• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Accurate Tape Measure ?

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Dr. Thrax

Established Member
Joined
1 Feb 2004
Messages
133
Reaction score
0
Just what make is a good tape measure ? I'm fed up with the metal bits on the end of the tape coming loose from the rivetts and leading to inaccurate measurements when mm are all important. I don't mind paying a bit more for a good one, any suggestions ?

Cheers.
 

DAZB

Established Member
Joined
28 Jan 2003
Messages
56
Reaction score
0
Location
LEEDS United Kingdom
Stanley are usually very good. I mainly use an 8 metre Fat Max because a lot of my work is on site but it is also very useful in the workshop because it is quite large and easy to read. The only drawback is that it is quite heavy but genarally I find all the Stanley tapes to be worth buying.
 

DaveL

Established Member
Joined
19 Oct 2002
Messages
4,674
Reaction score
0
Location
Sudbury, Suffolk
Dave,

Does it need to be a tape? I use tapes for rough measurements but always use a steel rule if I have one long enough for marking out. The 1 metre one does get used a lot.

I suppose I should look for a longer ne but have started to use a story stick, hum not sure if that the right name no doubt Alf will be along to put me right. :lol:
 

Dr. Thrax

Established Member
Joined
1 Feb 2004
Messages
133
Reaction score
0
Thanks both. Dave, I could use a steel rule and do use a 1 metre alu rule but there are times when a tape is easier, no idea what a 'story stick' is but it sounds interesting! :)
 

Bean

Established Member
Joined
12 Jan 2004
Messages
1,518
Reaction score
0
Location
scouting about
I have several stanleys both at home and at work. They do seem to be well made and lasting, although all tapes will suffer from inaccuraces if they are allowed to snap shut under the power of the spring, so beware


Bean
 

trevtheturner

Established Member
Joined
26 Feb 2003
Messages
1,144
Reaction score
0
Location
Herefordshire, UK.
Dave.T.

Hope I'm not doing a granny/eggs job here.

You mention the metal bit coming loose from its rivets. However, a metal tape does have some movement designed into it so that the 'metal bit' can move forwards and backwards. The metal bit obviously has to be there so that you can pull out the tape, but it then needs to move to allow 'accurate?' external and internal measurements. For instance, measuring a board with the tag hooked over the end of the board, the 'metal bit' is pulled away from the end of the tape so that you do not include the thickness of the tag in your measurement. Conversely, with an internal measurement, the tag is pushed back onto the tape for the same reason.

That's the theory anyway. Hope this makes sense. Give it a try.

Having said this, no way would I use such a tape for marking out. I am with DaveL on this.

Cheers,

Trev.
 

trevtheturner

Established Member
Joined
26 Feb 2003
Messages
1,144
Reaction score
0
Location
Herefordshire, UK.
DaveL,

Hi! Never heard of a 'story stick' before. Might this be a measuring device comprising two rods which can be extended and locked at a given measurement. I used one of these recently to fit a worktop, just under 3 metres long, where the walls were out of square and the distance along the back wall was considerable different to the measurement along the front of the worktop and I needed accurate measurements before I cut! It worked well and did the job.

I made mine using the Veritas Bar Gauge Heads from Axminster - Order No: N3101, Catalogue page 7.15, price £10.29). Bit expensive for what they are, but invaluable especially for awkward internal measurements, but worth the cost IMHO.

Cheers,

Trev.
 

Dr. Thrax

Established Member
Joined
1 Feb 2004
Messages
133
Reaction score
0
Hi Trev, I agree with what you say but I own a number of tapes that started life with solid fixed ends but as time went by they have become loose and often when measuring I get inaccurate measurements but thinking more about this I should really do the 'accurate' measuring with a steel rule and not rely on a tape as much as I have been doing....it's all a learning process :)
 

trevtheturner

Established Member
Joined
26 Feb 2003
Messages
1,144
Reaction score
0
Location
Herefordshire, UK.
Hi, Dave.T.

Thanks for your reply.
Yep - it's certainly a learning process for me, too! Thanks to UKW - I've picked up lots of good methods and tips from these forums.

A 1 metre steel rule well recommended. It will cope with most jobs in the workshop (unless you spend your time making wardrobes and the like!) and I use one together with smaller ones for all my marking out.

Cheers,

Trev
(son of Valley Boy)
 

Dr. Thrax

Established Member
Joined
1 Feb 2004
Messages
133
Reaction score
0
Trev, while on the subject of measuring, do you prefer a pencil to mark off the measurement or a scribe/knife ?
 

trevtheturner

Established Member
Joined
26 Feb 2003
Messages
1,144
Reaction score
0
Location
Herefordshire, UK.
Dave.T.

I use both. Generally, pencil for any lines which will not be cut, otherwise I prefer a marking-knife for accuracy and to provide a good, clean start to the cut. I use a Sabatier marking-knife, but it's just a matter of preference really, I think - I just get on well with mine.

Also, where possible, e.g. for tenon shoulders, I slice out a small 'v' groove, with a sharp chisel, on the waste side of the marking-knife cut - provides for a nice, clean shoulder when I put the saw to it.

Cheers,

Trev.
 

Dr. Thrax

Established Member
Joined
1 Feb 2004
Messages
133
Reaction score
0
As you say Trev, you learn so much on UKW, cheers for your reply and advice! :)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Dave


I can't remember the details but tape measures are not all made the same. If you look at the detail you will find that there are various specs for them and some are considerbly more accurate than others with regard to the spacing of their graduations.
Generally an expensive stanley will be manufactured to a higher BS standard than cheap one and thus more accurately marked up (and tested) during manufacture.

I paid a fair bit for a Stanley a while back and it is very well specified which I think was about 0.5mm per m accuracy - don't forget that this accuracy is per m and so errors double for 2m and triple for 3m measurement. Cheapies are much less accurate and manufactured to a lower standard

Info about specs is on the web
 

trevtheturner

Established Member
Joined
26 Feb 2003
Messages
1,144
Reaction score
0
Location
Herefordshire, UK.
Yep - I certainly agree about the variations that can exist in rules/tapes.
A tip I learnt many moons ago is to always use the same measure, rather than use more than one, throughout a project, wherever possible, to minimise inaccuracies. DAMHIKT.

Cheers,

Trev.
 

Taffy Turner

Established Member
Joined
24 May 2004
Messages
1,067
Reaction score
0
Location
The Land of My Fathers
trevtheturner":2jik46z8 said:
Yep - I certainly agree about the variations that can exist in rules/tapes.
A tip I learnt many moons ago is to always use the same measure, rather than use more than one, throughout a project, wherever possible, to minimise inaccuracies. DAMHIKT.

Cheers,

Trev.
Yes - sadly I learned that one the hard way. :?

Now I only use a tape for rough cutting, and I have a couple of cabinet makers rules which I use for the accurate cuts (or at least the ones that are supposed to be accurate!!!). :oops:
 

DaveL

Established Member
Joined
19 Oct 2002
Messages
4,674
Reaction score
0
Location
Sudbury, Suffolk
Pete W":2k9qu4sf said:
See here for a pretty good explanation of story sticks:
http://www.huntfamily.com/metz/storystick.htm
Pete,

Thanks for the link. I tend to use a nice straight batten as the story stick. This is a reference, all the parts are then marked out from the marks in that. The idea is everything that should be the same length is at least marked the same, even if they are different after cutting :roll:

I go along with Trev for pencils and knives, but I do some times put pencil lines on top of the knife cuts, makes them easier to see, hum must get some more light fittings. :oops:
 
G

Guest

Guest
I used to make covers for furniture.One day a lady brought some measurements for some seat cushion covers.I looked at the measurements which I just knew were wrong and told the customer."They are not wrong, I measured them myself very carefully this morning "she replied so,the customer always being right I made the covers,explaining that I accepted no responsibility for the said measurements.She returned about an hour after collecting her covers,a little red faced and said"you were right, I never noticed but one of the kids had cut a foot off my tape measure."
 

Midnight

Established Member
Joined
11 Oct 2003
Messages
1,805
Reaction score
0
Location
Scotland
Dave.. in my line of work, there's seldom a day goes by without the tape measure getting a work out..
From experience, I've learned that Stanleys just won't stand up to heavy daily use; that hook on the end causes a stress factor just inboard of the last rivet... it's not the first time I've seen the hook end up on the floor, the end of the tape shooting inside the body, never to be seen again..
The one currently in my toolbox is a Rabone. It's getting on for 7 years old now and still going strong. Just to prove I don't have a vendetta against all things Stanley, the tape in my woodshop is one of theirs.
 
Top