Tools & Equipment: Hand & Power Tools: Using measuring tools
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Topic IntroductionHelp

Using a feeler gauge

Summary
Feeler gauges are strips of hardened metal that have been ground or rolled to a precise thickness. They can be very thin and will cut through skin if not handled correctly. The objective of this procedure is to show you the correct choice and use of feeler gauge sets.

Part 1. Preparation and safety

Objective

Using a feeler gauge

Personal safety

Whenever you perform a task in the workshop you must use personal protective clothing and equipment that is appropriate for the task and which conforms to your local safety regulations and policies. Among other items, this may include:

If you are not certain what is appropriate or required, ask your supervisor.

Safety check

Points to note


Part 2: Step-by-step instruction

  1. Select correct type of gauge set
    Select the appropriate type and size of feeler gauge set for the job you’re working on.
  2. Examine the wires or blades
    Spread out the wires or blades and examine the markings on them. They indicate the size of the feeler. The measurements may be in inch or metric sizes – or both. They should also be clean, rust-free and undamaged, but slightly oiled for ease of movement.
  3. Measure gap
    Select the part you wish to check, and make sure it’s clean. Choose one of the smaller wires or blades, and try to insert it in the gap on the part. If it slips in and out easily, choose the next size up. When you find one that touches both sides of the gap, and slides with only gentle pressure, then you’ve found the exact width of that gap.
  4. Keep gauges oiled
    The oily film on the blade helps to minimize friction. So if you move the gauge and it feels tight, then you’ve got the wrong measurement.
  5. Check the specifications
    Read the markings on the wire or blade, and check these against the manufacturer’s specifications for this component. If gap width is outside the tolerances specified, refer to your supervisor.
  6. Clean up and store
    Finish the job by cleaning the feeler gauge set with an oily cloth to prevent rust when you put the set away.