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Tape Measures

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I guess I could have searched that.... Lol

Are there tape measures with machinist quality accuracy? I know WW doesn't need that type of accuracy it's just the OCD in me.

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Have you tried a folding rule, as a mason I could not live without one. I go through tapes at the rate of about 1 a week so I buy cheap ones for work, I have a couple vintage stainless steel 6 foot tapes that I leave in the shop, the problem is the numbers are very small and the blades are thin.

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Machinist quality? Sure, they're accurate but no, you won't find that in a tape measure because most tapes measure in as small as 1/32. The majority of machining is measured in thousands. Get a Stanley FatMax, 1" blade, 25' long. Or buy a folding ruler if you're worried about accuracy. When it comes to large items you're not gonna get caliper accuracy. Measurements are relative, if you measure 5' 9" with 1 tape, you're get close to it with another, you might be off a bit because over time the tape can stretch, could be the hook in the font being a bit loose or off. just always use the same tape for measuring on a project.

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No need for an expensive tape measure.  Find one that works for you and that you like.  Use it all the way thru a project and you'll be fine.  

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Kev and Richard have the right idea ! If you use the same tape through an entire job and don't drop it on the hook( and bend it ) you will be just fine.

I check a tape measure against an accurate engraved blade on a combination square. I use a 10 x magnafiying loupe to check closely.

I have compared a General Instruments, Products Engineering, and Starrett blades and can't tell a difference.

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My precision got better when building things when I stopped trying to measure accurately and based parts off of other parts as I went instead. 

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I typically use relative measuring, but a tape is a must have for me regardless.  I use a "self centering" tape, meaning that every measurement has its 0.5 underneath it for quick mathematics.

 

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The best tapes are the free promotional ones they give away with purchase at Harbor Freight. I have enough of them now that I don't have to search for one anymore. They're everywhere in my shop, like tribbles on the NCC-1701.

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The best tapes are the free promotional ones they give away with purchase at Harbor Freight. I have enough of them now that I don't have to search for one anymore. They're everywhere in my shop, like tribbles on the NCC-1701.

 

Ooooh...  A Star Trek fan I see...

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Ooooh... A Star Trek fan I see...

I was once bedridden for 12 weeks after an off-roading accident. This was back before satellite TV was available to tbe public, and we lived too far outside town for cable, so I had two broadcast channels to pick from. I'm pretty sure I saw every episode of the original series at least three times. By the last round, I could recite the script along with the actors. When you are unable to sit up or get out of bed for any reason ( I stress, ANY reason), you learn to take whatever entertainment you can get.

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The 16' Fat Max is my favorite shop tape.  If you're patient and pay attention, you can get them on sale for about 10 bucks.  I have about a dozen of them laying around. :)

 

I've tried a million different tapes, but the Fat Max is king!  No need for more than 16' unless you're doing construction.  The blade is the same width and has the same stand-out as the 30 footer...just less bulk and less weight.

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I typically use relative measuring, but a tape is a must have for me regardless.  I use a "self centering" tape, meaning that every measurement has its 0.5 underneath it for quick mathematics.

 

attachicon.gifuntitled.png

Thanks for that... what a elegant idea... just picked one up on Amazon for ~6 bucks...

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001737NYU/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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The 16' Fat Max is my favorite shop tape.  If you're patient and pay attention, you can get them on sale for about 10 bucks.  I have about a dozen of them laying around. :)

 

I've tried a million different tapes, but the Fat Max is king!  No need for more than 16' unless you're doing construction.  The blade is the same width and has the same stand-out as the 30 footer...just less bulk and less weight.

 

I have a 16 but, prefer the 12s in the shop..  I have quite a few of them.

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I think I've used examples of them all, including Starrett and Stanley, my faves are the $8-$9 FastCaps with the pencil sharpener in the case.   I have several versions, including the flat back that'll go around corners.    The one I use most in the shop is a 16' version, standard / reverse reading, with the green trim.

 

If you poke around online, they're CHEAP from some sources.

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I like the fat max and the Lee Valley cabinet makers tapes. If your looking for accuracy use only 1 tape and reference from that one tape measure. A story stick for your project will also help with accuracy.

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My favorite is a Lufkin that automatically holds the tape extended, you push the button to let it reel in.  Opposite of what is normal and it makes more sense to me too.

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@ Eric, apologies, mine are not Fat Max, they are just Stanley. Same company tho..

 

What I like about them is that I get the same simple measurement on both sides for the tape.  I have a tape that has metric on one side or actually writes the fractions on one side of the tape..  

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