No Consistency With My Measuring Tools.

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Forum topic by Obed posted 02-20-2015 04:42 AM 1112 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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26 posts in 1313 days

02-20-2015 04:42 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question tip

How is it that my T square is 1/4” long, and there is 1/16” difference between my framing square and my measuring tape? How am I to make accurate measurements when nothing matches up? This is frustrating, I have a cabinet to make for the nursery at church and I do not seem to have any accurate measuring tools! I have not cut anything, just drawing and marking my sheets prior to cutting.

-- I am a novice, wanting more than a hobby, but to be a carpenter.

11 replies so far

View jmartel's profile (online now)


7806 posts in 2116 days

#1 posted 02-20-2015 04:44 AM

Pick one tool, probably a tape measure, and use that single tape exclusively. Use the T-square and framing square only for checking square, not measuring.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Ghidrah's profile


667 posts in 1188 days

#2 posted 02-20-2015 04:51 AM

What he said. Bare in mind they’re stamped out and press rolled with ink not lasers

-- I meant to do that!

View TheFridge's profile


9249 posts in 1452 days

#3 posted 02-20-2015 05:01 AM

What they said.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View shipwright's profile


7966 posts in 2763 days

#4 posted 02-20-2015 05:30 AM

What they said and mark from the work.
Rely less on numerical measurements and more on making fits.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View devann's profile


2246 posts in 2658 days

#5 posted 02-20-2015 05:39 AM

Good answers given in the comments above. To answer your first question. Purchase only quality tools from a reputable manufacture. But you have now probably already realized that you get what you pay for.

Learn to use jigs, “stop blocks” clamped a specified distance from your blade, & scribing patterns, etc, to get repetitive parts that fit.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10355 posts in 3394 days

#6 posted 02-20-2015 01:26 PM

Using a tape measure to determine actual distances is an exercise in futility, whose result is inconsequential, anyway.
What Paul and Darrell said.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View paxorion's profile


1107 posts in 2011 days

#7 posted 02-20-2015 01:46 PM

As everyone has said, pick one measuring tool and be consistent.

Whenever I teach anyone the basics of woodworking, I always tell them it isn’t as important to get exactly to say 1”, as it is for 1” to mean the same thing throughout the project. That’s one example as to why you mill all your boards at the same time and cut like parts without changing tool settings.

-- paxorion

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3307 days

#8 posted 02-20-2015 02:03 PM

when i worked in cab shops with other guys
we had a 2’ steel rule
once a week we all set our tapes to it
(bend the hook if necessary – i still do this with my own tapes)
to hopefully be at a somewhat same place
all tapes have some right places and some wrong
my table saw fence tape works great up to 2 1/2’
then wanders up to about 3 1/2’
none of the angle guides are the same either
you just have to pay attention
and work the variants thru as best you can

all the above is good advise
story sticks work great too
it doesn’t matter what measure it is
just work to that – whatever it may be

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View waho6o9's profile


8165 posts in 2542 days

#9 posted 02-20-2015 03:45 PM

Machinists 1 2 3 blocks

Story sticks

Folding ruler with brass extension

I’m glad you caught the discrepancies before you cut the material,

U da man Obed!

View goochs's profile


56 posts in 1195 days

#10 posted 02-24-2015 02:33 PM

we have one tape measure that we check every day against a steel rule on the 32nd’s scale – but we still measure for fit. We have squares and machinists tools to the tune of $100’s of dollars that we keep in a special toolbox JUST for calibration purposes. All because we found the square we were using(cheaper one) wasn’t really square

View Tennessee's profile


2860 posts in 2480 days

#11 posted 02-24-2015 02:41 PM

I have one Stanley tape that I have used for over 20 years. I also have a drawer full of other tapes, none of which are the same, and some of those are rather expensive tapes.
I have two straight edges I use, that match. Two framing squares that match, all the others just sit up on a shelf.

I’ve even got one level that is right, (in my mind), and none of my others will match it. All about 1/2” to 2” off with their bubbles.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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