wow, good quote

Page 1 of 2  
This is from a trumpet mailing list. Somebody recommended HF cheapass dial calipers, and I stepped into let anyone looking to buy tool-like things know about Lee Valley, because I couldn't let a "Harbor Freight is great" post go unchallenged. (That's my third referral this month, Rob. When do I get the free low angle block plane?)
One of the most recent messages in that thread ended with this quote, by someone I will leave anonymous for his/her privacy:
"When I was working on nuclear missiles, we used the more expensive calipers. I kind of liked that."
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Wed, Dec 8, 2004, 1:42am snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net (Silvan) says: <snip> "When I was working on nuclear missiles, we used the more expensive calipers. I kind of liked that."
OK, which was it he liked? The more xpensive calipers? Or working on nuclear missiles?
JOAT Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind dont matter, and those who matter dont mind. - Dr Seuss
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My guess would be working on Nuclear Missles. You have control of power in your hands and the radiation does wonders to your organ.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8 Dec 2004 03:28:33 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Well that's good, so long as it's not the other way around.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

will it help my piano as well?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sandman wrote:

Only if you're playing roentgen scales in a minor key.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
(Silvan) says:

Perhaps that he used to work on nukes, not anymore.
Frank
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

dial
Well, Harbor Freight is certainly not "great", but not everything there is useless either. Things like their dial calipers, digital calipers, and other things are perfectly acceptable tools and you really don't do the fella a service by suggesting otherwise. Like everything else, it's a matter of what you need, not a matter of what the tool "can" do for you. If it does what you need of it, then it's a good tool. There's no need to pay more money for things if cheaper ones do the job well. More expensive ones don't do the job better.
Then of course, there's the remaining stuff that just doesn't even do the job well...

Too late for that - it was posted to a public forum, wasn't it?

Yeahbut, what he didn't tell you is that his expensive calipers were sent off to PMEL every couple of months for calibration. Even cheap tools can perform extremely well with that kind of treatment.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@sprintmail.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It's funny how some of us woodworking folk like to get so precise, when wood by its very nature is so imprecise. Measurements beyond about 1/64" are meaningless, and for most purposes, 1/32" is plenty precise. I have a super-cheapo plastic dial caliper from Big Lots. It easily gets me within 1/64" accuracy.
You see a lot of measurements on the rec going to 3 or 4 decimal places. You basically have to be in a clean-room to measure something to 4 decimal places.
Just my thoughs.... no intent to offend.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That's exactly the thinking that I was experiencing. It's probably no big deal in the end, but I do get a bit of a chuckle when we get sooooo focused on stuff that really does not matter. Precision that is orders of magnitude greater than we can achieve with the tools we use, the medium we use, etc. I know that I do it also, but it still amuses me. Sometimes I think it's worth a simple comment just in the name of passing along better advice to folks to chat with. Having our own little idiosyncrasies is one thing but they shouldn't really enter into the advice we pass along... at least without the caveat that they are indeed our own little idiosyncrasies.
I too have a cheapo dial caliper from HF and a digital caliper also. I didn't expect them to be accurate to the degree necessary to build rocket ships and nuclear reactors when I bought them, and I paid a price reflective of that. They certainly are more than accurate enough for what I use them for. I did compare my $13.00 digital calipers to a friend's $65.00 pair and they read the same. Don't know if that's enough to convince some, but it works for me.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@sprintmail.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Chuck wrote:

I'll agree that four decimal places is probably overkill; but I'm not so sure about three decimal places. That fourth digit may be significant if dimensions are calculated - but only to the extent that it minimizes round-off errors in intermediate calculations.
Errors in thousandths of an inch can be seen and felt in fine furniture projects - and are usually handled with either a tiny bit of glue (a very slightly thicker glue line) or with a gentle sandpaper rubbing - or a combination of both.
I have shop equipment that cuts wood reliably within a 0.0015" tolerance - and I routinely check parts for 0.001 tolerances. I expect my glue lines to be detectable only by the interruption of grain patterns. I could probably get by with a lesser precision; but it's important to me to know that I'm doing the best job possible on those parts.
I have the (Swiss made) General plastic digital caliper and the (Chinese made) LV stainless digital caliper - and they both seem to do a good job of measuring in the 0-6" range.
But I also do a lot of things that don't require that kind of ultra-picky attention - and these are layed out, fixtured, and cut with a lesser (1/64" or 1/32") precision; and I'm comfortable with that.

And no offense taken. You might get a giggle out of the fact that the stuff made to the most exacting tolerances in my shop all gets a couple of coats of paint before it goes out the door - so it's unlikely that anyone will ever actually /see/ those joints.
The less precise stuff is likely to get a coat or three of varnish so that everyone can see how sloppy it is. (-8
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That's what most of us would feel I believe. Forgo worrying about the very small errors like that in favor of a light scruff with sandpaper. Heck - it's going to get it anyway...

That's where the rubber hits the road. You do it because it matters to you and that's a good enough reason, not because that degree of precision is necessary with the work at hand. After all, if we can't satisfy ourselves, our time in the shop becomes pretty damned tedious.

Oh man Morris - that ain't even right!

Penance?
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@sprintmail.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Measure it with a micrometer... Mark it with chalk... Cut it with an axe.
(just measure twice before cutting)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

So you'd be plenty happy with jointing wood that has 1/32" deviation across it? i.e, the gap would be 1/16".
Or a dovetail with a 1/32" gap?
Sometimes even woodworking needs higher precision than 1/64". That doesn't mean the wood won't move later, but for jointing, 1/64" is a pretty serious gap.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Wed, Dec 8, 2004, 10:53am (EST-3) Chuck snipped-for-privacy@excite.com (Chuck) says: <snip> I have a super-cheapo plastic dial caliper from Big Lots. <snip>
I got one too. $2. Measures in inches. Then when I got home, I found out it's only the package says it's in inches, the dial is in millimeters. LOL On the other hand, I got it for woodworking, and it's more than accurate enough for that. Just have to print out a millimeter to inch scale, so I know what measurements I'm working with.
JOAT Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind dont matter, and those who matter dont mind. - Dr Seuss
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mike Marlow wrote:

I never said anything about whether they were any good or not, and I'm not claiming they aren't fine. All I said (on that forum) was something to the effect of "if you want to pay a little more to buy from a good outfit, then check out Lee Valley."
I stand behind that any day. I'm a big LV fanboy, like many of their other customers. I've bought from HF, and I have some HF tools, but buying from LV is like letting German chocolate melt in your mouth, while HF is like letting loose a good fart. Both are satisfying in their own way.

Not one that is archived by Google, no. I don't think.
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Don't do that crap Michael! These were clean pants.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@sprintmail.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 08 Dec 2004 16:45:10 GMT, "Mike Marlow"

Knowing the way the government works, they probably paid $2,000 for HF calipers..
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 08 Dec 2004 16:45:10 GMT, "Mike Marlow"

Not necessarily. Every couple of months? I've used "Import" calipers at work that had to be calibrated before every measurement- and that was just to get them to be accurate to within 15 thousandths. Even then, they were obviously not trustworthy, and I still double-checked parts with my handy cabinetmaker's rule. Some cheap tools may be able to do it, but not all of them- not by a long shot! The big difference is in what you feel you need to use when it comes to calipers. If you feel you must have a cheap dial or digital caliper, prepared to be disappointed if you use the sucker much, especially under less than ideal conditions. OTOH, a vernier caliper will usually stay right on longer, and there are less parts to wear out or break. They're a little harder to read, but the price and accuracy difference make them a bargin, at least in my experience. Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Supplied, of course by the lowest bidder....

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.