Need an accurate tape measure...any out there? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 91 Old 03-02-2012, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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Need an accurate tape measure...any out there?

I am new to the wood scene and am kinda disappointed at the accuracy of brand new tapes I am buying off the shelf. Any help?
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post #2 of 91 Old 03-02-2012, 10:00 AM
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IMO, tapes are mere estimates. I have 3 Stanley tapes and some off brands, too. None measure exactly the same.
Just find one you like (easy to read, works well mechanically, easy to use, etc) and use it, and only it, throughout an entire project. An inch and 3/8 may not really be an inch and 3/8 but it will be the same for each piece of "inch and 3/8" you make.
I try really hard to not use a tape in the shop. I use story sticks, known width blocks, 1,2,3 blocks, keyway stock, etc.

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post #3 of 91 Old 03-02-2012, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtrom View Post
I am new to the wood scene and am kinda disappointed at the accuracy of brand new tapes I am buying off the shelf. Any help?

I've got several brands and sizes, but prefer Stanley Powerlock II. I check it against a 6' steel rule. I use the same tape throughout the project.

Need an accurate tape measure...any out there?-nec6lt.jpg






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post #4 of 91 Old 03-02-2012, 10:10 AM
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C-man, looks like you raided my tape drawer.
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Originally Posted by cabinetman View Post
I've got several brands and sizes, but prefer Stanley Powerlock II. I check it against a 6' steel rule. I use the same tape throughout the project.

Attachment 39902






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Gene
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post #5 of 91 Old 03-02-2012, 10:44 AM
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I know I'm going to hear that they ain't no good, cause I seem to be the only one who likes em...

But I really like Lufkin 25' self centering tapes. In fact I have at least a dozen of em. still never can seem to find one though

~tom "Ignorance is not a lack of intelligence - it's a lack of know-how"
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post #6 of 91 Old 03-02-2012, 10:54 AM
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I prefer the Stanley FatMax, but I end up using my Komelon fractional more than anything. I'm sure I'll get some crap about using a fractional tape, but ah well. I'm sure there a bigger offenses out there.
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post #7 of 91 Old 03-02-2012, 10:57 AM
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What's inaccurate about it?

I don't know about accuracy, but the best one I've held in my hand is the Stanley Leverlock.
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post #8 of 91 Old 03-02-2012, 12:20 PM
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C-man, looks like you raided my tape drawer.
Hey Gene...do you have one of those Blum tape measures (like in my picture) too? I'll bet it's a collectors item by now.





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post #9 of 91 Old 03-02-2012, 01:32 PM
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accuracy "test"

Get a bunch and hook each one to a fixed object and run them out to 10 ft. see if they match. Discard the ones that are "off", keep the ones that match. I use the same theory in selecting outside thermometers. See how many say exactly the same in the store. Pick one of those. Probably close enough.

Just be sure the hooks on the ends more freely, 'cause that will throw off your inside and outside measurements...if you dare use them that way...... bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #10 of 91 Old 03-02-2012, 01:52 PM
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Interesting thread.

I had no idea that tape measures are not accurate and are a problem.

The way I work is where extreme accuracy is necessary, I normally oversize and then creep up to the final dimension by sizing and fitting, until it fits perfectly. If I have items which all need to be the same size, I set up so I only measure the first one, the rest follow with a stop block, or other means so they are all exactly the same.

Squares are a different issue which can really get me into trouble. Not many squares are actually square.

Pure mathematics is, in it's way, the poetry of logical ideas. - Albert Einstein.

Last edited by WillemJM; 03-02-2012 at 01:53 PM. Reason: Spelling
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post #11 of 91 Old 03-02-2012, 02:23 PM
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Not a Bum one but, one shaped like it. Got that orange one and the fat yellow one as well as the metal Stanleys and the 100 ft tape. My favorite is the 12' Stanley Powerlock II, which I understand is no longer made.
Around the house, the wife has probably a dozen of those small ones that used to be given away as advertisements. I can't read them, the tape is so skinny. I stole her red sewing tape to measure belts and other circumferences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cabinetman View Post
Hey Gene...do you have one of those Blum tape measures (like in my picture) too? I'll bet it's a collectors item by now.





.

Gene
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post #12 of 91 Old 03-02-2012, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
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Interesting thread.

Squares are a different issue which can really get me into trouble. Not many squares are actually square.N
I got a couple of buddies who are really square.... ... actually not real buddies, but real square. Nice, but square. bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #13 of 91 Old 03-02-2012, 03:25 PM
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We either purchase Starrett or Lufkin tapes for our shop.

"Dear Lord, lest I continue in my complacent ways, help me to remember that someone died for me today. And if there be war, help me to remember to ask and to answer, 'Am I worth dying for?'"

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post #14 of 91 Old 03-02-2012, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
I got a couple of buddies who are really square.... ... actually not real buddies, but real square. Nice, but square. bill
They must be old and special, the younger generation sold at the box stores are far from square.

You still get "Squares" though, linky below. They have expensive American habits though.

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/200...on-Square.aspx

Pure mathematics is, in it's way, the poetry of logical ideas. - Albert Einstein.

Last edited by WillemJM; 03-02-2012 at 03:32 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #15 of 91 Old 03-02-2012, 04:14 PM
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I use steel rules....6" to 1 Meter.

If you do not have the time to do it right......when you will find the time to do it over.
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post #16 of 91 Old 03-02-2012, 06:27 PM
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I like the Stanley Power Lock II but they are hard to find anymore.

Bob making sawdust in SW Louisiana
with a EX-21
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post #17 of 91 Old 03-02-2012, 06:33 PM
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I use a stanley. But then again a tape line is a tape line. They all measure the same.

When it's rustic......it's rustic
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post #18 of 91 Old 03-03-2012, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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My accuracy problem stems from the amount of "play" in the hook at the beginning of the tape. Each tape, even same models, seem to have different amounts of play and slightly different measurments. How do even use a tape for an inside measurement with all that play?
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post #19 of 91 Old 03-03-2012, 09:53 AM
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That play is there for a reason. Not sure if you new that. For measuring internal & external measurements.

When it's rustic......it's rustic
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post #20 of 91 Old 03-03-2012, 10:12 AM
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Ever use the "burn an inch" method?

Learning more about tools everyday
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