap a handful of benefits, including:
When all three of these benefits are combined confidence in measurement results are guaranteed.
Although standard gage blocks are a great deal cheaper than those specially made, the cheaper route should ways be avoid. Many individuals think there are ways to move around having to buy a specially made gage block, however this idea is very very wrong. For example, buying a low cost gage block and modifying it to a desired size is NOT a solution. Grinding a gage block to a smaller size is a shoe-in for inaccuracy. When the original shape of a gage block is reduce, the overall hardness, stability and geometry of the block becomes unreliable. Wringing of standard gage blocks is also a poor idea.
Similarly to grinding, wringing gage blocks reduces the overall stability of the block; therefore, making it unreliable and inaccurate.
Another major reason to avoid taking the cheaper route and modifying a block yourself has to do with calibration. Gage blocks, like all measuring instruments, need to be recalibrated frequently. If a gage block is modified, it is no longer considered a master block; therefore, many calibration companies and labs will not be able to perform calibrations necessary. This means that the gage block can’t be deemed for sure as accurate or reliable.
Should you be calibrating your own equipment?
Find out in our guide.