Type high or no type high

That is the question……
I have a lot of old worn illustration blocks, so out of curiosity I whipped out my digital caliper, reset it and measured one, figuring it to be less than .918, however it was .925 and this was the median range of all of them, some being somewhat higher
Confused, I got out my boxcar base and a plate I hade made and they measured .925

I know it’s not much…. 007 but I figured the new stuff woul be right on, the old worn out to be less, not the case….???

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Must be a problem with your calipers, I’ve checked 2 different Boxcar bases with adhesives and plates that read out a perfect .918.


As a young machinist I started out using vernier calipers and we called them verynears, I then moved on to dial caliper and the name stuck as it does with the digital caliper.
The reason the name sticks is that if you want to
get an accurate measurement you need to use a good micrometer made by a good company. Very accurate measurement with any of the calipers is difficult, after thirty years of machining I use a micrometer.

Thanks guys! Who makes a good one?

Starret makes a (relatively) affordable, quality micrometer at 135.00, bought from Mcmaster Carr.

There are also econo-micrometers there but are less accurate.


wow.. i guess my 15 dollar digital caliper vernier is useless.

Some work and are well made with good steels some are chinese !!
Not wanting to have a dig at our industrial adversaries but if we sell them crap to work with they gonna give something crap back !!
We use Moore & Wright measuring tools here if we want accurate at affordable cost .they are old and can be calibrated and re calibrated ,made of decent material as well as common , I would bet that many of you have seen them i expect a lot of ex ww2 services engineers that were based here through to the fifties would have grabbed one if it appeared loosely within a surruptitious snatches reach…

Apologies for the newbie question, but are there Micrometers that show measurements in Points and Picas?



not that i ever saw one or heard of it in fact !Somebody surprise me !

ATF had points-and-picas micrometers, but otherwise, no. Get a good .0001” thimble micrometer (I’ve found many Starretts at the flea market for $25) and convert readings.
Points are usually .01338” (correct me if my recall is wrong), except on the Linotype where they are rounded up to .014”.
There are also many styles of plate gauges and type gauges that read plus-or-minus from .918”.

Mitutoyo, Starrett, Brown & Sharpe- high quality
Lufkin, - high quality but no longer made
Moore & Wright -good quality
Fowler, Enco- mid range quality
Harbor freight, Shars - poor quality
And there are other micrometers out there in all the quality ranges, these are the tools I am familiar with.
If you are not familiar with the tool and can judge the condition you should probably buy new not used.

I often compare readings from a Mitutoyo digital micrometer that someone gave me and the $20 made-in-China micrometer I had previously bought at Sears. They’re within a couple of thousandths of each other. Maybe I just got lucky with the Sears one.


what happened to the good old type high gauge !