Had another engineer ask me about a camera adapter for the Tooke Gage. Alas, not yet.
My next big project, after getting the new enhanced custom-made microscopes is a camera adapter for the Tooke Gage. I’ve done some preliminary investigation and discussion with possible sources, but have nothing solid yet. (Please send me any details or requirements y’all would like for an adapter; it will help me zero in on what is needed!)
There are lots of cameras/adapters are available, but most that I’ve found so far require unscrewing the eye piece and screwing in the adapter — and I visualize a guy in a safety harness hanging off a bridge abutment, watching in horror as the just-removed eyepiece tumbles down into a gorge!
Other possibilities I’ve looked into can’t measure or can’t ‘see’ on the fine scale we need. I need to find an adapter that mounts ON the gauge, rather than requiring modification OF the gauge.
Currently, what I do — and what most likely cannot be done in a safety harness — is hold an ‘instamatic-style’ camera lens to the scope, and take many pix to get a couple usable ones… It’s (way!) less than optimal, but it’s all I have at the moment.
Email me, and I’ll add you to my ‘list of folks who want to be notified’ when I finally get a working adapter! Or just keep an eye on the blog — I will absolutely be announcing it when I succeed!
All-metal lead holders
Having heard that the lead holders occasionally break in use, I’ve replaced the part-metal and part-plastic lead holders with all-metal lead holders. These have proven to be durable.
New replacement sandpaper discs
The stack-of-five sandpaper discs used with the H-501 dressing disk (part number H-501-20) is now replaced by a higher quality “single disk at a time” version using a better adhesive. The disc kit fits into the H-501 carry case, so you will always have spares on hand when you need them.
You can now purchase replacement disc kits (five sandpaper discs, without the plastic disk they mount on) instead of having to replace the entire dressing disk. Disc kits (part number H-501-20R) sell for just $11.
The plastic disks (H-501-20) are, of course, still available; and they come with the five sandpaper discs.
At long last, I have found a direct source for the #222 LED bulbs, so Micro-Metrics is able to lower the price of the LED bulb to $1.80.
Upgraded H-501 Pencil Hardness Gauge
The H-501 Pencil Hardness Gauge has been upgraded. In place of the previous gray plastic body, the H-501 (and the dressing disk base) are now made using a higher-quality white plastic. The lead holders now come with all-metal barrels, instead of the older version that was part metal and part plastic.
Technical Data Sheets
There is a new webpage on the Micro-Metrics website with links to the Technical data sheets that come with Micro-Metrics products as PDFs in printable form. (I have reformatted them so they can be printed on 8-1/2″ by 11″ paper.) There is also a white paper entitled: “Measuring: the Geometry of the Tooke Gauge.” (A customer requested a TDS on how to replace the lightbulb, which is also there now.)
Pictures updated Oct2014: Visit the CTH02 website page here:
Our new machinist has a purchase order in hand to machine 20 new longer (double-sided) cutting tip holders. I used an old example that we measured to create the new drawing from, but the new ones is much prettier!
This holder allows two tips to be mounted on opposite sides and, like the shorter, single cutting tip holder (CTH01), allows easy use of the cutting tips without having to manipulate the Tooke Gauge to make the incision and then manipulate the gauge again to view the incision through the microscope.
With this tip holder, you can:
- make multiple incisions with your most-used tip(s) without having to keep switching the gauge to viewing position
- mount two of the same tip to allow for checking two incisions against each other
- “bracket” your incisions by mounting two different tips to create different incising geometries
Some of our customers have said they prefer the larger tip holder because it’s easier to handle than the smaller one. Others prefer the smaller one because it fits easily in a pocket.
(Obviously, I’m holding this one upside down so the tip shows.)
As part of the upgrading of the OG202 metal-bodied Tooke gauges, going forward, the OG202s will be anodized. Aluminium alloys are anodized to increase corrosion resistance and increase surface wear resistance . The anodic layer is non-conductive. Anodizing will protect the aluminum parts by making the surface much harder than natural aluminum. Aluminum oxide is grown out of the surface during anodizing and then becomes aluminum hydrate, which is extremely hard. The porous nature of the anodized layer allows the product to be dyed. Type II anodizing gives an anodized layer of 0.0002″to 0.001″.
The following text is modified from the Aluminum Anodizers Council http://www.anodizing.org/Anodizing/benefits.html:
Durability. Most anodized products have an extremely long life span. Anodizing is a reacted finish that is integrated with the underlying aluminum for total bonding and unmatched adhesion.
Color Stability. Exterior anodic coatings provide good stability to ultraviolet rays and do not chip or peel.
Ease of Maintenance. Scars and wear from fabrication, handling, installation, frequent surface dirt cleaning and usage are virtually non-existent. Rinsing or mild soap and water cleaning usually will restore an anodized surface to its original appearance. Mild abrasive cleaners can be used for more difficult deposits.
Aesthetics. Anodizing offers color alternatives and unlike other finishes, anodizing allows the aluminum to maintain its metallic appearance.
Health and Safety. Anodizing is a safe process that is not harmful to human health. An anodized finish is chemically stable, will not decompose; is non-toxic; and is heat-resistant to the melting point of aluminum (1,221 degrees F.)
Since the anodizing process is a reinforcement of a naturally occurring oxide process, it is non-hazardous and produces no harmful or dangerous by-products.
Micro-Metrics is replacing the vinylette-with-snaps cases that the OG202 and OG204 Tooke Paint Inspections Gauges have come in for years, and will now provide a plastic (polypropylene) carry case with foam inserts to carry your Tooke Gauge and spare parts. The outside dimensions are 7.75″ (19.7cm) by 6.57″ (16.7cm) by 1.85″ (4.7cm) and the case comes with a handle and two latches.
Inside, the foam insert holds the Tooke Gauge, the marker, wrench, spare bulb and spare batteries. (Reminder: Tooke Gauges now come with rugged, longer-lasting LED bulbs.)
If you carry a Cutting Tip Holder (Micro-Metrics CTH01), you can place the Cutting Tip Holder in the pre-cut battery “compartment” in the foam and, as shown below, cut a bit of foam off the insert to put the batteries along the edge.
The new cases have arrived and if you wish to replace your old vinylette case with the new plastic one, they are now available for purchase. Cases cost $32 USD (plus UPS shipping), and if you’ll let me know which gauge you have, I’ll put the correct label on the box.
I am also looking into cases to replace the current vinylette cases used for the MG402 Microgroover and the H-501 Pencil Hardness Gauge.
I’ve found a source for LED bulbs to go in the OG202 and OG204 Tooke Gauges. The manufacturer says they should have an “LED Life time: Long life, 50,000 hours.”
Starting 1 March 2012, new gauges will ship with LED bulbs. I’m looking for a direct source for these too, so I can sell them at a lower price point. At the moment, I am able to include these LED bulbs without raising the gauge price. I want to keep it that way!
Since Michael’s death, Micro-Metrics has been unable to produce the metal bodied OG202 Tooke Paint Inspection Gauge. The main reason was a very frustrating inability to get the machined bodies from the machinist who had made them for a couple of decades. After much stress and trying to get them from him, I found a local machinist who has an astonishing work ethic – and a CNC machine! I had an old drawing (like a blueprint) of the metal body, and a single prepared body that Michael had left behind.
My new machinist and I have been working for several months to decipher, refine, and update the drawing (in his computer) to allow the CNC machine to cut, drill, and mill the bodies. (It takes some 30 steps to make an OG202 body out of a slug of metal — and that’s just preparing the raw body!)
Here’s what the new OG202 looks like:
Notice the nice chamfered edge to the body.
The major change is the lack of a cut-through of the body into the battery compartment.
New-style gauge (If you look closely, you can see the tip slot numbering):
Closer view of the tip slot numbering:
I hope, by the end of March, to be shipping the new gauges. I already have 13 OG202s on order, and am having my new machinist make 36 bodies to start. (I was able to send out five prototypes of the new version, which have met with a very positive response.)
The CTH01 Cutting Tip Holder, at a little under two inches long, allows easy use of a cutting tip without having to manipulate the Tooke Gauge to make the incision and then manipulate it again to view the incision through the microscope. Make multiple incisions with your most-used tip without having to return the gauge to viewing position multiple times. A tip storage compartment holds two additional tips. Learn more here: Cutting Tip Holder page
The tip holder comes in a box that slips into your pocket, to keep from impaling your leg with the tip.