The Tool & Guage Shop

Tool & Gauge Shop

The Tool and Gauge Shop and Metrology Laboratory was built in the 1930s and ‘40s. A severely geometric structure of the functionalist style of architecture, with plain face brick walls, metal framed and louvre windows set in walls with horizontal parapets devoid of decoration. The Tool and Gauge shop spans 3 split levels and features a saw tooth roof. The gauge room is linked by stairs as a separate wing and features silk-oak joinery.

 

The History

During World War II a munitions factory was built at Rocklea  and a new Tool and Gauge shop was built at Ipswich. Constructed in 1941, the Tool and Gauge shop spans 3 split levels and features a saw tooth roof. The gauge room is linked by stairs as a separate wing and features silk-oak joinery. It was built specifically to manufacture the tooling for the munitions factory. At the end of the war, the building was given back to the state government, who utilised it for local manufacturing of high tolerance tooling and equipment. This not only included the railways, but also the RAAF, the Power House at Swanbank and the local mining industry. The Tool and Gauge room was built along the lines of a laboratory for testing, measuring and adjustment of the fine gauges and tools.

 

Attached to the Tool and Gauge shop was an air-conditioned Metrology Laboratory. This area was responsible for the very accurate measurement and checking of tools and gauges being produced. The small arms gauges were required to have a tolerance no greater than 0.0004 inch. All gauges were required to be submitted to the Inspector General of Munitions at Maribyrnong in Victoria before final acceptance.

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