# Tips on Sneaking Up on a Cut

I recently put down some baseboards in my house. I have a Lufkin tape measure that doesn't have the "Add 3 inches" notation on the case for inside measurements, as did my old Stanley, which fell apart.
Short of getting a new tape measure, are there any secrets to measuring for a long inside cut? I have a carpenters rule, but it is not nearly long enough.
In fitting a board, I would do a rough measure, cut off a couple of inches, then and inch, then a half inch, and so on. It gets time consuming and I'd like to speed the process up. I even thought about using the Pythagorean theorem, since I know the hypotenuse and one side.
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If you don't want to spring for a tape measure (not sure I understand that!), how about measuring to within a foot of the width, mark on the floor or wall and measure the remaining distance? OR, use two long thin sticks like you'd use to measure diagonals during a glue-up of a frame, etc. (a gauge bar)
Dave
Buck Turgidson wrote:

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Buck Turgidson wrote:

<http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p2585&cat=1,43513>
Have fun, Barry
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If the case isn't exactly three inches, why not just measure it and add that to the reading. It might not be some convenient value like 3", but whatever it is, you should be able to add it to the inside measurement.
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Yes, but the problem is the tape measure case is rounded, not square. I didn't look at the thing closely enough before buying it. I just assumed it could do inside measurements.
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"Buck Turgidson" wrote

As someone who owns at least fifteen tape measures, I don't understand. When I owned a single one, I could never find it. The multiple tape measure approach solves many problems. Including;
1) Bright colors, makes them easier to find.
2) Metric tape, everybody needs at least one.
3) Big tapes, little tapes, you need different sizes for different projects.
4) A tape measure and inexpensive calipers in the car and truck. You never know when you need to "fine spec" something when out in the world. (especially metal) The calpers are good for matching lumber thicknesses. These are only approximate now.
5) Good luck charm. I have an old thirty year old stanley that has a big gash and dent across it. This occured when walking through a shop once and some idiot managed to vibrate a metal tool into aa active table saw blade. The tool shot across the room with bullet speed and struck the tape measure body on my belt over some very sensitive internal organs. It protected me once and I still wear it often with great fondness. It saved my ass once and I just plain like the old ugly guy.
6) Different tapes make different jobs easier. I remember when I had to reroof the garage and the tapes I had just did not work that well. I went down to the store and bought another one. It worked great. I figured that I saved hours and a lot of aggravation by getting a new tape.
7) Junk tapes are needed, to placate those pesty neighbors and relatives. I keep a junk box for old, junky tools. The sign above it says Loaner Tools. Nobody gets to borrow the good tools. The more aristocratic you are with your tools, the longer they will remain in your possesion and the better shape they will be in.
8) You need a big, purty one for the wife. Otherwise she will keep stealing yours. Get her a big pretty one and she will leave the others alone.
So my advice to you Buck, is to BUY SOME MORE TAPE MEASURES!!
It ain't like you are spending the money on a girlfriend or anything. Besides if you are ever going to become a competent wood dorker, you need to learn some essential skills. Including BUYING MORE TOOLS!!
<end of rant>
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As long as the bottom has a flat spot it will be consistent with whatever size it is.
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Cut off a stick at exactly 10" or some other handy length. Butt the stick up against one side of the wall or whatever, and use the tape to measure to the other end of the stick. Then add 10 to the length you read on the tape.
--

Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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Since baseboard doesn't come much longer than 16', a new tape is in order. Cutting and fitting baseboard is a "learned skill" and really requires practice.
With another person helping, you should be able to get it very tight on the first cut. I also assume you cope all corners.
Buck Turgidson wrote:

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Pat Barber wrote:

Outside, too? <G>
Barry
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No... He has to cut the miter(hope he has a 12" CMS).
B a r r y wrote:

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Outside corners call for de-cope-age.
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Get a nine inch trout, cut it in thirds. cut each third into thirds. Now you can tape these pieces on the side of your tape measure in lieu of the marking. To know how many inches to add just count the fish pieces.
-j
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GEEEEEZ are you trolling here? You do wood working and are considering not replacing your tape measure????
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Now for the answer. Buy the tape measure and mark out from one corner 1' then measure from the opposite corner to that 1' mark and add 1' to you findings.
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Cut it a quarter inch long. If you can get it to jam a foot away from where it's supposed to be, cut off another 1/8." If you're 6" away from the wall, cut off a 16th. Just don't cut off too much.
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Why not measure the length of the tape measure case you have and write the length on the side of the case in indelible ink... even if it's an odd-ball length, as compared to a nice round 3", you can still add it to the measured length.
John
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First, the cat has to be sleeping. Second, you have to be able to get down on all fours, supporting your bod on your fingertips and toes. Crouch as low as you can get without dragging the belly on the floor. Move by first moving your fingertips a few inches, then the same with your toes. Continue this until you see the cat's ear twitch. Then scream at the top of your lungs as you launch your body is the cat's direction. Hopefully, the cat will launch itself in the opposite direction before you get there. Squished pussycats are good only for push sticks. Hope this helps.     mahalo,     jo4hn
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jo4hn wrote:

Sorry for the misread. Cat cut. Who's to know?     j4
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I measure from where ever the tip is, of course, and run the tape across the floor "past" the wall, bending it at a right angle at the wall.. kind of carpet layer style.. the bend should be your accurate measurement.. This sounds awkward, but actually is fast and easy once you get used to it.. and you don't have to bend over... (unless ya forget your glasses.. *g* )
mac
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