Adam Savage's Vintage Automatic Testing Micrometer

Publicerades den 13 apr 2021
In another deep dive into the world of metrology (the study of measurement), Adam shows us this vintage automatic testing micrometer that is used for a different purpose than his machining micrometers. This massive piece of kit was created to measure and test the thickness of soft goods, like felt and leather, and its use illuminates another interesting aspect of measurement.
Adam Savage's One Day Builds: Micrometer Gauge Box Set:
Shot by Adam Savage
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  • Adam Savage's One Day Builds: Micrometer Gauge Box Set: More tool videos:

    • @Peyton Rory do not fall for this shit, the site will leak your information

    • Hi Adam, how you doing

    • Nice one, this absolutely makes sense 👌 Oh and make the case colors either orange or white 🤔 Well... Or whatever you want, but I'd make them orange or white 😁😉

  • I'd love to see a One Day about cleaning and restoring things like this!

  • "200 Thousandths of an inch" is a verbose way to reference a width of 5mm in the Metric system, lol.

  • At work I get to use a tool that operates on similar principles, the Gustin-Bacon Measure-Matic. Its anvil is a square foot and it's used for measuring big samples of fluffy materials like filtration media, insulation, or poly fill.

  • I chose to paint all of my work tools in my favorite car color, maybe paint them the color of your BJ42?

  • 7:34Always with the excuse to buy something to made a case for it.

  • 4:55 Adam, you might need this: I know that you do not have a lot of space, but it might be helpful.

  • Wouldn't another method be to calibrate the machinery used to produce the thickness.

  • Wait wait. Did you measure the dial with your tattoo or am I imagining things? Loved it!!!

  • Great vids. Barrel micrometer....educated “C” clamp. Cheers

  • great find. newton mics also works. also need std temp to measure

  • Why not use a clutch type micrometer?

  • An micrometer doesn't actually measure µm 0.001 mm. only 0.01 mm and at best 0.005 mm with some analog. If you measure µm you most likely gonna get wrong measurement since materials expand and shrinks couple of µm depending on what the temperature is. just the heat from your fingers gonna change the value. Measurement tools usually have the standard of measure 1 decimal smaller than attended to get good enough measurement. that's why some digital micrometer resume 0.001 mm 1 µm, and digital Calipers measure 0.01 mm.

  • The amount of torque is equally important for measuring hard materials. By overtightening it, you can get about 0.001" lesser reading on a typical 0..1" micrometer. When the target resolution is about 0.0001", using a ratchet or a friction sleeve (another type of torque-limiting device) is a must.

  • A fascinating measurment tool!

  • And what does he use to measure the dial diameter? Two hairs past a freckle...🙂

  • 7:45 - ohhhhHHH! I got so HYPED by the idea of Adam making a box for this thing!! It IS a precious bit of kit indeed! This channel has really inspired me, man! I immediately started thinking about the fact that, usually, boxes open at the top, right? But that would be sub-optimal for this object, since the handle is on one SIDE... So the box should open from the side, yeah?? And SO IT SHOULD BE A LIL DOOR! Being inspired like this is a totally new experience for me, and I thank Adam Savage and Tested for putting out this video that gave it to me! :D

  • Adam.... youre the shit! Thank you for sharing your knowledge

  • When are we going to see a video about that beautiful brand new Sharp milling machine?

  • I notice that there is not a second smaller dial to show how many times the big dial has gone around, like on a dial caliper. Can you accurately tell how many times the big dial has gone around based on the position of the lever? Or do you just have to have a close estimate of the material before you put it in the device?

  • I have 3 of those - we used to own a Paper and paperboard processing facility and they are the STANDARD for taking measurements of PAPER caliper or thickness. (Z - direction) +/- .001 is the accepted tolerance or variability for paper being printed in rotogravure or offset -

  • you sir are out of calibration at 1:50 by about 8 years.... Get yourself together man!!!

  • *megamind voice* "metrology!"

  • Adam. Do 1 day restoration/build for this!

  • Oh - was *not* expecting it to be that large! Good surprise reveal!

  • Their is a similar tool used in the manufacture and repair of some string instruments to get a consistent thickness across the resonating surfaces.

  • Great lesson on repeatability Adam!

  • Interesting. Given that this micrometer measures using a set pressure, then for certain materials that are prone to density variations, that may also pose a problem. Would I be right in assuming there are variants of this device that have varied surface area used for measuring? It seems that eventually some form of electromagnetic measurement would be needed, along with some serious analysis. Measuring is tricky.

  • Someone should restore this piece of equipment..

  • The leather being thicker towards the edges could also be that the overhang of the leather excerts a torque on the pivot that slightly pushes on the piston.

  • Now everybody will be searching for one of those... Me included. Thank You Adam.

  • Awesome & Beautiful. No more needs to be said.

  • What is any unit of measurement other than mutual agreement.

  • Hi Adam, please do the restoration video it will be interesting

  • Weird, something about the audio at 4:55 ish sets off the Google voice commands on my phone. Doesn't do anything just activates it.

  • I put off watching this video, but now that I've watched it I'm glad I did.

  • Thats super cool!!!

  • Adam, you should do the R2D2 Blue for your casted items in the shop. Hnnng

  • That tool is commonly referred to as a snap gauge..

  • I have a similar tool for measuring the thickness of guitar or violin tops. It's a wider frame, of course, but it's the same principle. I REALLY like that one, however.

  • You know the moment you paint your cast tools, you're going to have to weather that paint job. :)

  • Adam should have been a tool salesman lol

  • We use a smaller Mitutoyo that is spring loaded with large pads to measure soft rubber.

  • It needs some pin striping

  • I’m studying to become a rubber engineering tech and the compression of rubber is a real problem with measurements, a Magna Mike is another tool you can use to measure thickness. It uses a tiny ball bearing to measure the displacement between the magnet and the ball bearing to give a reading

  • I had a quick look on the manufacturer's web site. All their current digital models have USB for convenient data logging.

  • If He thinks he can measure +/- 0.0005 over 12 inches........ He might need to read the specs on those....... Also, it's a snap gage and not a micrometer. Micrometer refers to a specific type of caliper that uses a threaded spindle to measure the travel. What he has is a dial indicating snap gage

  • Adam, I think the micrometer is suffering from dried out lubricant by the way the plunger lowers slow. A drop of light weight oil on the side of the plunger will loosen it up. I have one like yours and mine had the same problem.

  • Sometimes I wonder if Adam buys things on eBay just so he can make a box for it.

  • Cool, but you need one that measures in mm.

  • In my Dad's shop all of his are green with a little bit of yellow

  • Used a cady gauge fairly regularly over the past 13 years. We use it to measure consistency between blankets used to print beverage cans. A minor difference between the 12 blankets on the machine can make big difference between 1-36 random cans blown off during a quality check. It could be a minor differentiation or a major differentiation in the artwork from can to can. Extremely tight tolerances were needed between the print plate, the blanket and the mandrel that the can rode on around the mandrel circle for consistency. If I remember correctly we were running between .0010 - .0015. When prepping for a label change we would measure a stack of blankets with the cady gauge and then separate them by thickness so the 12 blankets being mounted for the next label were all close if not the same thickness.

  • This a larger version of the thread wire measuring gage

  • A nice bright red or green would be sharp, and pick out the lettering in gold or silver paint.

  • don't restore just polish the dial, the tool has a story and history to tell restoring erases the story and history

  • Do they just use lasers nowadays?

  • I'm not saying you have to, but you could do a mini series in a video homage that "restores" your cast hand tools. You could do it where you don't have a monologue but just show yourself working with tools. Maybe just put text there explaining everything and...oh I don't know... say random things like, " I make a new one" or mention Evapo-Rust product placement.

  • I recently saw a documentary that focused on how the advancement of metrology was a primary factor in establishing the concept of manufacturing "interchangeable parts". Repeatability within the testing instrument and across other instruments (including standardized calibrations), HAD to evolve first.

  • Thank you Adam.

  • Analog hardness testers work in a very similar fashion. That might also be useful for you Adam

  • HI Adam. New subscriber. Been watching a lot of your videos lately. I noticed that a lot of your machine tools appear to have billiard balls on the ends of the handles. Is this something you do yourself? If you haven't talked about the process, I would surely find it interesting.

  • Being a Metrologist , I appreciate this video.

  • I've been a machinists for 12 years and have never seen a moc like that its beautiful

  • I would be very careful about opening this. Some of these tools (specifically calibrated, micro geared) cannot be put back together without knowledge and special tools. It may happen that this gets opened, and that's about it.

  • Do the Restoration Adam. You know you want to. I know *I* want you to!

  • Holy shit dude ironman is behind you

  • Wow! Benny like! I have a hand-healed version of those made for measuring paper.

  • I feel like Adam is the kind of person who would become fascinated by a camera lenses from the 1950s and 60s.

  • I would consider this more of a clutch than a ratchet. Like on your cordless drill.

  • 7 minutes, 50 second: I love measuring things followed by 30 seconds being a casting agent (I know, dad jokes. I regert nothing)

  • Adam, look out for old Mitutoyo 515 series or Hommel Cadillac height gages, you will love the feel of the instrument. Especially the Cadillac models are traded for rather small prices.

  • Awesome device that fills an obvious need I had never considered. #FeedTheAlgorithm

  • I work at a plant that produces medical textiles. Test methods (a precise set of tolerances and instructions) are actually sold by standards companies that specify how to take these measurements for pretty much any material under the sun. The one other thing Adam didn’t mention is that the anvil size actually matters because a test method usually calls for a certain PSI. We have several of these micrometers except they are digital and you can add and subtract weight.

  • AS SAID IN MIKE MEYERS' SNL sketch, with ADAM's best impression indeed: "If it ain't ORANGE it's crap!" (ORANGE is substituted for SCOTTISH in the sketch.. Pertaining to the colors to refinish your tools...) i was always a science nerd and as a ginger my friends would always say "you remind me of that informative guy from that science show... QUIET DOWN ADAM..." they call me TRE, and i am 44. You have shown me so much, mostly how to keep zen and calm, to expect mistakes and laugh and learn from them. Thank you.

  • That's why fabrics are measured by weight/surface

  • I do have some experience of those kinds of measuring tools from different industries. In paper industry, soft tissues were measured that way, with a difference that the anvil was way larger. In rubber industry the device was about what you showed. In my later life, I have been dealing with catheter end preparations. They have to be properly shaped and sized before they can be pushed into your veins !!!. The production measurement is again done with a measuring device using the same principle, but much smaller anvil and yet better resolution on the dial. The laboratory measurements use a shadow measurement with a graticule and a micrometer moved holder (two-axis linear and one rotary axis). That is especially good, if the catheter must have a ball end.

  • Dear sir, I used a smaller version of this mic, was amazed how simple it was to use and with consistency. Love your work and look forward to the next. Thank you

  • Dude... if your shop was bitcoin, the value of your mining would be so far up there with the organization effort and tool quality that buy you efficiency and sanity. Thanks again for sharing all that you do, Adam. Enlightening!

  • It's sad that this instrument isn't properly labeled as it encourages you to continue to use the wrong terminology. You routinely refer to calipers incorrectly as micrometers. It is not a micrometer (despite the label). It's a drop indicator. Micrometers are screw driven devices vs the drop indicator is gear driven. I speak with a little authority as 40 year veteran metrologist. That being said, cool find.

  • The definition of a micrometer says that it measures by moving a spindle with a finely threaded screw. So, I would argue that this is a dial gauge regardless of it's label. A really HUGE dial gauge, though. 😁 1: an instrument used with a telescope or microscope for measuring minute distances 2: a caliper for making precise measurements that has a spindle moved by a finely threaded screw

  • I think that it would be really AWSOME if you were to make the box for it look like a large coffee cup and use it casting stand/handle as the coffee cups handle

  • As a metrologist I love these videos

  • Hi everybody

  • I'd love to see you do a restoration on that beauty!


  • i usually paint each tool individually. trying to decide which color will suit it is fun, like trying to pick the best color to accentuate the curves and body lines of a car :)

  • An actual electron scanning tunneling microscope would be hilariously inappropriate for measuring the thickness of anything... hey, these carbon atoms are all bumpy! Let's sand them smooth.

  • one color for all the tools looks nice overall but sounds like it could become hard to find the tool you want when you keep mistaking them for each other haha

  • Ok out of context question. Weren't there videos of adam making a raptor as a part of his one day build? I can't find any of the videos on the channel..

  • Think measuring thickness is tough, try measuring surface area...and then get that electron microscope out and think again. Gage R&R is an incredibly important part of the producing of things at volume, understanding the variances from the part, the tool, the person, and the process used. Getting hands off is a great way to reduce a lot of variation.

  • I did not see anyone else post a link, but the item in the video is similar to this (He mentioned the name but I wanted more info :) ):

    • From the marking on the arm I think it is a DW (dead weight) model

  • Leather desk protector, when you replace it cut it up into small pieces and put them up for purchase to subscribers. 👍

  • Adam, I am sure you have at least one larger dial based measuring tool in your shop. I suggest you look at the wall, and ask yourself “what time is it?” If you think the science of metrology as far as measuring length goes is interesting, just wait until you begin to venture into the insanity that is the metrology of time. At that point, you won’t really know what time it is until you have at least three atomic clocks. ;)

    • @robert bownes what do you call a reptililan clock? a croc-o-dial.

    • @robert bownes groan

    • @skunked42 all a matter of time. ;)

    • beat me to it.

  • Make it ORANGE!!! :D

  • definitely want a restoration video, that thing is beautiful

  • Today's episode is brought to you by the word metrology!

  • You're just looking for an excuse to paint lots of stuff because you like painting :-).

  • I often say with fuzzy measurements like these that it's more important to be consistent than correct

  • I truly love when Adam gets a new toy. Because these videos really have the same energy as a kid excitedly telling us about his Christmas haul.

  • Your exuberance is contagious. I vote for a "Hunter Green" for the casting color lol