There is only one rule as far any thread gauge is concerned. “If it does not fit, never force your way through.”
There are different kinds of threads in the industry. Each thread has its individual thread gauge. For example, the trapezoidal threads have the trapezoidal thread gauge. The ACME threads are very similar to the trapezoidal threads. But, these threads need the ACME thread gauges for checking out the tolerance levels.
The difference in the angle of the ACME threads and the trapezoidal threads is just 1 degree. Does that mean you can interchange the thread gauge? Never do it because you would not only end up damaging the gauge but also force an erroneous result. Let us look at the precautions you should take while handling thread gauges.
- The first rule is that you should never force the gauge into or on the part you wish to check the tolerance of. The gauge has two sides to it, the GO side and the NO GO side. Understand and respect the sanctity of both these sides.
- The GO side of the plug gauge should pass through the bolt or the hole smoothly in the normal fashion. It should not skip threads and rush through. This entails that the hole is bigger than the gauge. At the same time, if you have to apply undue force to push the gauge through, it entails that the hole is smaller. The purpose of using the gauge is defeated under both circumstances.
- While using the NO GO side one has to be more careful. The gauge should not take more than two to three turns. Do not try to force the gauge even if it is difficult for it to turn once. There should be at least two to three comfortable turns. Subsequently, there should be no movement. Do not try to force your way through as you risk breaking the gauge thereby rendering it useless.
- In the normal case how would you handle a thermometer? Would you drop it on the ground or use it in any other way except for the way it is meant to be used? The same logic applies to thread gauges. Use it in appropriate fashion alone. Do not treat them casually as they are no less than any precision tool.
- Can you drive with one punctured car tire? The same logic holds good for the thread plug gauges and the thread ring gauges. One nick or dent on the gauges can render it useless. The gauge will lose its integrity. Hence, never misuse or mishandle a thread gauge as you could end up damaging the same.
- While storing gauges, please be careful and avoid the thread gauges to come into contact with other instruments. It is better to store them individually. Dip the gauges in oil or wax solutions to preserve their worth. They should not rust at any cost.
- While shipping gauges, apply rust preventive solutions on the gauges. Pack them individually with adequate protection.
This is how you take care of the thread gauges.