From mother tongue to Muggaseggele
Although it’s not yet so well-known, February 21 was International Mother Language Day. UNESCO announced this day in 2000 to „promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism“. So it’s not surprising that on this day, the idiomatic Swabian unit of measurement Muggaseggele (literally, a housefly’s penis) did the rounds through the internet. Even the German state of Baden-Württemberg’s official marketing department tweeted about this unusual figure of speech. As Swabian mechanical engineers who were brought up with this expression, we were happy to catch this verbal curve ball.
„Absolutely tiny, but bigger than you think“
Remember: Muggaseggele refers to the sexual organ of the male housefly, as journalist Henning Petershagen wrote recently in the Schwäbisches Tagblatt Tübingen newspaper. Petershagen went so far as to have the Muggaseggele measured by an entomologist at the Stuttgart State Museum of Natural History. So take a guess – how big is a housefly’s penis? A Nobel laureate living in Swabia had a guess, providing this tongue-in-cheek answer: „Absolutely tiny, but bigger than you think.“ The entomologist confirmed that the diameter of a common housefly’s Muggaseggele is 0.22 mm!
Smaller than a Muggaseggele
Compared to the new sintered Haefeli grinding pin (with a diameter of just 0.18 mm!), a Muggaseggele is practically massive. As is the proboscis of a female mosquito (Culex pipiens), seen here next to the fine grinding pin. This delicate proboscis, which female mosquitoes use to suck blood, is namely between 0.22 and 0.25 mm in diameter.
In terms of machining, these super fine grinding pins are used for processing the inside of drill holes in semi-precious stones, ceramics and glass. This procedure also involves high-speed spindles that rotate at up to 100,000 rpm. At Haas, we mount grinding pins on our Multigrind® grinding machines to precisely process drill holes in machine components (clamping devices), for example. Although the grinding pins from Haefeli that we use are slightly larger, with a diameter of around 10 mm. But as always, we grind to the nearest micrometer!
Anyway, that’s enough about Muggaseggele and precision grinding for now.
Until next time, keep grinding with attitude!