Dial Caliper DIY - Brandon W. & Godwill A.

This is a DIY on how to use a dial caliper. It will teach you how to use a dial caliper to properly measure different objects and items. This DIY will teach you about the parts of a dial caliper and how they are used or what they are used for. It will also show the common errors made while using the dial caliper.

Step 1: The Blade & Slider

The blade is the part of the dial caliper that always stays in a fixed position. The slider, another part of a dial caliper, moves along the blade helps adjust the distance between measuring faces. The divided into 10 inch increments. Each of the increments equals one tenth of an inch. The depth rod is located inside the blade while it is not being used.

Step 2: Dial & Pointer

The dial and pointer move along with slider as it moves across the blade. Inside the dial, is the pointer which rotates as the as the slider moves along the blade. The dial and pointer help measure/identify the smaller measurements of an object. The increments inside the dial represents a hundredth of an inch. (0.010)

Step 3: Reference Edge & Rack

The reference edge is used to find the measurements of bigger numbers/increments as the slider is moving. The rack is a gear used to help turn the motion of the slider into the rotating motion of the pointer. It is what basically causes the pointer to spin while the slider is moving.

Step 4: Upper Jaws & Lower Jaws

The Upper Jaws are like very sharp knives. They are located on the top of the dial caliper. They are used to take the inside measurements of an object such as the diameter or inside length of a hole or insert. They an alos measure stepped length. The Lower Jaws are just like the upper jaws except they are bigger and they are located on the bottom of the dial caliper. The lower jaws measure the outside measurements of an object such as width and length.

Step 5: Depth Rod & Thumb Screw

The Depth Rod is the pointy, stick that protrudes out of the blade whenever the slider is moved. It also comes out whenever the thumb screw is turned. As it name implies, the depth rod measure the depth of holes and other objects. The Thumb Screw is like a knob. It is located to the right of the dial, on the bottom of the blade. It helps adjust the jaws and depth rod. In addition, it helps the user get a good grip on the object that is being measured.

Step 6: Dial Clamp & Lock Screw

The dial clamp is used to loosen the position on the dial so it is easier to readjust it. It can also lock the settings of the dial caliper to keep dial in place. It is located on the bottom of the dial. The lock screw is what locks the slider in a fixed position when it is not being used. It is also an loosen the slider to make it easier for it to move. The lock screw is located on the top of the blade near the top of the dial.

Step 7: Zero the Caliper

The first thing that needs to be done is to zero the caliper. If you don't, it can skew or disrupt the measurements of the object. This is a common mistake that many people make when using a dial caliper. Make sure that the dial caliper is completely closed. Also loosen the dial clamp so that it can be adjusted if needed. Then tighten it back.

Step 8: Determine How the Object Is Going to Be Measured

Find out what measurement will be used to measure the object. Then determine which measuring face will be needed to measure the object. It is a common mistake to use the wrong measuring faces when measuring certain parts of an item.

Step 9: Measure Object Outside Length or Width

First, loosen the lock screw. Open the lower jaws and place the object inside them. Use the thumb tack to get a good grip on the object. Be sure to tighten the lock screw back. A common mistake made is forgetting to tighten the lock screw back.This will can cause a small disrupt in the measurements being made.

Step 10: How to Read Reference Edge

After you finish measuring, look at the reference edge and count every 10 marks. Every 10 marks on the reference edge is an inch. The tenth mark should have a number on it. That number is how many full inches the object is. The marks in between the full inches are a 1/10 of an inch (.100). Next, count how many full inches the slider went past until you get to mark the slider is on or in front of. Then determine the full inches of the measurement and the one tenths of the measurement. It is similar to reading ruler. It should look something like this 1.000 + .500 = 1.500

But that is not the full measurement.

Step 11: How to Read the Dial

After, you've calculated the measurement on the reference edge. Move on to the dial. The dial divides its increments into hundredths of an inch. (0.010) Also the spaces in between marks can be estimated as a thousandth of an inch. (0.0001) Look at the dial and whatever mark or number the pointer is on will be the measurement in the dial. The measurement you get from the dial have this same format 0.050 + 0.0002 = 0.0502

Then add the measurement of from the dial to the one from the reference edge. The full measurement would have look similar to this. 1.000 + .500 + 0.050 + 0.0002 = 1.5502 inches

Step 12: Measure Inside Length

Use the Upper Jaws to measure the inside of an object. Place the upper jaws inside the object ,if you are able to, then stretch them as far as it they will go. Then determine the measurement and record it.

Step 13: Measure Depth

Push the depth rod out of the blade. Then, stick the depth rod inside any holes in the object. Then, push the depth rod back into the blade until the blade is at the top of the hole. Now, read the measurement and record it.

Step 14: Measure Step Length

First, place the head the dial caliper on the table. Make sure the left upper jaw is touching the table. Open the upper jaws until it touches the top of the object. Determine the measurement and record it.

Step 15: Recheck All Measurements and Make Sure There Are No Mistakes

Make sure none of the data was skewed. Be sure to look for anything that could've disrupted the data. For example, be sure your using a dial caliper that is made for inches. Not all dial calipers are made for inches. Also before you start measuring be sure that the dial caliper numbers are readable on the reference edge and in the dial.

Step 16: Maintenance

Be sure to clean and wipe of the dial caliper when finished measuring. Make sure you calibrate and safely put it away.

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