Universal Gages Production Update…

Drivel Starved Nation,

After spending almost six weeks in Dallas helping my son, and surviving the turkey holiday, I am relieved to be back in the shop.

It just occurred to me today that the last Bridge City tools made in the United States are the Universal Gages. It is also fitting that I am assembling and calibrating each and every one of them as I am enjoying the process for the most part. (I am really struggling with the arthritis in my right hand so things are not moving as fast as I would have hoped.) Here are some in-progress pics;

These bodies are milled from solid aluminum billet;
UG1 Bodies

These dovetail arms allow the Universal Gage to serve as a height gage and a depth gage;

Height Gage Arms 1

Once all the parts are attached to the body, I calibrate the depth gage to the bottom of the magnetic base, and I set the protractor arm to dead 90 degrees using a fixture that is accurate to 0.0002″. These assembled units will be carefully transported to the laser house for laser engraving.
Ready for Laser

I can do about 60 per day, so I forecast the remaining units will all be assembled/calibrated by mid-next week and delivered to the laser house. I hope to get them all shipped prior to the holidays, but no promises, I cannot control the laser time. (If any DSN member has a tip for mitigating the discomfort of arthritis in the hand, I am all ears… john@bridgecitytools.com).

We have 7 countersink orders that have yet to ship. For reasons that I don’t understand, we ended up with a shortage of the small 82 degree countersinks. We have offered to substitute the larger 82 degree version and when we hear back from these seven customers, this job ticket will be closed. (We have a minimum run of 300 units to remake the seven units that would complete our orders–that is just not economically feasible. I apologize for this screw-up.)

Lastly, as soon as I get all the Universal Gages to laser, I will begin assembling the final prototype of the Pencil Precision. As of this writing, we are looking at March or April delivery. We’ll see…

On behalf of the DSN, I am giving a shout out to DSN Member Rutager West who will under surgery this Friday to remove a tumor that is effecting his vision. We wish him the best. In addition, the DSN is also well-wishing Fred and Linda Hayden who are residents of Paradise, CA. I do not have an update of the condition of their home after the Camp Fire destroyed the city.

That’s all for now folks.


4 comments on this post:

  1. Hi John,

    I was just look8ng at your Popular Woodworking Magazine article from October 2011. The cover shows the square with two brass rivets holding the blade, but the final picture in the article has on brass rivet. What gives? I am losing sleep over this!

  2. Interesting, so the assembly gets lasered as an entire piece rather than individual parts so that the lines and measurements all match?

    Unfortunately, the Ophthalmologist says my vision is bad because I’ve been on this Earth too many years! I’m still hoping that he’s wrong and removal of the tumor which is shoving up against the optic nerves and a whole bunch of other important things will give me an eagle eye.


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