Need an accurate tape measure...any out there? - Page 2 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #21 of 91 Old 03-03-2012, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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I am thinking in theory the play in the hook should equal the thickness of the material of the hook...but the play is a lil different for each tape measure, even the same model, resulting slightly different measurements...I am talking like 1/32 of an inch. I am beginning to think that tapes were never meant to be that accurate. I am new to wood but have experience with metal work, engines ect. where 1/32 was a lot.
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post #22 of 91 Old 03-03-2012, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtrom View Post
I am thinking in theory the play in the hook should equal the thickness of the material of the hook...but the play is a lil different for each tape measure, even the same model, resulting slightly different measurements...I am talking like 1/32 of an inch. I am beginning to think that tapes were never meant to be that accurate. I am new to wood but have experience with metal work, engines ect. where 1/32 was a lot.
The thickness of the tab, and allowance, is more like 1/16" than 1/32".






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post #23 of 91 Old 03-03-2012, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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The thickness of the tab, and allowance, is more like 1/16" than 1/32".






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Right, I am just saying one tape can be off by 1/32 inch from another tape, if put side by side
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post #24 of 91 Old 03-03-2012, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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Let me rephrase my question : What is the best quality and most accurate tape measure on the market? :)
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post #25 of 91 Old 03-03-2012, 01:56 PM
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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 have never had a tape measure that was not accurate for any work that I was doing.

George
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post #26 of 91 Old 03-03-2012, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC

I have never had a tape measure that was not accurate for any work that I was doing.

George
+1 George. Maybe I'm missing something here lol.

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post #27 of 91 Old 03-03-2012, 03:36 PM
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Are we talking accuracy or ease of use?

I use a Stanley Powerlock.
It has a whole bunch of numbers and little lines that look just like every other Stanley Powerlock.

Learning more about tools everyday

Last edited by tcleve4911; 03-04-2012 at 01:53 PM.
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post #28 of 91 Old 03-03-2012, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe I just bought a bad tape measure.....my Stanley fat max is slighty off when I put it up against a steel ruler
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post #29 of 91 Old 03-03-2012, 09:47 PM
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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?
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Originally Posted by jtrom View Post
Let me rephrase my question : What is the best quality and most accurate tape measure on the market? :)
My first thought was that when somthing doesn't fit , it's usualy because of a mistake on my part rather than a sub-standard measuring tool.
But since you asked,the answer as you first asked is,I would say get yourself a 10' to 12' Stanley tape like most of us use to start with.
As far as what is best quility and most accurate,Starrett is widly thought to be as good as they come for measurements if you insist on presision.
Unless you have managed to aquire state of art sizeing and cutting tools,I suggest not stressing over tape measures.
This stuff is supposed to be fun.
Regardless what some might tell you that they are capiable of,no project is perfect. To the contrary,the most highly sought after furnitue in the world shows tool marks and less than laser perfect joints.
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post #30 of 91 Old 03-03-2012, 10:04 PM
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I use Stanley for everyday use, but when it comes to finish and furniture I use the fastcap tape measures like the ones in the link, they are very accurate and helps having standard and metric on the same tape.

http://woodworker.com/cgi-bin/fullpr...FeYGRQodylxoBA
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post #31 of 91 Old 03-03-2012, 10:18 PM
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I use a Tajima on the site and really like it. In the shop I just use a 12' Stanley. I don't think it matters that much as long as you use the same tape.

I take the clips off my tapes as I never use them anyways.

For super accuracy on smaller stuff I use a starett ruler.
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post #32 of 91 Old 03-04-2012, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jtrom View Post
Maybe I just bought a bad tape measure.....my Stanley fat max is slighty off when I put it up against a steel ruler
Are you hooking the tab or lining up the hash marks?
I can't believe the tape measure itself would be off.....

Learning more about tools everyday
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post #33 of 91 Old 03-04-2012, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentwood View Post
My first thought was that when somthing doesn't fit , it's usualy because of a mistake on my part rather than a sub-standard measuring tool.
But since you asked,the answer as you first asked is,I would say get yourself a 10' to 12' Stanley tape like most of us use to start with.
As far as what is best quility and most accurate,Starrett is widly thought to be as good as they come for measurements if you insist on presision.
Unless you have managed to aquire state of art sizeing and cutting tools,I suggest not stressing over tape measures.
This stuff is supposed to be fun.
Regardless what some might tell you that they are capiable of,no project is perfect. To the contrary,the most highly sought after furnitue in the world shows tool marks and less than laser perfect joints.
While you're correct that furniture doesn't require high precision, other projects like; for instance, instrument making; do. Then again, I wouldn't use a tape measure for those projects.

Starrett tape measures aren't that expensive. I can vouch for their other measuring tools. But i've never own one of their tape measures. However, if you are really worried about accuracy, i'd check them out as bentwood suggested.

Last edited by Evilfrog; 03-05-2012 at 10:41 AM.
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post #34 of 91 Old 03-05-2012, 09:56 AM
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I have several different brands of tape measures. Lately I've been accumulating Harbor Freight tapes because I can get them free with a coupon. They all measure a little different so I use the top of my table saw as a reference. It is exactly 27" long so I bend the end of my tapes in or out until they measure 27" on my saw. I also use this to fix a tape that has been dropped on the floor.
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post #35 of 91 Old 03-05-2012, 10:20 AM
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Wow, alot of misinformation here.

First off, the federal specifications for a retractable tape measure are +/- 1/32 inch for the first twelve feet, +/- 1/16 inch above that. Most companies will exceed this tolerance, but you have to call because they vary from tape to tape.

The federal spec for a long line steel tape (type you have to roll up) is +/- 0.100 inch/100 ft with a specific amount of tension applied depending on the length.

Yes the hook moves the thickness of its tab to account for inside measurements.

Comparing two tape measures by lining them up side by side is not the correct way to calibrate a tape measure. You either need an optical comparator (and alot of free time), a cmm, or a laser interferometer.

Starrett tape measures are terrible imo. Its not because they are usually out of tolerance, it is because the lock and the reel are poor designs. The locks either fail and won't hold the tape, or the reel is so tight near the end that you have to force it out. I am in no way saying their products are bad, I am just saying they should start making them domestically again.

The Lufkins and Stanley tapes are much better. The Lufkins have the best locking mechanisms and almost always exceed their own tolerances by a substantial amount. The Stanleys are the most durable, ever see the commercials with the hammer hitting their product over and over again, thats them. The coating on the Stanley tapes seem thicker, how long that prevents rust, I'm not sure.

Chinese tapes, stay far, far away. The metal is often cheap, not treated correctly and the hook is a soft metal and often bends easily. This means that years later your tape is rusted and has either shrunk/grown due to the metal not being aged enough. The hook has bent out and the rivets are coming out. What are the Chinese tapes accurate to, does China have a standards bureau to conform to?

Your not going to get much better than than 0.030 inch on a tape. Starrett, Lufkin and Stanley are all similar in accuracy, each specs their tapes differently though. If you need something more accurate, steel rules are as accurate as +/- 0.0025 inch for a Starrett (would recommend). Get a caliper for even more accuracy (+/- 0.001 inch).

Last edited by cheese9988; 03-05-2012 at 10:37 AM.
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post #36 of 91 Old 03-05-2012, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for clearing that up Cheese. The reason I need such accuracy is I am building a wooden homebuilt aircraft, not furniture. Just the horizontal tail, made from Sitka Spruce, is 8 ft. long, and being off by 1/32 of an inch could be trouble. I probably need a long steel ruler....at least 60 inches...
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post #37 of 91 Old 03-05-2012, 07:58 PM
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In my opinion it matters not which brand or type of tape measure you use so long as you use the same one throughout the project.
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post #38 of 91 Old 03-09-2012, 08:45 AM
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If you are worried about the accuracy of your tape measure - then you should buy a papered/calibrated model rather than a normal shelf model....

They are a more or less standard item at many gage houses and industrial supply places.. and they are going to come to you certified to some specific accuracy....

Expect to pay more.. but then again - you will pay more if you want something accurate vs something cheap...

Thanks
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post #39 of 91 Old 03-09-2012, 09:31 AM
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Ever use the "burn an inch" method?
All the time.
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post #40 of 91 Old 03-11-2012, 05:24 PM
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just wondering in anyone has experience with these tapes and what their thought were

http://www.tooled-up.com/ManCategory.asp?MID=FES1&CID=8
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