How To Use A Micrometer

Introduction

When determining the score in a game of curling, there may be times where two stones appear equally close to the button by the naked eye. This is where the measuring devices are an essential piece of equipment in the sport of curling.

Micrometer

The micrometer is a measuring device used to determine which of two stones is closer to the button. Micrometers use pressure gauges to determine which stone is closer. The stone that is closer to the button will produce a larger reading on the pressure gauge. In contrast, the stone that is farther from the button will produce a smaller reading on the pressure gauge.

Using the Micrometer

  1. Using a micrometer may seem complex in the beginning, but it is rather simple once you understand it.
  2. First, place the stake into the pin of the house. This will ensure that the distances being measured are accurate and precise.
  3. Next, rotate the main bar until it reaches the first stone in question. It is a common practice the the micrometer always moves clockwise. Thus, a stone at the three o'clock position will be measured before a stone at the 11 o'clock position.
  4. Then, loosen the pressure gauge, and move it up to the stone so that the pressure reads a number between one and two. After this is achieved, tighten the pressure gauge to secure it in position.
  5. Now that you have secured the pressure gauge, move the micrometer back and forth between the stone a few times. Do this slowly so the vices can agree on a number that the pressure gauge reads.
  6. After that, rotate the micrometer around to the next stone. Move the micrometer back and forth between the stone a few times. Again, the vices will agree on a number that the pressure gauge reads.

The stone that produces the higher pressure gauge reading is closer to the button. After the vices agree upon which stone is closer to the button, the counting stone will be moved on top of the button, and the other stone will be moved out-of-play. This is done to signify which stone was measured to be closer to the button.

Since the red stone produced a reading of 2.4, and the yellow stone produced a reading of 1.6, the red stone is closer, and is moved to the button. The yellow stone is moved out-of-play. (This is common to do so that everyone on the sheet may see which stone was closer and adjust the score accordingly.)

Micrometer Alternatives

The Biter Bar

The biter bar is a measuring device used to determine if a stone is in the house. Thus, a biter bar determines whether a stone is biting the 12 Foot or not. If the biter bar makes contact with the stone in question, then the stone is in the house, even though it is biting a very small part of the 12 Foot. If the biter bar does not make contact with the stone in question, then it is not biting the 12 Foot, and is not in the house.

Unlike the micrometer, the biter bar contains no pressure gauge. This is because the biter bar is only measuring whether a stone is in the house, and is not measuring which one is closer to the button. The biter bar measures a fixed distance, while the micrometer measures different distances to the button.

Using the Biter Bar

Using a biter bar is less common than using a micrometer, but is easier to use. If you understood how to operate a micrometer, you will understand how to operate a biter bar quickly.

First, place the stake into the pin of the house. This first step is performed just as if you were using a micrometer. Once again, this ensures that the measurement taken is accurate and precise.

Second, rotate the bar until it approaches the stone in question. Move the bar a little closer to the stone. If you can tell that the bar will make contact with the stone, then you already know that the stone is in the house, and will count for scoring.

If you cannot tell whether the bar will make contact with the stone, continue to move the bar slowly until it either makes contact with the stone or passes it. If the stone makes contact with the bar, it is in the house, and counts for scoring.

If the stone does not make contact, move the bar back and forth a few times to confirm this. If the bar makes several passes and doesn't make contact with the stone, it is not in the house, and should not be considered for scoring.


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