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Thread: Tape Measure Redesign

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Manistique, Michigan

    Tape Measure Redesign

    Why don't the tool companies make a tape measure that starts at -1 (negative 1). That way when you hold in an inch, you read the correct number. Not that I have made a mistake holding in an inch.

    You would definitely have to be on your toes when you do use the hook to take a measurement, but it could be a neat feature.
    Rich (the Yooper)

    "To the world, you may be one person, but to one person, you may be the world."

    "Common sense is not so common."

  2. #2
    Actually, I normally don't trust the hook to stay at exactly 0. The rivets always seem to loosen just a little. Therefore when doing measurements that need to be relatively accurate, I'll start from the 1" mark.

    I'd buy one of these!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    I use tapes for general measurements and rules for specific ones.

    That being said I can safely say, without fear of contradiction, that I have never goofed when starting at the 1 mark on a tape measure . . . . Bwah-ha-ha-ha . . OK I couldn't keep a straight face on that one.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Quote Originally Posted by Dean Charlier View Post
    Actually, I normally don't trust the hook to stay at exactly 0. The rivets always seem to loosen just a little. Therefore when doing measurements that need to be relatively accurate, I'll start from the 1" mark.

    I'd buy one of these!
    You probably know this already, but for those who don't...the hook on a tape measure is supposed to be loose by design. It should move exactly the same distance as the hook tab is thick. That way it remains accurate when you push the hook up to something, or hook it over something. Of course, some tapes are more accurate than others, and over time, the hook can become looser than it came from the factory.

    As Glens said though, for accurate stuff, I use a rule (or a story stick).
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Alexandria, Virginia
    An excellent article, well worth reading, can be found here:

    The Foibles of Tape Measures

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Inside the Beltway
    Woodcraft sells some nice tapes. They lay flat instead of being curved. You can write on the face with a pencil, essentially making it a story stick. And the spring closes the tape gently, instead of slamming it back in.

    That said, I can't keep tapes around very long. I put them down, and they grow legs and run off. Worse, while they're running around, number 6 son loves to get hold of them, and measure everything in sight.

    I've tried to fix a few that have gotten broken (it gets frustrating to buy tapes over and over), but somehow that never works out...



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Kea'au Hawaii. Just down the road from Hilo town!
    Reminds me of something I did when I when I picked up a tape and found the darn tip was loose Can't have a "loose" hook So I stretched it out and took a hammer and punch and "fixed" those loose rivets!!. I don't remember how old I was but should have know better but I had never really used one as Dad always had folding rulers in his shop (mostly metal work) I just couldn't stand using the "Old fashion" folding ruler When Dad seen what I did he didn't laugh but mention that the tape I bought was defective! He could see what I had done and later we talked about it and explained why the hook was loose. On an off subject about my Dad, He only graduated from the 8th grade but he was a welder all his life and could layout a water tank for a particular application just by being told how may gallons it needed to hold or measure out a tank and tell you how many gallons it held. I never felt I was better than him because I completed high school. I read not too long ago what a test included to graduate from the eigth grade. Yeah you had to take big test that covered a lot of things. I know that I wouldn't have graduated! Some of the test I think boardered on what would be taught in 1st year college. Sorry for the rambling.

    What goes around, comes around.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    outside of Toronto, Ont
    OK, the story of my first tape measure that I purchased at about 13 or 14 years of age while helping at my uncle's lumber yard.
    Within an hour of purchasing the tape I was cutting a board at the RAS. I can't remember if the board and tape were both cut to the same length or not, but the tape was definitely cut.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Hi Rich.

    I'm sorry but you're late with your idea. Stanley sells this one in Spain, and I would be surpised it doesn't in US. This is good for inner measurements and incorporates what you need on the reverse of the tape.

    The only thing I miss on this one is a lock button.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails stanley01.jpg   stanley02.jpg   stanley03.jpg  
    Best regards,

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Alexandria, Virginia
    Quote Originally Posted by Toni Ciuraneta View Post
    Stanley sells this one in Spain...
    While not the same, I use a Stanley metric tape measure because it is far easier to remember cm or mm vs. fractional inches.

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