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Source for tape measure with blank space at the beginning

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Forum topic by Vermont Hardwoods posted 553 days ago 1430 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Vermont Hardwoods

17 posts in 553 days


553 days ago

I hope this is the right forum – didn’t see what looked like a better one…

As stated in the title, I am looking for a source for tape measures that don’t start at 0. I’d like it to be 1/2” x 12’ but would take almost anything. The best I’ve seen so far is 1/4” x 6’. Not only is 1/4” not very useable, but 6’ is simply not long enough.

To answer the sure-to-be-asked question, in one of our departments we can’t use the tang to measure with – where we’re cutting picture frames to size. Since we have many profiles (and often do one-offs) and do not cut standard sizes, we have to accurately measure each one at the inside rabbet measurement. Holding at the 1” mark works, but not well. We just had to re-make a $1500 (wholesale) frame because of this problem, which has prompted me to start looking.

I’ve considered making a rule with a piece of wood and putting a self-adhesive tape on it, but that would be very unwieldy and I’m afraid it would end up not being used.

Any other suggestions welcome.

TIA


33 replies so far

View rance's profile

rance

4104 posts in 1658 days


#1 posted 553 days ago

Have you considered a folding wooden rule?

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View pierce85's profile

pierce85

508 posts in 1060 days


#2 posted 553 days ago

The first thing that came to mind were the various FastCap tape measures, but then they all utilize a tang design. Nevertheless, they do develop products from ideas from those in the field. You might want to shoot them an email and see if they can come up with something that would fit your needs.

http://www.fastcap.com/estore/pc/Submit-An-Idea-to-FastCap-d67.htm

View Charlie's profile

Charlie

1001 posts in 784 days


#3 posted 553 days ago

Uh…. not to pee in anyone’s Cheerios or anything, but that tangalso keeps the tape from simply coiling up inside the case, never to be seen again. :)

View Don W's profile

Don W

13923 posts in 1065 days


#4 posted 553 days ago

Take the tang off and epoxy a piece from another ruler to extend the end the desired distance.

-- There is nothing like the sound of a well tuned hand plane. - http://timetestedtools.wordpress.com (timetestedtools at hotmail dot c0m)

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Vermont Hardwoods

17 posts in 553 days


#5 posted 553 days ago

I hadn’t considered a folding rule, but I don’t think it would work well. We still need a 0 at a very define point – we like to be able to measure to within a 1/64 and holding the end of a rule to the inside edge of a miter would be difficult to place.

I’m not saying we don’t want a tang, it’s just that we can’t use it for measuring because it will not reference the inside edge of a miter.

Regarding taking the tang off and extending it, that may work. We’d have to make a careful marking on the extension as to where 0 actually was, because a regular tape doesn’t go all the way down to 0 – it stops short at the thickness of the tang.

I have located a single 1” x 30’ Starrett model, but I think it may have been custom made as looking up the model number on their website shows a regular tape measure. We are pursuing that angle, and I will also take a look at Fastcap.

Thanks,

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rance

4104 posts in 1658 days


#6 posted 551 days ago

A picture of what you are doing would be worth 1000 words. :)

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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Vermont Hardwoods

17 posts in 553 days


#7 posted 551 days ago

How’s this?

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Wdwerker

329 posts in 731 days


#8 posted 551 days ago

Lee valley / Veritas has just what you need. It has a magnet to stick to your tape, it has an inside and outside 45 end and it has two little sharp pins that stick in the end of the miter so you can measure from the inside or outside of the cut. Little flat thing a bit bigger than a credit card.

-- Fine Custom Woodwork since 1978

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Wdwerker

329 posts in 731 days


#9 posted 551 days ago

Called a Miter Hook 50N37.01. It’s under” other ” marking tools. $9.50

-- Fine Custom Woodwork since 1978

View Vermont Hardwoods's profile

Vermont Hardwoods

17 posts in 553 days


#10 posted 551 days ago

Is this what you’re talking about?
http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/page.aspx?p=56766&cat=1,42936

If so, that doesn’t work for two reasons. First, you need to add an inch (better than subtracting, because if you make a mistake at least it will be too long…), but more importantly it’s designed to measure a corner that is put together. We need to measure the piece before it’s put together.

Interestingly enough, they DO have a tape measure that’s what we’re looking for in principle, but it’s not long enough and it’s cloth.
http://www.leevalley.com/US/gifts/page.aspx?p=55316&cat=4,55972

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Vermont Hardwoods

17 posts in 553 days


#11 posted 551 days ago

Whoops. Posted before you did your second post…
Will take a look.

View junebug's profile

junebug

75 posts in 902 days


#12 posted 551 days ago

I think Wdwerker linked what you are looking for.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1474 posts in 991 days


#13 posted 551 days ago

If all else fails, talk to the president of Fastcap (seriously). He may decide your idea is worthy of producing for sale. I’ve personally been in contact with him (only once) and he’s quite personable and very willing to listen to customers.

-- I long for the days when Coke was a cola, and a joint was a bad place to be (Merle Haggard)

View CessnaPilotBarry's profile

CessnaPilotBarry

864 posts in 608 days


#14 posted 551 days ago

In another direction…

For high precision work, I prefer metal cabinet maker’s rules. I’m equipped with 6, 12, 24, 36, and 48” versions.

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

View Vermont Hardwoods's profile

Vermont Hardwoods

17 posts in 553 days


#15 posted 551 days ago

I did talk with the Fastcap guy. He basically said that the timberframe industry wants a 1” x 30’ tape with 10” leading space and that he didn’t see a market for what I was looking for. However, if I would order 500 he would make 1000 and hold the other 500 (presumably to sell himself if possible, or to me if I marketed them and re-ordered). I may still consider this option.

I’m going to order that “miter hook” and give it a try. Basically, we have a direct read scale built into our “chopper” (guillotine miter cutter) that goes up to 60”, so up to 60” we are just checking the measurement. But once we get over 60” we have to use a tape to mark, and then check the measurement, so we would only use this for sizes over 60”, as it would be a bit cumbersome for everyday checking (I think). However, I think it will not only make our over 60” marking more accurate, but also easier, as now we have to either have someone hold the 1”, or set it yourself and hold it still as you walk to the other end. We may also get one of the 1/4” x 60” to use for our everyday checking so that we are always using the same measurements.

BTW, it’s even a little more complicated than that, because the default measurement call for adding a 1/8” allowance onto the specified measurement, i.e. a 16×20 frame is actually cut to 16-1/8” x 20-1/8” to allow for tolerances in fitting. And then some customers only want a 1/16” allowance, or have figured out how much allowance they want and will specify an exact measurement.

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