Hand machined mechanical pencils

Height setting gauge (12/09/14)

This is a rather over-engineered tool to aid in setting the correct height of the lens on the laser cutter. It consists of a theraded "platform" which screws into a base. Platform and base are both rope knurled for grip and appearance. A grubscrew with a small piece of nylon underneath is used to lock the platform in position, or to provide a "stiff" feel (some heavy damping grease is used on the thread as well). The top of the platform has three small holes drilled in it which are filled with transparent red powder coat. These dots help in setting the height - fully closed, the height is 15mm, and the thread is 1mm pitch, making it easy to adjust without the need for calipers.

When making the powder coat inlay, I first melted an excess of material over and into the hole (heating with a small torch). I then sanded the surface down with fine paper (1200 grit or so). I then re-melted the powder coat very slightly using a hot-air gun, to make the surface shiny and transparent.

Rotary table set up on drill press

Holes drilled

Transparent red powder coat


Minimum height


In use

Beside a prototype