Measuring Devices / Tape Measures

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Primarily a tape measure
--
Mike G.
snipped-for-privacy@heirloom-woods.net
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You'd think the guys that make them would have figured out how to do it right my now. You and I know better. Flatten out that bent end first. Then beat the rivet with a hammer a few times until the loose end doesn't move.
Just curious, what kind of fishing line do you use? Ed
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You think he is trolling here... ;~)
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snipped-for-privacy@swbell.net says...

___________________ /| /| | | ||__|| | Please do | / O O\__ NOT | / \ feed the | / \ \ trolls | / _ \ \ ______________| / |\____\ \ || / | | | |\____/ || / \|_|_|/ \ __|| / / \ |____| || / | | /| | --| | | |// |____ --| * _ | |_|_|_| | \-/ *-- _--\ _ \ // | / _ \\ _ // | / * / \_ /- | - | | * ___ c_c_c_C/ \C_c_c_c____________
--
Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

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<snicker>
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As you've already heard, the loose hook on the tape measure is "a feature not a bug." The big thing in accuracy is to use the same tool for measurement or make sure all your tools measure the same.
If you have a yardstick, tape measure, framing square, etc. laying around compare the marking of each. You're probably (I'd say almost positively) going to find differences among them. I just read some test where a guy bought several tape measures (some were the make and model) and compared the sizes and found them all to have slight differences in accuracy.
Try to use just one measuring tool for one project or compare them and realize that an inch isn't always an inch.
I use a variety of measuring tools depending on what I'm measuring. I usually use a tape measure for larger measurements and a Union 12" and Craftsman 6" square (they both measure the same). I also use a small cheap brass sliding caliper, a slightly less cheap plastic dial caliper, and a digital caliper (less than $20 from Harbor Freight and works great). I have a dial indicator and a set of micrometers along with inside and outside calipers, not to mention 6" and 36" metal rulers. I also have protractors, both fixed and adjustable; framing squares, circle gauges and screw templates.
And sometimes I just mark a piece of cardboard.
Do I need them all? Naw, but they're cool to play with :-P
wrote:

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A while ago, I bought a 6" dial caliper that's marked in fractions of an inch on the dial (each 1/8" is marked on the dial, with, IIRC, tick marks at 1/64" increments between). Lately I've become very fond of using it for measuring. Not so much because I care about 1/64th accuracy, but just because it's so much easier for my middle-aged eyes to read than anything else I have.
I just wish somebody would make a left-handed version of it.
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wrote:

They do. You just have to hold it with your right hand. :)
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Jim K wrote:

Yes, but the better tapes are more consistent.
Tape measures? 1) The end on most (all?) are slightly bent back to the blade to aid in hooking on the material being measured. 2) Letting the tape slap back into the case tends to straighten this bend back and / or break the tape and / or put undue wear on the rivets. 3) Better tapes have an extended tang for the hook and 3 (or more?) rivets.
I check my tape(s) against a steel rule. If you do this don't forget about the bend back on the hook. I've found tapes have gotten much more accurate, at least between the numbers. Most need tweaking of the hook.
What do I use? Mostly a tape (Latest is a Fat Max, didn't like it at first but has come to fit my hand), 12 and 24 inch steel rule. The rules are Blue Point and Lufkin, not the scrap found at BORG.

I've heard this since I was a child, use the same tool from beginning to end. Doesn't matter much with quality steel rules and better (machine tooling), makes all the difference in wood tools.
--
Mark

N.E. Ohio
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On Sun, 04 Jan 2004 02:12:10 +0000, Nick Bozovich wrote:

Tapes are cheap. When one begins to wear, get another.
Another solution is to clip off the lose tab. Use the tape as is or add/subtract the difference each time you use it.
The measuring device or scale you use really doesn't matter as much as consistency in using it. Units of measure are no more than a convenience. They do not change distance but merely try to define it.
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| | What does everyone else use?
For an inch or less, vernier calipers. For 1-24 inches, a steel rule. For 24 inches or more, a Stanley tape measure. I own several tapes, but I tend to use the same one for any particular project. And I tend to intentionally err on the side of leaving material so that I can deal with long cuts instead of short cuts.
When I can, I "cut to fit," meaning I build the project on the bench and just concentrate on making it square/flush without paying a lot of attention to exact measures according to the tape. I'd much rather scribe the actual piece in place than to measure where it's supposed to go and then measure the stock. That's two measurements that both have to go right.
But at work I have to deal with metal and plastic, and we farm out parts of the designs to fab shops and do the rest of the fabrication in house. You need to work off actual measurements in that case. If I specify in a drawing a feature with a thickness of 0.500 inch and it comes back from the fab subcontractor as 0.501 or 0.498 inch, there'll be a phone call. And so I have to make sure we both have tools that will tell the actual dimension so I don't embarrass myself in that phone call. He and I have to be on the same page.
At home, in the shop, is where I get to cut to fit. The organ-builders I know use story sticks for their standard windchests.
--Jay
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"Nick Bozovich" wrote ...

The slop in the end of the tape is there by design - it is equal to the thickness of the piece of metal that is used as the hook on the end. Of course that only lasts until the first few times you unlock the tape while a few feet are rolled out and let it snap back throwing the end out of whack (especially by the standards of some of those around here with really high expectations for accuracy - another story).
I prefer a steel rule. It may be out of whack but I use only one measuring device so everything will be out by the same amount. While the tape measure is designed to be more accurate for house framing, you can use it too, as long as you use only the one tape measure, the same way, for everything.
--
Cheers,
Howard
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I use the same tape (12' Stanley) for most everything. It's hooked onto my britches every day of the world. Most of my right-hand pockets show wear from constantly wearing the damn thing. It's been calibrated at the hook using a six-inch machinist's rule. I never let the hook slam home, brake with the fingers and cushion the hook with finger. I also occaisionally use a metric/inch 16' Stanley I've calibrated the same way. I'm shocked at the number of the posters who don't understand the function of the sliding hook--I thought everybody knew. Another real handy one is a 60" x 2" steel rule. I have 2 of them, they're real handy for marking sheet stuff. Because I'm a gun crank, I have from 4" dial calipers to 12" digital. Roger--peanut gallery, Montana

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"roger" spake thusly:

My favorite band tape and length also. Have two for the shop, one for the vehicle I use to go to the lumber yard, and one for the office ... all the same model 12' Stanley, and all 'calibrated' to a foot when I bought them. (I used a steel rule in the store to get four that read as close as possible against the rule ... I really didn't care if the steel rule was accurate or not, just used it as an index)
<snip>

It's amazing how little understanding some folks have of the tools they use. Someone here not too long ago had been using a miter saw blade backwards, and another had been _pulling_ his compound miter saw like a RAS to make a cut.
The hell of it is, I have so many tools that I may well be doing something equally wrongheaded out of ignorance myself.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 1/02/04
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I use a tape measure for anything over 3 feet or so. It has a loose edge so that it measures the same when you hook the end over something, as when you are pushing the end against something. Try your tape measure hooked over the end of a ruler, then put the ruler end down on the bench, with the tape measure end next to it on the bench. If the tape measure is not worn or damaged it will read the same.
--

Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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I just try to keep everything the same length. I don't know how many tape measures I have, but I lose em all the time. I just try to use the same one for the same project. As far accuracy goes, I don't think it matters. Even if I could get a NIST (National Institute for Standards and Technology - formerly NBS-) calibrated/certified tape measure it wouldn't do me much good, because then my table saw fence would just decide to act up on me at that moment and time and screw the whole thing up fractions of an inch. It's a no win situation unless you can afford one of those industrial computerized thingmeees that remotely adjust everything , set it up, and cut the wood for ya. And just where would the fun in that be?
Joey in Chesapeake

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No machine can think. You still have to set it up.
It's a no win

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