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GAUGING is a process of mensuration for ascertaining the quantity of liquid any vessel is capable of holding, and what it actually contains when partially full.

For the purpose of gauging casks four instruments, or rods, are used by the Officers of Customs, viz. :-Bung Rod, Head Rod, Long Callipers, and Short or Cross Callipers.

The Bung, or Dip Rod, is used for taking the perpendicular bung diameter and the wet and dry inches. It is also used for gauging cylinders and for finding the contents of quarter casks and octaves of wine by the diagonal.

The Head Rod for taking the head diameters, and casting the content and ullage. It can also be used to ascertain the proof quantity, and is of much service in reducing, fortifying, and other operations carried on in bond.

The Long Callipers for taking the length, and the Cross Callipers for ascertaining the horizontal bung diameter.

As there are several varieties of form of casks, it has been found necessary to class them under four heads, viz. :—


1st variety (or figure)—the middle frustum of a spheroid; -the middle frustum of a parabolic spindle; -two equal frustums of a paraboloid joined at their bases.



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-two equal frustums of a cone joined at their bases.

The 1st, or spheroidal variety, is considered the best figure, and in using the gauging rods the officer will find it best to keep this figure in view-making the necessary allowances, as the casks may differ from that form.

In order that a correct idea may be formed of the shape of a cask of the spheroidal variety, and to assist in making the necessary allowance for bad figure, a Port hogshead, or a Charente Brandy puncheon, may be taken as a guide, as these casks are of a good figure and frequently of this variety, and require little, if any, allowance.

We will proceed to gauge a cask of the first variety, and afterwards one of an irregular shape, giving the reasons for any deductions or allowances that may be found necessary.

In the first example we will assume that the head and bilge staves are of a uniform thickness of one inch; all that is, there


fore, necessary is to take the dimensions as we find them, and make the calculations to ascertain the content and ullage.

The content of a cask is the quantity contained in the cask when full-the ullage being the quantity when only partially full.


The cask being in a proper position for gauging, bung up and perfectly level, the first dimension to be taken is the horizontal bung diameter,* and this is done with the cross callipers This instrument being very springy, if not cautiously used, is apt to be pressed with too much force against the sides of the casks, causing the dimensions to be less than they should be. In taking the horizontal bung dimensions, hold the callipers in the left hand, so that they balance easily, and with the right hand take hold of the arm on the right side. Stand opposite the front head of the cask and open the callipers so as to clear the sides of the cask; then close the slide until both arms touch the cask lightly, and on looking on the line of inches on the top of the slide you will find the external horizontal dimension. But the cross bung dimension is usually taken in three different positions directly over the bung; then by alternately raising the right and the left hand, and the mean of these will be the true external horizontal bung.

Suppose the three dimensions to be-339, 337, 338, the mean horizontal would be 33.8; calculated in this manner, 9 tenths, 7 tenths, and 8 tenths = 24 tenths÷3-8 tenths added to 33 inches gives 33.8 as the mean. The external mean

diameter being 33.8, we must find the internal dimension, and as we assumed the thickness of the staves to be 1 inch, 2 inches (i.e. for the 2 staves) have to be deducted from 338, leaving 31.8 as the true horizontal bung. Now chalk this dimension on the right bouge of the cask, near the bung, thus--1.8.

The next dimension to be taken is the perpendicular bung, which is done by taking the bung or dip rod in the right hand, passing it through the bung hole until the point touches the bottom stave, holding it perpendicularly and sliding the brass until it rests on the bung stave; then withdraw the rod so that you can see the inches at the end of the brass slide, which we will take as 31.6. The difference between the horizontal bung, 31.8, and the perpendicer bung, 316, being 2 tenths, the mean or true bung will be 31 7. Now chalk 31.7 near the centre of

the front head of the cask.

The length is next to be taken; and to do this, take the long callipers, and, holding them as you did the short callipers, place the left arm on the back head, and bring the right arm gently up to the front head; then look on the line of inches

* The horizontal bung diameter of all casks must be taken, whether gauged all round or diagonally.

and you will find, where the end of one slide marks on the other, the internal length of the cask in inches. It is not necessary to make any deduction for the thickness of the stave, as we did when taking the cross diameter, the long callipers being so constructed as to allow 1 inch for the thickness of each head. The length is usually taken in three positions-directly over the bung, and then on each side thereof; and the mean of these gives the length. We will suppose the lengths to be 50·1, 503, 50-2, and by adding the fractions mentally-1+3+2=6, and dividing by 3, we get the mean length 50-2. Chalk 502 on the front head, leaving room between the length and bung dimensions, to chalk the head dimension, which is next to be taken.

The head diameters are taken with the head rod, and this is done by taking the rod in the left hand near the end, holding the brass cock on the slide between the finger and thumb (or fore and middle fingers) of the right hand, then place the rod across the back head of the cask at an angle of 45 degrees, inserting the crooked brass at the end of the rod into the chimb and bring the brass cock toward the opposite stave, about twothirds up the chimb, so as to be level with the groove where the head joins the staves: the lower part of the face of the rule at the point opposite the brass cock will give the head dimension. The front head is next taken in the same way, and the mean between the two is the true head, which we will say is 22.8. Chalk 228 on the front head, between the length and bung dimensions.

From these dimensions, length, head, and bung, we find the content or the number of the imperial gallons the cask is capable of holding.

The calculation can be made either by the pen or the head rod. I will first shew the calculation on the head rod, and afterwards give two ways of finding the content by the pen.

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Place the brass cock on the slide to the head diameter 22.8 on the lower line of the rule, looking along the same line to the left for the bung 317, and exactly over on the middle, or spheroid line of the slide, you will find 6.2. Next find (without moving the slide) on the lower line of the slide 6.2, and immediately under it, on the lower line of the rule, will be found 29, the mean diameter. Now set the gauge point (18.79) on the upper line of the slide to the length 50.2 on the upper line of the rule, and opposite 29 (the mean diameter) on the upper line of the slide will be found the content 119 on the upper line of

the rule.

*In gauging foreign spirits or wines in casks the content to be taken to the integral gallon. (G.O., 84. 1860.)

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119 content

-Upper line of rule.

Gauge point 29 mean diameter Upper line of slide.

Or the content may be found by multiplying the difference be tween the bung and head diameters by 7, and adding the product to the head diameter, which in this case gives 29, the mean diameter shewn above. Then use the head rod as shewn above in 2nd setting only.






8.9 x 76.23 added to 22.8 gives 29.


RULE 1.-To twice the square of the bung diameter add the square of the head diameter, and multiply the sum by the length, and divide the product by 1059-1, or multiply by ⚫0009.

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In multiplying by, first multiply by or or divide by 3,

still remains which is equal to of 3 or of, so that you may either take of line marked * or of line marked +

RULE 2.-Multiply the difference between the bung and head diameters by 7, add the product to the head (this will give the mean diameter), and divide by 18.79. Then square the quotient thus found, and multiply by the length for the

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The content we find to be 119 gallons, and this would also be the ullage quantity if the cask was full. not be full it is necessary to find the ullage. the bung, or diprod, and set the end of the brass slide (the thickness of the stave being one inch) to the bung 31.7, and should the rod be wet from former use, wipe it dry on the inch line near to the brass and insert it perpendicularly into the cask until the brass touches the bung stave, taking care that it does not slip; then withdraw the rod, noting to the tenth of an inch where the liquor has marked, say in this case at 27.5, which will be the wet inches. In dipping for the wet inches in casks containing foreign spirits and wine it is usual to allow a tenth or two for temperature and swell of the rod-greater allowance being made in warm weather than in cold. Now from the bung and wet inches we ascertain the ullage quantity.






Use the back of the rod and set the bung diameter, 31.7 on the line C, to 100 on the segment line (lower line of the rule), and on looking at the wet inches, 27.5 on line C, you will find it cuts 94 on the segment line. Now set 94 on line C to 100 on segment line, and on looking immediately under the content 119 on line A, you will find on line B 111, the ullage required.

111 gallons would be the quantity chargeable with duty if the cask contained wine, but if foreign spirits 111, would be the ullage quantity-wine in casks being charged to the integral gallon (except when measured in a racking operation), but foreign spirits, in casks above 40 gallons, are calculated to the 5 tenths

Should the difference between the bung and head be less than 6, multiply by 68 instead of '7.

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