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Metal Thickness Gauge, Confused

uglyblue66

Subscriber
Ok,so I aint the brightest bulb in the hall way.
But I needed to know what the guage was of the metal used on Ge Elec Trak frames because if I repair 1 I will need to buy some plate to make repair panels with.

I bought this gauge first,
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Wire-Gauge-Thickness-Measuring-Tool-Sheet-Metal-Gage-Machinist-Measurement-Plate/401863615722?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649


But the metal is between 1/8th and 14 gauge,So apparently I cant read or something but I bought this gauge.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Round-AWG-SWG-Wire-Thickness-Measurer-Tester-Ruler-Gauge-Diameter-Metal-Tool/332028730063?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

Now I am really confused.NONE of the .0000 measurements are the same except for 1/8th. So what am I missing here? All in the heck I need to know is what gauge of sheet metal I need to buy and I thought I could get a gauge,read it,and get the metal.:shrug:
 

mmcdonald

Subscriber
Re: metal thickness gauge.Confused

The first item, I don't know maybe poorly made if not accurate? The second item appears to be a AWG (wire) gauge tool. Wire gauge and sheet metal gauge are not the same thing. Even between ferrous(steel) and aluminum etc. the "gauge" is not the same actual thickness. Best thing would be to actually measure the thickness of the metal with caliper or the like, find an online chart from reputable source for sheet metal of your type and find the gauge that way.
 

Ed Radtke

Active member
Re: metal thickness gauge.Confused

sheetmetal gauges are also made in 2 types,for feris or non ferous sheet .
 

Power

Active member
Re: metal thickness gauge.Confused

Ugly, That stuff is too confusing. Wire gauge, ferrous metal gauge, non ferrous metal gauge... I just take out my trusty micrometer, measure thickness in a few good spots, and say I need a piece of aluminum, steel-- whatever this thick. They always know what I want.
 

uglyblue66

Subscriber
Re: metal thickness gauge.Confused

Wow,I had no idea it was that complicated.:eek:
Thanks for that chart.I can't imagine the stamped steel body of 1 of these tractors is anything other that steel sheet.Looks like the 12 gauge or .1046 is about the right thickness.
Do I need to sand the paint off the metal to measure or just get it close enough for the metal yard to know what I need?
 

Heins

Subscriber
Re: metal thickness gauge.Confused

I have been told and I don't know if it is true that how many sheets of sheet metal stacked one inch high is the gauge. Eighteen sheets of metal one inch high would be 18 gauge metal.
 

dalmatiangirl61

Subscriber
Re: metal thickness gauge.Confused

How thick is the paint? Ideally, yes for an accurate measurement you need to sand off the paint. Or measure with paint and get whatever falls 1 size thinner?
 

Power

Active member
Re: metal thickness gauge.Confused

How thick is the paint? Ideally, yes for an accurate measurement you need to sand off the paint. Or measure with paint and get whatever falls 1 size thinner?
Sanding off the paint changes metal thickness. If you want to be a purist, best to use paint remover.
 

georgineer

Member
Re: metal thickness gauge.Confused

Sanding off the paint changes metal thickness. If you want to be a purist, best to use paint remover.
Power, I guess you've got your tongue firmly in your cheek. These are tractor repair panels we're talking about!

Ugly, just be grateful you're not in the UK. Not only do we have US metal gauges to contend with, but a whole extra heap of confusing British gauges dating back a couple of centuries.

George
 
I was a sheet metal worker for 35 years. and the gage that we used was the round one like you first show. my original gage is a Starrett "#283 U.S. standard gauge for sheet and plate iron and steel." The numbers are identical both # and .0000 to your round one. If I look at 16 ga. it is .0625. That is the one that I would use. I don't understand the chart that says the .059#. Ron
 

CharlieB

Member
Here's a reference to what started out as government standards for U.S. sheet steel thicknesses. That was back in the day when the U.S. rolled all their own steel. Today, with so much U.S. steel imported from who knows where, there are enough differing gauge thickness charts to boggle the mind. The only way to be sure of what you're buying is to buy it not by "gauge," but by thickness in thousandths.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/15/206
 

DustyBar

Subscriber
I worked for a large metal building manufacturer (some of you will figure out who it is based on my location) and we ordered steel with a guaranteed minimum thickness or thicker knowing a steel mill could not produce exactly what we ordered and guarantee no thin spots. We paid for the steel only to the minimum thickness we ordered. Then we would measure the thickness actually delivered and base our engineering values on the actual measured thickness, always getting something for nothing. It would take months or even years for the steel producers to stabilize their equipment to get closer and closer to our spec. If they got too close we would change the spec again to get more free steel. Our 18, 20, 22, 24 and 28 gauge material always leaned toward the minimum side of the tolerance.
 

cobbadog

Active member
Here in Oz for doing the kind of work you are doing, the same as me I simply buy what they call"body steel". It is heavy enought to do the job you want and I also use it for rust repairs on the truck cab and no issues at all.
I have no idea of it's thickness other than when you feel it between you fingers it is the same or as close as you need it. The tracotrs we have ar evintage ones from the UK and the truck is Japanese so 2 extremes of gauges of steel but it works for both cases.
This now reminds to get on with more rust repairs on Lorry the truck.
 
Heins I had to go back and check the numbers on my Starrett gage. Your theory works for just the 16 gage (16 X .0625"= 1"0. if you go to each side of the 16 gage the sizes get larger than the 1" on one side and smaller than 1" on the other side. Here is gage X .000". 10 X .140= 1.4" , 12 X .109=1.308" , 14 X .078=1.092 , 18 X .050+0.9 , 20 X .0375=0.75 , 24 X .025=0.6 Ron
 
CharlieB The numbers in the chart in your post are the same as the numbers on my Starrett gage. The only exception is that my gage only goes to three decimal points for most , then rounds off the last numbers like the 10 or 100 thousands. Ron
 

CharlieB

Member
Good to hear, Ron.
I've been relying on Starrett for a lifetime.
The problem is with marketing.
I just did a review of 20 steel manufacturer's charts for "16 ga. rolled steel sheets." Most of the offerings are less than the .0625" thickness standard. Just a sign of the times. Kind of like the "one pound' can of coffee that my wife brought home that actually held only 14 oz. Caveat emptor. Will any of this have a serious affect on uglyblue66's project? Nah. I'm just bringing it up to add to his confusion.:D
 
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