Using Vernier Caliper and Micrometer Screw Gauge

When you have to measure something precisely, having a micrometer or a Vernier nearby is crucial. But apart from having the right tool you have to know how to use them properly.

The Properties of a Micrometer

Engineers and mechanics deal with micrometers quite often. No matter what you’re trying to mark off, thickness, length or depth of an object, it will help you. Note that a micrometer only works with tiny objects.

Normally, a micrometer works for objects less than 1 inch in length, but there are different sizes available, so maybe yours will work with larger objects/will be designed for tiny tools specifically.

Thickness is measured with an outside micrometer (calipers). An inside micrometer is designed to evaluate lengths within something (e.g. diameters). There are also different types of micrometers for special needs, like a tube micrometer or a bore one.

Reading a Micrometer Screw Gauge

A micrometer could help you get the acutest data, but you have to learn to read and use it right. Remember that it has two scales, a millimeter one and an auxiliary scale.

If you want to take a reading of an object, place it accurately between jaws (the anvil and the spindle). Use the ratchet know to adjust everything and hold the object firmly between the anvil and the spindle (that might be harder than it seems). Make sure that your 0 on the thimble is adjusted with the scale, then you can start twisting the thimble until it clicks 3 times. Use the lock, then slide out your object carefully, so you don’t mess up your data.

Make sure you don’t scratch your measurement device, as the slightest scratch will make that micrometer completely useless.

Reading a Vernier Caliper

A micrometer works for tiny objects, but if you see that yours is too big, you could try Vernier calipers. If you know how to use a micrometer screw gauge, this should be an easy task. If you’re left-handed, that might be a trickier task for you.

Before you start measuring your object, clean it with a tissue or make sure there is no grease or dust on it. That is required to get the precise calculations. Unlock the calipers and then close the jaws and faces to 0.

Hold your Vernier calipers properly and open the measuring faces of the tool with your thumb. Place your object between the jaws and fixate it carefully. Remember that the smaller pair of faces is there to calculate diameters, the larger ones are for the objects and their measurements. After the object is placed properly, lock your calipers.

Read the main scale (ensure it lines up with 0 on the sliding scale). If you don’t see a precise number (a line is in between), don’t guess, just go with the smaller number. Calculate the difference between the main scale and the Vernier scale (first mark should be equal to any line on the main scale). Add up your numbers (don’t mess up the math). Enjoy your precise readings.

While a micrometer or a Vernier are not the most common tools, but they are used quite often in mechanics, science or industrial fields. You might need one of those to fixate something at home and to get the data for various scientific projects. Those tools are delicate and require additional care and knowledge. Remember that even a minor scratch could ruin those tools.

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