The wrong sort of metric tape

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Spectric

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I think a good solution is not to trust your memory with numbers, and who else thinks it is easier to make mistakes with a metric rule compared to feet and inches! Another one that can get very interesting is what side is what, IE getting pieces that are not only correct but can be assembled because you have got the tops aligned etc. This was a real test when I first got a Dowelmax until I got into the concept of the tick marks and stopped fighting the thing so on assembly all my edges aligned and there were no offsets. I have also had similar issues with my Domino 700 but now use tick marks and plenty of labels along with a very rough sketch that shows how the labels apply, ie front right upright top outer f, front lower stile outer etc and it may seem strange but it stops any confusion and ensures the relevant parts are mirrors of each other and not identical. This is even more important when using dowels or domino's because they all need referencing from the same face even if you think they are central.
 

Richard_C

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Back in the 70's I worked in HR (personnel back then) in a large factory that made switch and fuse gear. Most of our products were standard and went out pre packed and palletised, but some were specials and some were ordered by the containerload - especially export, we want to fill a 20ft container how many can you get in? Thats where the warehouse forman did his stuff, he would measure the units and do calculations, yep we can get 60 of a particular unit in a Transit van or 5,400 8 way fuseboxes in an airfreight crate or whatever. When it came to load, it would always go in but often with a lot of spare space. Sales would ring the customer - we've got an order for 5400 here but we can get another 500 in, do you want them?. Most said no, not at this stage but we would have if we had known upfornt.

One day I was in the foreman's office to deal with some HR stuff when the phone rang, he popped out to check a measurement. When he came back I noticed his 3ft steel rule had an inch missing. Yes, he said, it got bent so one of the fitters cut it off for me. No problem, it was an exact inch cut off so whenever I measure anything I just add an inch when I write it down. So, I said, if the ruler says 9 you write down 10? Yes......

AAAAAARGHHH.

And that's why we had been shipping space all over the world.
 

recipio

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I simply don't trust tapes except for rough cutting. For cabinetry work nothing beats 30.60 and 100 cm steel rules.
 
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JobandKnock

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And I learnt many years ago to use the same tape for all measurements. This is because I was shown how different makes of tape can differ in their readings ... not a lot but a few mmm or fractions of an inch over a long length.
I was taught something similar - if working in a team buy the best tape you can, not some cheap builders merchant's £2 special, check the tapes to be used on a job against the scale on the panel saw in the shop and if more than one person is doing the setting out "elect" one tape to be the master tape for the job, against which all other tapes are checked. Also chuck the tapes out when they start to become marked or show damage at the end, especially if they've been dropped. I rarely get much more than 6 or 7 months out of my main tape (that's site work for you). I've tended in recent years to buy Stanley FatMax or Bahco tapes because they always seem to measure the same as each other when checked and have reasonably well-made end hooks.

The flip side of this is the pain of working for a setter who insists on using cheap, crappy tapes. One place I worked we had a director who'd sometimes go out and measure stuff himself using the oldest, tattiest, cheapest tape you have ever seen. To make things worse he was incapable of working in metric and was hopeless at conversion. We used to call him "two inch Toby" behind his back because if the workshop made anything dead to the sizes he'd specified you could almost guarantee that it'd be two inches too short (which we could live with) or worse two inches too long (argh!!!). All goes to show that nothing is 1diot proof, after all, there are some very ingenious idiots out there!
 
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hairy

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I just bought some of those reading specs with a magnet on the bridge piece to allow them to split in half, and hang round your neck when not in use. A neighbour swears by them. These are a tiny bit narrow for my fat head, but normally they are £20 a pair. If you search on fleabay these, with a few marks on the metal, are half price
Loopies Magnetic Tortiose Shell Reading Glasses B-Grade Last Of Stock +1.00
 

Ollie78

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Once a guy doing the measuring up for some windows bought a fancy new tape. The kind with the measurement of the body included, for measuring internal dimensions easily. So the tape starts at 100mm (the size of the body ).
Needless to say several windows had to be remade because they were precisely 100mm too small width and height.


Ollie
 

recipio

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Once a guy doing the measuring up for some windows bought a fancy new tape. The kind with the measurement of the body included, for measuring internal dimensions easily. So the tape starts at 100mm (the size of the body ).
Needless to say several windows had to be remade because they were precisely 100mm too small width and height.


Ollie
Ha Ha, a classic error. ! For all internal measurements like window blinds I've gone over to a Leica laser measure. Absolutely faultless and a lot easier than a tape.
 
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