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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm curious to hear what everyone else uses to measure slide and frame groove height. I've been looking at groove mics but damn they're expensive for just a couple of measurements. Is there anything else worth considering?
 

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for the slide I derive the values in the slide using a micrometer or calioer, rail truing bar, and a depth mic.

In the frame I use the inside measuring jaws on the calper for the groove and the tips of the jaws for the frame rails. Not as precise but making multiple measurements I derive close values.
 

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Gauge blocks, gauge pins, slide rail micrometer and a good digital caliper that can read below a half thou is good place to start.

The slide rail micrometer Brownells sells is a handy tool but mine isn’t very precise. I always have to take my slide measurement with it, write it down and then verify what that measurement is with a gauge pin that I know the exact dimension of or can measure with a more precise tool.

This tool is a pretty good way of measuring how wide your slide rails are. It also can work as a good way to lap in your slide to make it true but you wouldn’t want to use the one you use to lap as a measuring tool. Buy 2. One for measuring and one for lapping.

Circuit component Wood Engineering Machine Composite material

Calipers Automotive tire Measuring instrument Gas Font
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Gauge blocks, gauge pins, slide rail micrometer and a good digital caliper that can read below a half thou is good place to start.

The slide rail micrometer Brownells sells is a handy tool but mine isn’t very precise. I always have to take my slide measurement with it, write it down and then verify what that measurement is with a gauge pin that I know the exact dimension of or can measure with a more precise tool.

This tool is a pretty good way of measuring how wide your slide rails are. It also can work as a good way to lap in your slide to make it true but you wouldn’t want to use the one you use to lap as a measuring tool. Buy 2. One for measuring and one for lapping.
Thanks for the feedback. I actually made a slide width gauge and rail mic in machine shop class earlier this summer.
Rectangle Wood Computer data storage Cylinder Gas


I've got a good micrometer and caliper and I was looking at a set of gauge pins. Are you able to get your gauge pins in the slide grooves? Are the gauge pins handy for anything else?

Thanks.
 

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Dremel jockey
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88 piece Grade B gage block sets can be found for less than a Franklin.
Good stuff to have!
Gage pins from . 010" to .625" are invaluable.
For smiffin' the cheapest ones do just fine.
 
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Thanks for the feedback. I actually made a slide width gauge and rail mic in machine shop class earlier this summer.
View attachment 819298

I've got a good micrometer and caliper and I was looking at a set of gauge pins. Are you able to get your gauge pins in the slide grooves? Are the gauge pins handy for anything else?

Thanks.
Gauge pins can be used to measure the inner slide rail height but are not the best tool for the job. You can only get a gauge pin in so far unless you cut them down. Gauge blocks would be better. Gauge pins are definitely handy things to have. Like Chuck said, the cheap ones are fine for this work and you’ll definitely use them for lots of things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
88 piece Grade B gage block sets can be found for less than a Franklin.
Good stuff to have!
Gage pins from . 010" to .625" are invaluable.
For smiffin' the cheapest ones do just fine.
Gauge pins can be used to measure the inner slide rail height but are not the best tool for the job. You can only get a gauge pin in so far unless you cut them down. Gauge blocks would be better. Gauge pins are definitely handy things to have. Like Chuck said, the cheap ones are fine for this work and you’ll definitely use them for lots of things.
Thank you both for the feedback. Between a groove micrometer and a gage block set for measuring slide and frame grooves and other bench uses, what would you prioritize buying first?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well I ended up snagging a Starret groove micrometer on eBay and a set of gage blocks and pins at Penn Tool.

Thanks for the feedback on this again. I'm looking forward to finally starting a build next week with the tools I've amassed.
 
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