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Gage blocks - Gauge blocks
NIST
Certified gage blocks for calibration of micrometers, indicators, calipers etc.

 

Each rectangular steel or ceramic gage block comes with a serial number engraved and a certificate of accuracy traceable to NIST. These have a tolerance grade ASME 0, ideally suited for shop calibration as well as the inspection room.

They can be wrung together to create a larger span, 6" for calibrating a caliper, for instance. In fact, you can take any combination of blocks and put them end-to-end to create your desired length. For example, combining a 25 mm block with a 30 mm block will result in the equivalent of a 55 mm block.

A word of warning: it can be very tricky to handle more than two blocks at a time, so think carefully about which blocks you need to buy.

For ISO purposes, keep track of these serial numbers and keep a copy of the certificate with your calibration records. When you calibrate your instrument make note of the instrument's serial number and the serial numbers of the gage blocks which you used to calibrate it. Additionally, have the gage blocks certified by a local calibration lab on an annual basis and then keep the current certificate of calibration with your records.

These gage blocks are ideal for any micrometer or dial indicator having up to .0001" discrimination. If you don't need that kind of accuracy, consider getting a complete gage block set shown further down this page.

Instead of buying individual blocks for micrometer calibration you may want to look at the Micrometer Calibration Set on page 7.


1" rectangular steel gage block shown with an Etalon indicating micrometer

High quality rectangular steel gauge blocks - NIST certified - ASME 0

Dimension (steel)

Accuracy

Order number

2016 Price

.005"†

±.000006"

611305-531

check price and stock

.010"

±.000006"

611310-531

check price and stock

.020"

±.000006"

611320-531

check price and stock

.025"

±.000006"

611325-531

check price and stock

.05"

±.000006"

611105-531

42.85 order now

.0625" (1/16")

±.000005"

611303-531

check price and stock

.1"

±.000005"

611191-531

check price and stock

.125"

±.000005"

611165-531

29.25 order now

.2"

±.000005"

611192-531

29.25 order now

.25"

±.000005"

611212-531

check price and stock

.3"

±.000005"

611193-531

check price and stock

.4"

±.000005"

611194-531

check price and stock

.5"

±.000006"

611195-531

check price and stock

.75"

±.000006"

611217-531

check price and stock

1"

±.000006"

611201-531

check price and stock

1"

±.000003" (*)

611201-521

83.95 order now

2"

±.000008"

611202-531

check price and stock

3"

±.000010"

611203-531

check price and stock

4"

±.000012"

611204-531

check price and stock

5"

±.000016"

611205-531

243.00 order now

6"

±.000016"

611206-531

287.00 order now

longer than 4"

measuring rod may be more suitable (and it's cheaper). See page 58

 

Calibration certificate is included. All gage blocks are calibrated by the factory to NIST or International Standards on the date of manufacture. Your certificates will not have current dating. If you require current dating, you will have to send these gage blocks to a calibration laboratory. Please read further information below.

All gage blocks above have these uniform dimensions:

  • width = .354"
  • height = 1.181"

Gage block source: these high quality blocks are produced by Mitotoyo of Japan.

(*) high accuracy 1" block is ASME grade 00

† The .005" block is well suited for calibration of paper and film thickness gages. It will be necessary to handle this gage block with extreme care because of its thickness (or lack thereof).



 

High quality rectangular metric ceramic gauge blocks - NIST certified - ASME 0

 

Except where noted, these Grade 0 metric gage blocks are high quality ceramic. Why aren't they all made of ceramic? Because some sizes are too small and ceramic would be too brittle; some sizes are too large and the gage block would be too expensive.

metricgageblocks

You will have no trouble combining ceramic with steel blocks. For example, you can safely combine a 0.5 mm steel block with the 1 mm ceramic block to achieve the equivalent of a 1.5 mm block. They are fully compatible. The smallest metric gage block available is 0.1 mm (steel only).

Take a closer look at some of the reasons to go ceramic:

  • Corrosion resistant (it's okay to handle these with your bare hands)
  • No burrs because it will not scratch. If dented, any resulting burrs can be removed with a ceramic stone
  • Abrasion resistance is 10 times that of steel gage blocks
  • Will not change dimension over time
  • Black printing makes it easy to see the dimensions of these blocks
  • Non magnetic which means it won't attract metal chips
  • High wringing force due to the density of the ceramic
  • Much harder than steel (1350 HV)
  • Thermal expansion coefficient is quite similar to that of steel so they can safely be combined
  • CERA is one of the toughest ceramics available and is extremely difficult to crack under normal use.

     

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CERA blocks are available as a complete set or as individual pieces. The 112 block set is shown.

Rectangular Ceramic

ASME Grade 0

Mitutoyo Part Number

2017 Price in US$

47 piece ceramic set

1 mm to 100 mm

516-358-26

check stock and price

0.1 mm (steel)

±0.00012 mm

611821-531

117.00

0.2 mm (steel)

±0.00012 mm

611823-531

100.10

0.5 mm

±0.00012 mm

613506-531

check stock and price

1 mm

±0.00012 mm

613611-531

1.005 mm

±0.00012 mm

613525-531

check stock and price

2 mm

±0.00012 mm

613612-531

check stock and price

2.5 mm

±0.00012 mm

613642-531

71.00

3 mm

±0.00012 mm

613613-531

check stock and price

4 mm

±0.00012 mm

613614-531

64.50

5 mm

±0.00012 mm

613615-531

6 mm

±0.00012 mm

613616-531

check stock and price

7 mm

±0.00012 mm

613617-531

check stock and price

8 mm

±0.00012 mm

613618-531

check stock and price

9 mm

±0.00012 mm

613619-531

check stock and price

10 mm

±0.00012 mm

613671-531

81.05

15 mm

±0.00014 mm

613625-531

89.75

20 mm

±0.00014 mm

613672-531

104.80

25 mm

±0.00014 mm

613635-531

check stock and price

30 mm

±0.00020 mm

613673-531

134.00

50 mm

±0.00020 mm

613675-531

check stock and price

100 mm

±0.00030 mm

613681-531

check stock and price

 

Calibration certificate is included. All gage blocks are calibrated by the factory to NIST or International Standards on the date of manufacture. All blocks can be combined to create larger dimensions. Please read further information below.

High quality ceramic rectangular gage blocks - NIST certified

 

Whether ceramic or steel, both serve the same function. Ceramic doesn't expand as much as steel does, so the blocks are accurate over a wider temperature range. Ceramic (CERA) blocks have the added advantage of never getting rusty (cleaning is easier) and of resisting scratches (which can ruin a gauge block in short order). You can handle these without any special precautions since fingerprints won't affect the blocks. Also, the size may be easier to read because it's printed in black on a white surface. These are inspection grade blocks which conform to ASME Grade 0.

For more information on ceramic blocks, take a look at the section directly above.

If you don't have a preference, we'd suggest getting the ceramic CERA block. Even though they may cost more, they're also hassle-free. NIST certificate included. Furthermore, you can easily combine the steel and the CERA blocks. They will "wring" together with no trouble. Very small sizes will not be available in ceramic and you will have to resort to steel in those cases.


 

.05"

±0.000006 inch

613105-531

55.55

.1"

±0.000005 inch

613191-531

49.50

.25"

±0.000005 inch

613212-531

73.00

.5"

±0.000006 inch

613195-531

73.00

1"

±0.000006 inch

613201-531

131.00

2"

±0.000006 inch

613202-531

check stock and price

3"

±0.000006 inch

613203-531

check stock and price

What is the difference between the various grades?

 

The gauge blocks offered above have tolerances which have the broadest range of use suitable for the inspection room as well as for shop set-ups. The tolerances which we show are the deviation of length at any point from nominal length. For a 1-inch gage block with ±.000006" tolerance, this means that at any point the gauge block may be as long as 1.000006" or as short as .999994". For all practical purposes, this is as close to 1" as you're likely to want to get.

Let us take a 1-inch gage block as an example. The length deviation at any point, from the nominal length is as follows:

  • ASME Grade 00: ± 3 µin
  • ASME Grade 0: ± 6 µin
  • ASME Grade AS-1: ± 12 µin
  • ASME Grade AS-2: ± 24 µin

Calibration Grade 00: These higher accuracy gage blocks are indended for use within a controlled environment by skilled inspection staff. They are mainly used as reference standards for setting high precision measuring equipment and for the calibration of lower grade gage blocks. They are not intended for shop use.

Inspection Grade 0: This grade is used within an inspection area to verify the accurcy of plug and snap gages as well as for the setting of electronic measuring devices.

Workshop Grade AS-1: These gage blocks are intended for shop floor use to set and calibrate fixtures as well as precision instruments such as calipers, indicators and micrometers.

 

B&S metric gage block set - carbide

 

Brown & Sharpe tungsten carbide deluxe 112 piece metric gage block set meets or exceeds Federal specification GGG-G-15c. These blocks are Grade 2 (A+) suitable as working standards in inspection rooms to set and calibrate measuring instruments and other equipment. Every block is certified, with serial number, and each set includes a certificate of calibration and traceability. Housed in a sturdy and well laid-out wooden box.

This is not one of those cheap Chinese imports (which we do not sell on principle), but the highest quality gage block set designed for professional use.

This deluxe 112 piece set includes the following blocks:

0.5 mm, 1.00 mm, 1.0005 mm, 1.001 mm through 1.009 mm, 1.01 through 1.49 mm, 1.5 through 24.5 mm, 25 mm, 50 mm, 75 mm and 100 mm.

  • Deluxe 112 piece tungsten carbide, rectangular metric gage block set #43009 ... inquire

Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery. Calibration will have been made at time of manufacture and may not have a current date. This does not affect the validity of the certificate. Please read section below.


 

Calibration certificate included

 

You will receive a certificate which is NIST traceable. But, take note: gage blocks are calibrated by the factory on the date of manufacture. Thus, the gage blocks you receive may have calibration dates many months old.

Your certificate will be valid for one year after you put the gage blocks into service. For instance: the gage block is factory certified in January 2011 and you place the gage block into service on August 2014. You should then create a calibration cycle wherein the gage block will need re-certification on August 2015, one year later, unless your quality manager has established a different length calibration cycle.

On rare occasions, a customer may need date-current certificates. You must place a request for them. It will involve 3-4 weeks of delivery time and there will be a charge for this calibration. It may be to your advantage to have them calibrated at a local lab. This will certainly save you time and money.

If your customer, or your quality manual has different requirements, then disregard all of this information and follow your customer's or manual's instructions.


Mitutoyo 182-302, 6"/150mm Semi-Flexible Rule, (1/16, 1/32, 1/64", 1mm, 0.5mm), 5/8" Wide, Satin Chrome, Engraved Front Side Only

 

How do I take care of my blocks?

 

Handle these with kid gloves. No kidding. They're your length masters and have to maintain their pristine condition in order to remain reliable. Scratches, dents and dings will all alter the dimension of your block rendering its usefulness questionable.

Use an optical flat from time to time to check the gage block's flatness (see page 7 for a relatively inexpensive set). Scratches or dents will show up as distortions in the light bands of the optical flat (you may want to research how optical flats work, if you're not yet familiar). At this point you can use a gage block stone (sometimes called "Arkansas Stone" or Ceraston) to gently remove any burrs or high spots caused by the scratches. The procedure requires some skill and practice and may be best left to someone who's familiar with the process.

How-To: Lay the stone on the table and slide the gage block along the stone surface - not the other way around! Done correctly, you won't be changing the gage block's dimensions, but you will get rid of the burrs.

Steel blocks can get rusty, so coat them with a bit of oil whenever they're being stored. Then clean the oil off before using them. At this point, don't touch the bare metal with your hands. Pros use a pair of tongs, but we'd suggest you leave this to the pros. You'll probably only prove that you're all thumbs and consequently drop the gage block. Instead, use some lint-free tissue paper or clean cloth to pick up and maneuver the blocks.

If you get finger prints on them, clean with alcohol and then coat with good, clean oil. For long term storage, a bit of Vaseline works well. Put the blocks in a labeled, clean plastic bag and in a safe, sturdy container when you're done. You don't want the blocks to bang against each other. If any block isn't shiny, smooth and scratch free, have it examined and certified by a gage lab.

Ceramic gage blocks have fewer issues. No need to worry about finger prints, or rust. You should still treat them with respect, since they're quite costly to replace.

Mitutoyo 516-650E Maintenance Kit for Gage Blocks contains the following items:

  • a ceraston (or Arkansas stone) (601645) for removing burrs
  • an optical flat (600003) for checking for burrs
  • tweezers (600004) for handling small gage blocks
  • a blower brush (600005) for blowing dust off the measuring surface
  • cleaning paper (600006) for removing oil and dirt
  • an artificial leather mat (600007) for placing under gage blocks
  • a 100 mL reagent bottle, and cloth gloves for handling blocks.
  • all items are contained within a portable wooden case
  • Mitutoyo 516-650E Maintenance Kit … check price and stock


If you're a neat freak, or otherwise retentive, working with gauge blocks should be right up your alley. Pull on those cotton gloves and enjoy!

Gage vs. Gauge

 

In American manufacturing circles, gage is the preferred spelling.

When we first incorporated our business we had to give our attorney a number of alternate business names and one of them included the word gage. He took an irate stance and with his pen in hand jabbed at the dictionary page where gauge was given in definition. "No!" we insisted, "machinists and manufacturers beg to differ." Even such a venerable American manufacturer as Federal Gage uses this spelling. He shook his head in disbelief so we thought it best to avoid the word altogether.

Because many people from different disciplines google for gauge, we thought it wise to include both spellings on the same page. We've also rather arbitrarily decided that gage would suit the inch product and gauge would be linked to the metric.

Guage

As long as we don't misspell it, and that happens easily. Guage is not a word in the English language... yet. Here's a cute story told us by a generous friend of Long Island Indicator and we hope he won't mind us retelling it here:

One of our teams made a poster with stick-on letters summarizing their goals. One goal referred to "Guages." I took my razor and carefully began peeling off the letters U and A so that I could switch them on the poster.

As I was doing so, one team member indignantly informed me, "You know, that is an alternate spelling of gage."

I replied, "Actually, G-A-U-G-E is an alternate spelling of gage. What you have here is G-U-A-G-E which spells 'goo-wahj' which I guess would be where Elmer Fudd parks his car."

(with thanks to Lemar Luke of Mechanical Calibration Laboratory, Ogden UT)

Footnote of interest: Lee Hawkins, Observatory Engineer at Appalachian State University tells us that—in his field—gauges measure an environmental effect such as a pressure gauge or force gauge, whereas "gage is reserved for an instrument which measures a dimension of some sort."

 

Some Questions and Answers about gage blocks

 

Q: Can you guys by any chance calibrate these after my one year period has expired?  The reason why I am asking this is because the people that we usually have calibrate our equipment and stuff want to charge me almost $500 to calibrate these blocks (which is way more than buying a brand new set). And since we are ISO certified, I have to have this type of stuff calibrated on a regular basis.

A: This is the dilemma exactly. The best you can hope for is to shop around and see if you can find a gage lab that's less expensive. Calibrating a set often costs more than buying a new inexpensive set. The lesson to learn here is, if annual calibration is required, throw the old set out and buy a new one. Weird but true… To answer your question, we can not calibrate gage blocks. We are not equipped to do that.

More

 



 

 

From our reference shelf:

BesTest and TesaTast Indicator Repair Manual … page 177
Starrett 711 Last Word Indicator Repair Manual … page 199
Interapid Indicator Repair Manual …
page 208
Compac Test Indicator Repair Manual ... page 194
 

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Long Island Indicator Service Inc
14 Sarah Drive — Hauppauge NY 11788 — USA


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This page's most recent revision: 1 MARCH 2017
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Original photographs and content copyright 2017 by JWGrum

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