Long time readers of the FF Blog may remember that we had a session to compare six of the old type of rig tension gauge – you know the old type where you pull two bits of metal apart.
The variation in readings on the same rig was simply enormous. Hilarious and the whole thing was an obvious farce!! I immediately threw my gauge away and ordered a Loos gauge – I had heard the accuracy was true reading plus or minus one notch. I know they seem pricey, but you ought to see how much the electric ones cost… That was all probably five years ago.
Two years ago I had a moment to compare my Loos gauge and that belonging to Steve Goacher. When Steve’s read 28.5 mine read 29.5….. bit disappointed but, hey, it was within the claimed range and I’ve been happy as pie since.
I happened to be at Phil Evans’ workshop the other day. He ran a rig up to 29 on his (new gauge) …. and mine read 27.5. Now I would assume that despite his gauge being new, his spring was softer…. have I got that logic right??
So back at the Club Fleet, 27.5 on my gauge reads 27.5 on Chris McLaughlin’s gauge, 28.5 on Phil Tinsley’s gauge…..and all this is 29 on Phil Evans’ Champion gauge… Oh dear – what can be going on here. Obviously I need to complete the circle and compare to Steve Goacher’s gauge again, but can there be something else going on??
Well, what about the cams wearing?? Have you considered the effect of that?? They are soft nylon – do you, or anyone who has ever borrowed your gauge ever slide it along the shroud wire??? (“tut, tut”, I hear you exclaim…!!.)…. OK – so I might do that slightly…..
Look at the photo here – see the black spot on the upper cam?? (double click photo to enlarge). That could be an issue right there…..
OK – so what to do?? You can rotate the cams, that’s what…. First take a rig reading. Then mark the cams as shown here, so you can see the surface that you have used. Ease the holding nuts and rotate the cams a bit so they show a new surface. Now put a new black mark so in future you know this face of the cam has been used as well. Now TAKE ANOTHER READING…. Any difference?? Well, you may have had worn cams….