Monday, 3 June 2019

Review of Machine-DRO Height Gauge

When I knew I was going to have to write an article on marking out metalwork for Hackspace magazine I decided it was a good time to update my very old second hand vernier height gauge. My old gauge could be made to do accurate work but was very fiddly and it hard to photograph the worn markings on the sliding vernier section! So I bought a digital height gauge from a company I found online called Machine DRO which is part of a wider group of companies called the Allendale Group. I went for the 300mm variant which is currently £73 including VAT but I notice there is a more affordable smaller one as well which was tempting, however I imagine at some point I will need the capacity the 300mm one affords.

It arrived quickly and very well packed with a good polystyrene fitted cover that meant it couldn't move at all in transit. I fitted the supplied battery and away we go. It has a precision ground base as expected and so it glides well across a surface plate or table (or polished granite in my case). The display is quick to refresh and responsive. The scribing tip is good quality and makes clear fine marks well into sharpie coated material. The ability to zero the gauge on say a centre line of an item and then create parallel lines above and below the line of known accurate location is superb and the fine feed screw adjust makes it trivial to set the height gauge accurately.

It also comes with an alternate tip which is a universal accessory attachment, it has an 8mm hole and a clamping bolt which can be used to attach items primarily useful to attach a dial gauge or dial test indicator to for consistency or comparative measurements. I'm really pleased with it and would definitely recommend Machine DRO, as an aside I do like it when companies have both Paypal and card payments and also are on twitter! Follow them here @machinedro

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