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The wrong sort of metric tape

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niall Y

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I've just finished cutting to size a whole pile of Ash boards, for a triangular shelving unit - well more of a ziggurat to be honest. I was cutting to length the last-but-one board, and even though I measured twice, I still cut it too short! Fancy that.... well that's not what I said when I realised the mistake. I'd struggled manfully get the job out of the material I have - so this was the "last straw".
My excuse, if I need one, is that I picked up the wrong tape. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I have a real problem with some of the metric tapes. Those that after 10 cm , have the the subsequent centimetres as 11, 12, 13,etc. I can get on with. Those that have the subsequent centimetres marked 1, 2, 3, I'm more prone to make mistakes with. The length in question was 1102 mm, which I wrongly marked as 1012 - all of the right numbers, but in the wrong order!
To put this in context, I'm someone who has earned a living from woodwork, for the last 40 odd years, including lots of site-work. However, I'm still prone to making these sort of mistakes. The ones that i'm most wary of are those that arise from reading the tape upside down - all those 6's and 9's can easily be confused!
 

Spectric

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You are not alone, once you have a measurement write it down and don't just think you can remember it because as you get older you find for some reason you re-arrange the numbers. Then mark you wood, but now go back and double check that what you wrote down is correct and then recheck your cut mark before cutting. Then you can use this piece if correct as a double check for the rest. If I have got a lot of the same lengths to cut on my mitre saw I will also use a stop to ensure repeatability, just something knocked up so you can repeat the same cut.

Another thing I find is a type of blindness, today I misplaced my plastic tool that removes my router table insert rings, I was convinced it was red like the insert rings and spent ages looking everywhere but to no avail except a good tidy up in the process. Went back a few hours later to look for it again and there it was, just so obvious but it was grey, I had just ignored it because I was looking for something red!
 

Ozi

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Just filled out my tax return - I feel your pain, more to the point I'm half way through dry January so I feel my pain.
 

Jacob

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I've just finished cutting to size a whole pile of Ash boards, for a triangular shelving unit - well more of a ziggurat to be honest. I was cutting to length the last-but-one board, and even though I measured twice, I still cut it too short! Fancy that.... well that's not what I said when I realised the mistake. I'd struggled manfully get the job out of the material I have - so this was the "last straw".
My excuse, if I need one, is that I picked up the wrong tape. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I have a real problem with some of the metric tapes. Those that after 10 cm , have the the subsequent centimetres as 11, 12, 13,etc. I can get on with. Those that have the subsequent centimetres marked 1, 2, 3, I'm more prone to make mistakes with. The length in question was 1102 mm, which I wrongly marked as 1012 - all of the right numbers, but in the wrong order!
To put this in context, I'm someone who has earned a living from woodwork, for the last 40 odd years, including lots of site-work. However, I'm still prone to making these sort of mistakes. The ones that i'm most wary of are those that arise from reading the tape upside down - all those 6's and 9's can easily be confused!
Same prob.
I use feet and inches for most stuff, just mm for small details.
Too big a jump from metres to millimetres. It would have worked better if the metric inch 25mm was built in to the system
 

JobandKnock

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You get used to it... What I would say, though, is that if in doubt it can be worth setting out a rod and working from that. It can reduce the error factor greatly as you can often see errors before you cut stuff
 

Jacob

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You get used to it... What I would say, though, is that if in doubt it can be worth setting out a rod and working from that. It can reduce the error factor greatly as you can often see errors before you cut stuff
yep. Put all your marks on a board, checked against each other, put the tape measure away.
 

Sandyn

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Another thing I find is a type of blindness, today I misplaced my plastic tool that removes my router table insert rings, I was convinced it was red like the insert rings and spent ages looking everywhere but to no avail except a good tidy up in the process. Went back a few hours later to look for it again and there it was, just so obvious but it was grey
I get my wife to look for things. I have a similar 'blindness'. I had a theory that the thing I was looking was being used by my doppelganger in a parallel universe. I'm still half convince that's where it goes.!
 

Jameshow

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At our men's shed had s chap with dementia who died this week....
One week we had a tape measure which had the tip break off. So he took it and repaired it.

He brought it back having epoxied the tip on. I did a few measurements cut a few pieces short only then I realised what was wrong he had only cut half an inch off the tip!!!

I laughed for several days at my errors!!

RIP John!

Cheers James
 

baldkev

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You are not alone, once you have a measurement write it down

🙂 im a bit dyslexic. Mostly when I'm tired and more with numbers than letters. Occasionally I write a word wrong, but often my numbers come out jumbled.... i usually catch it.

My last slip up was ripping down sheets for some built in cupboards. For some reason i set my ts to 550 wide, then ended up cutting shelves to get those sheets out the way first..... but for some unknown reason i had in my mind set the fence to the 575 i wanted..... nope, i didnt, it was 550. Ugghhh.
 

owen

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Most of my mistakes aren't a few mm out, they're 100mm. It's easily done
 

johnnyb

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I reckon anything where your actually making something is and always has been prone to mistakes. I see it in people I teach and I see it in myself. one guy was so uptight about not making gaffs he worked at snails pace! (and still gaffed)
just embrace these things and have a big pile of spares. I used to think it was me being careless but it's everyone making every possible mistake.
 

Stuart Moffat

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We all do it. Whenever I do it. it reminds me of that brilliant jape on a candid camera show in the late 60’s where they asked a carpenter to finish installing some shelves between a wall and a chimney breast (I think). it had been engineered so that they could shift one end a shade I either direction so he was in no chance of getting it right. Brilliantly funny.
 

Mark Karacsonyi

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Suffering from poor eyesight, I now tend to create story sticks. Easier on the eyes than reading a rule. Annoyingly I have about three pairs of glasses lying around but can never seem to find them when required. Fun too when tying up hook lengths for fishing.
 

niall Y

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Same prob.
I use feet and inches for most stuff, just mm for small details.
Too big a jump from metres to millimetres. It would have worked better if the metric inch 25mm was built in to the system

I have to admit that I'm of that generation where feet and inches make a lot more sense. It's like this is my "native tongue" and millimetres is an aquired language.
When it comes to designing things, and proportions its easier to see these in terms of feet and inches.
Also, with the metric system. I find it a lot more logical to work in millimetres, rather than centimetres. My son ( also a carpenter) tells me that those are for children.

You get used to it... What I would say, though, is that if in doubt it can be worth setting out a rod and working from that. It can reduce the error factor greatly as you can often see errors before you cut stuff

Ah, yes, setting out a rod. I did toy with the idea, but I convinced myself I didn't have to bother. Well, we all know how that ended!

You are not alone, once you have a measurement write it down and don't just think you can remember it because as you get older you find for some reason you re-arrange the numbers. Then mark you wood, but now go back and double check that what you wrote down is correct and then recheck your cut mark before cutting. Then you can use this piece if correct as a double check for the rest. If I have got a lot of the same lengths to cut on my mitre saw I will also use a stop to ensure repeatability, just something knocked up so you can repeat the same cut.

Another thing I find is a type of blindness, today I misplaced my plastic tool that removes my router table insert rings, I was convinced it was red like the insert rings and spent ages looking everywhere but to no avail except a good tidy up in the process. Went back a few hours later to look for it again and there it was, just so obvious but it was grey, I had just ignored it because I was looking for something red!

I do try and organise along these lines, but I'm still making mistakes.......... Interesting to see that you also look for things by colour. I thought I was the only one who did that. I did go through a stage of having brightly coloured pencils, tapes and Stanley knives - the more fluorescent, the better - but that started to make things confusing.

Niall
 
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