Identification of gage blocks


Starting to get Involved
Hi All,

I'd like to know if anyone has a solution for the following:

We have a number of gage block sets all of which runs in different calibration cycles, in some cases are of different classes. I'd like to avoid the gage blocks being removed and then placed back in the wrong box. My idea is to color code the blocks. Perhaps painting them in the uncalibrated side (a small dot) - still deciding on the proper paint to use.

Can anyone else throw in any other ideas?

Regards to all,


Trusted Information Resource
Yeah. Don't calibrate every set of gage blocks. Verify them prior to use. Have a master set that you calibrate and keep for special uses only.

If you go with identification, Paint can wear off. Maybe have them engraved?


This is a tough question because I had the same problem with not just gage blocks, but pin gages. You could engrave gage blocks, but make sure it does not "impact" the calibration status. Paint can wear off.

It is probably not the best but as mentioned by Golfman we only had certain gages calibrated. We actually kept them in a separate location, in plastic containers/totes/bags with the actual identification. The users went through heavy training that when they used the blocks and pins to take them out of their individual container (that was marked with ID and calibration status) and immediately return them when done.

If they failed to do that, they were subjective to harsh versions of death :tg: haha just kidding. But it could and did impact their employment status if they did not follow the procedure for handling gage blocks. If they don't need to be calibrated but just verified such as using in go/no-go in production, they were just verified on a routine basis. Many of our pin gages were replaced every time anyway because they got bent and scratched - so we never bothered calibrating them, but just had a short time period between verifications - which was really more an inspection of the block/pin for damage or usability.


Starting to get Involved
Thanks for your feedback, everyone. We opted for marking with paint (Rust-oleum). Although we'll be working hard to instill better discipline on our operators and inspectors, the idea behind paint-marking the gages are to be able to easily identify them as we sweep the shop floor. Simply engraving the gages won't give off the same visual indication. We'll try it out for a couple of months.

- J


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Gage pins:
I have long been an advocate for verify before use. I got in trouble for records once so we use a sign up sheet with some measurements on it.

We were always verifying before use, but now we have effective records as well.

We use a calibrated micrometer to check the pins.


Quality Manager
We're a big fan of verify prior to use as well for anything that isn't used for final acceptance.


Trusted Information Resource
Yes, but at least they know to look in the dust pan each day :)

I hadn't thought about the benefits of color - almost as good as a state license plate at a glance. Just renew it as required.
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