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Machinist scribers are a critical tool for marking out. As many variants are available of the machinist scriber, Miller’s Tooling also offers many brands, the most popular machinist scriber is General 88CM. This scriber has a replaceable carbide point scriber, and a magnet pick up on the other end.
Miller’s Tooling also offers the basic machinists scriber, double ended for marking out in confined spaces such as grooves and keyways.

A machinist’s scriber is a hand tool used in metalworking to mark lines on work pieces, prior to machining. The process of using a scriber is called scribing and is just part of the process of marking out. It is used instead of pencils or ink lines, because the marks are hard to see, easily erased, and inaccurate due to their wide mark; scribe lines are thin and semi-permanent. On non-coated workpieces marking blue is commonly used to increase the contrast of the mark lines.

“Marking blue” or “layout stain” is also available from Miller’s Tooling.


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Machinist scriber’s are a rod with a tip made of cast steel that has been hardened and tempered. The point is sharpened to an angle of 30 or 40 degrees. Some scribers have a point at both ends. The scriber is used by drawing the point over the surface of the work piece to leave a shallow scratched line on its surface. Allowing a visible line to machine to or to file, cut etc as required. Quiet often, centre punch marks (witness marks) in a series enable better visibility of the scribed line. When filing or machining , you remove material to ½ of the “witness mark”.



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A scriber block is used to lay out lines at a set height from the base, thus its second name surface height gauge or just surface gauge.
The work piece is held against an angle plate so that it is perpendicular to the surface plate; the scriber block is then adjusted to the required height and used to scribe a line parallel with the table, by sliding the block along the table's surface.
The scriber block has pins that can be pushed to protrude through the base; these can then be used as limit pins to allow the block to press against the edge of the table, controlling its movement in that plane. The upright post can be adjusted to tilt back or forward, effectively moving the scriber point up or down in a controlled fashion; coarse adjustments are made by sliding the scriber along its clamping block.
The scriber block may also be used in place of a dial indicator to detect run out (a variation in concentricity) of a workpiece mounted in a four-jaw chuck. The scriber point acts as a visual reference against which any variation in the work piece can be judged.