As compared to what?
Relative "accuracy" makes no difference whatsoever as long as you use the
_one_ tape/measuring apparatus/story stick/marks on a board, for a project.
I use Rockler's for precision layouts marks of a "story stick" nature:
... IOW, once the marks are made on the "story stick" (in this case the
chair leg template), it becomes "the judge" for those locations for the rest
of the project and the flat tape goes back in the drawer.
On Thu, 04 Jan 2007 15:57:59 -0800, DonkeyHody wrote:
The "name brand" is "Fastcap", Woodcraft, McFeelys, and just about
everybody stocks them. I haven't noticed any more inaccuracy in mine than
in any other tape. Note that the lie-flat tape can get bent easily for
The one guy on Amazon seems to have gotten a bad one.
I have a few versions of those, and I really like them.
I have a 16 ft. "Lie Flat", a 16 ft. "Story Pole,a nd a 25 footer. They
were ~ $7, and I'd buy 'em again when these break.
I also a "CenterPoint" 16 ft. center finding tape that I really liked.
I love when one of those 'bozos' says "This is a fantastic tool, but it
was missing a minor piece, so I had the company send me a replacement,
and so I give it 2 stars".
Sure it's annoying to have some minor problem that needs to be
resolved, but to give a tool a low overall rating based on that is
My favorites involve writers who have clearly never read the user
manual and have no idea how to use the tool.
These are the folks who want to take 1/4" cuts in 12" wide maple with
a lunchbox planer or grind welds off of steamship with a 4 1/2" finish
sander and 100 grit. <G>
Fastcap...excellent...very limp but is great for layouts on
a flat surface. They also have a few more flavors...
Crummy web site but excellent products...
The slop in the hook is equal to the thickness of the hook, so that
you can use the tape to measure inside and outside measurements.
Too many guys forget this and let their tape snap into the housing
when bringing it into the case from its extended position. First the
tape gets less accurate and then the hook snaps off. You need to
feather it down as it retracts.
If you are working by yourself and always use the same measuring
device, it doesn't matter how accurate the device is because it is
If you are working with other guys, like on a trim crew, it's up to
the lead to take the tapes and tweak the hooks so that all the tapes
measure the same.
A more accurate measuring tool is a folding rule, if it is a good one.
I still have a couple of six foot and one eight foot Lufkins that are
as on as they were thirty years ago when I bought them.
The best idea in making items that have repeating parts is to measure
as little as possible. Set your cutting device to cut one dimension
and cut every part that uses that dimension with the same setup. This
is part of the beauty of a cutting list. It will help you organize
your project into objects that are dimensionally equivalent and, once
these are identified, you will get the repeatability that you need for
your boxes to fit together right. Work from the largest pieces to the
smallest and you will have a second chance to use the pieces that you
Tom Watson (Fairly Unbalanced)
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)
well, you're wrong and you're right. you already go brought up to speed
on why the hook is loose, so I'll leave that alone.
tape measures are not high precision instruments, and they can be out
enough to matter in some critical applications. pretty much the best
ones on the market for most kinds of wood trades are the ones made by
stanley, though most of the ones you'll find for sale for above about
$8 are gonna be pretty much the same. so if you need better accuracy
that a tape measure can give you, go down to the machinist's supply
house and buy a nice hardened steel rule. and bring lots of cash-
you'll need it.otherwise, give up on using numbers to represent
distances and start using story poles. then you can be exactly as
accurate as you need to be in any given situation.... and best of all,
> well, you're wrong and you're right. you already go brought up to speed
> on why the hook is loose, so I'll leave that alone.
> tape measures are not high precision instruments, and they can be out
> enough to matter in some critical applications.
This accuracy discussion brings to mind my class in surveying a long
Back then accuracy was defined to 3 decimal accuracy.
Making a 100 ft measurement with a partner, a couple of plumb bobs and
a tape was a very interesting exercise.
Included with all the other variables was tape tension.
Too much tension, the tape could be made to stretch.
Too little tension, the tape would sag.
Both represented errors.
And then there were the gals would would sun bathe on the roof of the
building across the street from the surveying lot, but we won't go there.
Since a lot of other folks have explained inside/outside measurements to you,
I'll merely ask if anyone on this group feels like researching how many times
this question has come up. I can remember at least twice before, and I think
both were fairly recently, but since my aging brain is creeping towards
senility I'm not sure of that - my wife says it's more like running than
It's turtles, all the way down
On Thu, 04 Jan 2007 21:57:21 -0800, Larry Blanchard
I don't recall it recently, but I do recall it coming up on the show
"While you were out" where the carpenter was trying to explain it to
the host, who wouldn't believe a word of it. The carpenter eventually
gave up and went back to work. I think we all had to have it
explained to us at some point, and we all went "duh" once we got it.
But this guy was just having none of it.
You could make one...
Alternatively and easier would be to not measure with a ruler. Use a story
stick. Or, use two sticks that can be laid next to each other with one end
of each stick touching the inside of the sides of your case, and then place
a mark across both sticks. The sticks can be laid on your stock in the same
relationship to each other and the length marked on your stock...
I have a nice Starrett tape measure that I trust for
accuracy. But a tape measure is inherently not an accurate
measuring device. I use a solid rule and something butted
against the end so I know it's precisely placed,
or a square.
> Or maybe someone can tell me how to use the two I have. The hook at
> the end of the tape on both of mine (and every new one I picked up at
> Lowes) has about a 1/16th inch of play. In other words, measuring a
> board would be 1/16th longer than measuring the hole the board fits
You can always make the problem go away, use the "10" mark as "0".
Not nearly as convenient, but it has worked for me for a lot of years.
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