Category Archives: Administrative

October 2015: new enhanced scopes status

We’ve had to pull all the scopes from the first factory. They were just unable to meet our specs. One example: Here is the original bottom collar from the old-style scopes:

This was the fix we agreed to back in February 2015 — the metal cap prevents the focusing screw from ‘hanging up’ and binding the scope from extending and retracting.

And then… here are the “final-final” samples they sent. (No cap. And also no “flush and level,” which was “rejected-for-correction” in both August 2013 and January 2014 and for which the metal cap WAS the fix!)

And this one is sort-of flush but not level. (I’m guessing these sorts of lack of quality are WHY no metal-cap fixes were used: the caps couldn’t go on!)

The sourcing company president and I are both ‘keeping after’ the new factory (now that they’re back from their two-week national holiday!) and will let y’all know how it goes.

Sept 2015: new enhanced custom scopes

(This is the “short” version. For all the gory, miserable details, please see here:

I feel as if I keep making promises to you and then not delivering on the new enhanced microscopes. I expect that you may also feel as if I keep not delivering – and I know it’s difficult for you to keep waiting for the better scopes. You keep waiting, your business keeps going, and the current universal scopes, no matter how accurate (and they are: I test every single scope against certified NIST gage-blocks before shipping), are less-than-optimal because of the less-fine reticle.

(And I realize some of you may not be able to wait longer and must turn elsewhere for an inspection device: I am more sorry than I can express at putting you in the position of having waited so long and then still not (yet) getting a better scope in a Tooke Gage. I hope you can wait a little longer.)

The short(er) version:

In May, we (Micro-Metrics and the sourcing company managing this process for me) received samples of the final order of “completed” scopes: (we had required yet another/one last review-and-approval step before shipping the whole order). In short: both English and metric scopes were completely unacceptable (despite the prototypes having been approved)! (See what was wrong with both scopes.)

As of August: we have taken the following steps:

  • We pulled all 400 of the unusable metric scopes from the original factory.
  • We have found a new factory that promises working samples of the metric scopes within 30 days (from about 2 weeks ago). We are again requiring approved samples before proceeding.
  • If the new factory’s samples are approved, we will have the new factory do the remainder of the 400 metric scopes.
  • The original factory is “repairing” the 600 English-reticle scopes. The English reticles measure great: clear and accurate! However, the reticle and internal optics were not secured in the barrel during production. (Three of 20 samples were broken on receipt.)
  • (If the metric scopes work out), we will probably pull the English scopes as well and have the new factory finish them too.

Interested in the details on what was wrong with both scopes?

My commitment (has not changed):

The new enhanced microscopes HAVE to be right! There is no place in my world (or yours) for scopes that do not meet the quality and operational standards we (I and you, my customers and distributors) require. Micro-Metrics has always had a reputation for quality and accuracy: this is the fundamental basis for this company, and when I inherited Micro-Metrics in 2011, it became (and remains) the basis for all I do.

I am willing to invest time (and money) to get these scopes right; I am not willing sacrifice quality to get them sooner (or cheaper). Though it has taken an insane amount of time – until the scopes are RIGHT, they aren’t acceptable (and that, alas, means they aren’t available for you). Micro-Metrics and the sourcing company are committed to doing whatever it takes to make the new enhanced scopes right. Finding a reliable maker has turned out to be a lot harder than either of us imagined!

An aside:

My sourcing company president IS good and honorable and working hard on this project (and is nearly as frustrated as I am). This is not something he is doing wrong or not following up on. Most things I’ve turned my hand to have turned out good or better. This upgrade? It will turn out good, because I won’t be done until it is! The original factory did a great job (and was worth the large cost) of designing the custom scopes (a truly esoteric skill), but the actual manufacturing seems to present a challenge to them.

End aside

Once I get the new enhanced scopes, I will be offering a scope-swap program to replace the universal scopes with the enhanced scopes . ( I will be giving a (large) discount on the cost of the scope, and not charging any labor.) If you wish to be on the list of people who want to be notified when I have the new scopes, please email me ( Also, I will post an announcement on the company blog, just as soon as the new enhanced scopes arrive (and have been tested and accepted!).

green OG204

The other new program I will begin soon is a “body-transplant”: if you have an old metal or plastic gauge with the old-style scope you can have your gauge rebuilt (with the new metal body) using your current scope. (Please note: if your OG204 Tooke Gage has a green plastic body, I am still replacing those shells under warranty. Email me!)

Thank you for your patience during this oh-so-long process.

Dropping the FAX line

Okay, so, after two years of paying around $15 a month for a FAX line – and getting not one single FAX… I figure it’s time and past time to drop the FAX line.

So I have.

I quit payin' too much!

Please also note; I gave up the U.S. Post Box in Atlanta back in 2012 — please make sure to remove that address from your systems!

Some enhanced scope details

Still waiting for the delivery of the new enhanced microscopes. I thought folks might like to see the scale of the new reticles. (The new reticles are the main reason for the new scopes!)

As mentioned in my last entry: there will be two kinds of enhanced scope: a metric version and an English version. (The difference in size of the pix below comes from my less-than-stellar graphics skills. The two scopes are identical except for the reticle scale.).

The English-unit reticle

English-unit scale for enhanced scope

The metric-unit reticle

metric-unit scale for enhanced scope

Scope Swap Program info

Still finalizing the details for the swap program. I will be trying to contact everyone everywhere who has the universal scope in their gauge(s) to make sure they know about the enhanced scope offer; but please feel free to email me and make sure I reach you!

Special email address for the swap program:

Administrative updates

Veteran- / woman-owned certification:Commissioning picture from the 1970's
I’m working on getting Micro-Metrics certified as a veteran-owned business with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (I served on active duty in the Navy for 6 year and was in the Reserves for a number more.) I’m also looking into getting the company certified as a woman-owned business. (That’s me back in the early 1970s when I was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserves.)

PO Box address gone away:
I have closed out the Micro-Metrics Post Office box (back in 2012, actually), so please make sure all correspondence and deliveries are sent to the physical address. Please also note the updated FAX number.

Micro-Metrics Company
4450 Ansley Lane
CUMMING, GA 30040-5252

Voice: 678-947-3723
FAX: 678-807-2867

Some administrative stuff

Some of you may have noticed that old Post Office box remittance address (PO Box 13804, ATLANTA) has disappeared from the site, and the only address listed is the office address (4450 Ansley Lane, CUMMING). The Post Office box is still active, and will be till the end of 2012, so everyone has a chance to switch over their Accounts Payable systems, but I am planning on closing the box at the end of this year. (So, please, if you’ve not updated your Accounts Payable file, make the PO Box address disappear. Thanks!)

A little “back-of-the-house” stuff: I have dissolved the original corporation (Surco Southern Corporation, doing business as Micro-Metrics Company) and created a new Limited Liability Company (SnowTao LLC, doing business as Micro-Metrics Company). I’m sure, had Ray Tooke (and Mike Laurence) had the option of creating an LLC instead of a “C”-class corporation (way back in 1961!), they’d’ve taken it. I do have that option, and it ends the double taxation that C-corps are heir to! That doesn’t change anything for our Micro-Metrics customers, except that if you pay by bank transfer (wire transfer, OTT, whatever you call it), there is a new bank account number you will need to use.

(Elenor’s aside: Dissolving Surco Southern was an emotional wrench: Some of the changes I am choosing (or having) to make are easy, some feel like I’m … abandoning … Michael still further. But, for the Micro-Metrics Company to carry on and grow, some of the “less-than-optimal” choices made by Michael (or his dad) need to be replaced or modified. I actually have a good deal more business experience than Michael did. (My resume: Michael was a historian and a warrior: he used to jokingly (and wryly) say that he had fallen back on the last refuge of the ne’er-do-well — the family business. As you all know, he was a superb and conscientious businessman, but there were and are many things that he did not have the time or the inclination to address.

When we met, I described to him the concept of the company as “golden handcuffs” — too painful to wear, too good to take off — and he instantly recognized that was what Micro-Metrics was to him. To me? It’s an enjoyable (if sometimes stressful) challenge. Unlike Mike, I enjoy business, I like managing all the facets of a company, and I actually really like Micro-Metrics as a company.

Elenor and Michael, cruising 2010

I am still working to organize and streamline Micro-Metrics. There are still a number of supply chain problems to work out (as some of you have noticed {wince}). Some of it is lack of familiarity: Mike knew from long experience that this-or-that supplier was slower than one might expect; I am learning that, to my dismay, when the parts I need take several weeks longer than I had planned for. But, of course, that will be fixed by experience. I am trying to make sure I have all the raw materials I need on hand at all times, so I can stay ahead of ordering… And, of course, changing over from the “bad machinist” to the two new ones means, going forward, I can get parts as I need them. Obviously, the Microscope Problem still exists. But I’m working on it.

Welcome to the Micro-Metrics blog

The purpose of this new blog is to allow people to learn what’s going on at the Micro-Metrics Company.

Micro-Metrics is saddened by the death on 11 Jul 2011 of company president and owner for many years, Michael Ray Laurence. Mike was the son of the founder of Micro-Metrics Co. and inventor of the Tooke Gauge, William “Ray” Tooke.