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Thread: I learned something today

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    I learned something today

    I was doing some cutting on my TS when I realized I was having problems getting an accurate cut.

    I used my tape measure to measure the distance between the fence and the blade then make the cut but when I measured the piece the dimension was off by about a 32nd or so.

    Frustrated, I repeated the cut several time to be sure I was being accurate but was always getting that 32nd difference.

    The gurus among you have probably figured out what I was doing (and confirm if this really is the reason) and it involves that little play in the hook end that a tape measure has. I thought it was just a defect that all tape measures have, until today!

    It was almost life changing when I realized that little play was to adjust for the thickness of the hook itself when measuring inside, as when you set up a fence, and an outside measurement, as when you measure out-to-out. I always extended the measuring tape to take out the slack when I set up my fence. So, I was always a 32nd to long on the piece. After I set the fence snug to the measuring tape, the dimension was right on with the cut piece!

    I got very little done today because of the rain and my back but this old dog learned a new trick today.

    New to me anyways.

  2. #2
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    Good deal. You're surely not the only person who hadn't learned that aspect of using a tape measure. You've done a service to others by posting about it.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  3. #3
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    Good post Julio. When I was just beginning woodworking, it took me a long time to figure that out too. In fact I even went so far as to brad the rivet that holds the tip so that it wouldn't move. Bad idea!
    Keep posts like that coming. They're very helpful to everyone.

    Joe
    "When the horse is dead....Get Off!"

  4. #4
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    Actually, my dad pointed that out to me at one point growing up. We were in his shop and I kept starting my measurements from the 1" mark. He asked why, I told him I didn't use the end of the tape, because the hook on the end was loose.
    Darren

    A determined soul will do more with a rusty monkey wrench than a loafer will accomplish with all the tools in a machine shop. Robert Hughes (1938-2012), Australian art critic

  5. #5
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    Julio, I learn something just about every day. It helps keep the mind going. Years ago when I worked as a die maker, and I will add that die makers work with precision, we had a co-worker that measured out some rough dimensions on a new die shoe with a tape measure. Sent the die for some machining and fortunately had a machinist who checked measurements before making a cut. It turns out this die maker used a carpenters tape measure, one that measured dimensional lumber. This tape measured a 2x4 as 2" x 4" rather than 1-1/2" x 3-1/2" Boy was he teased and red faced. I don't think we ever let him live that one down.
    I'm a certifiable tree hugger. (it's a poor mans way of determining DBH before cutting the tree down)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Downes View Post
    Julio, I learn something just about every day. It helps keep the mind going. Years ago when I worked as a die maker, and I will add that die makers work with precision, we had a co-worker that measured out some rough dimensions on a new die shoe with a tape measure. Sent the die for some machining and fortunately had a machinist who checked measurements before making a cut. It turns out this die maker used a carpenters tape measure, one that measured dimensional lumber. This tape measured a 2x4 as 2" x 4" rather than 1-1/2" x 3-1/2" Boy was he teased and red faced. I don't think we ever let him live that one down.
    Never seen a tape measure like this my Dad was a carpenter. Not saying they don't exist. But if they do exist wouldn't that throw off all measurements the full length of the measuring tape. Most tapes are a little off say as much a 1/16" in 16' or more which isn't a problem in rough framing. But not good in finish work. That is why it's recommended to use the same tape throughout your project or use story sticks.

    Also if your using a tape to check your table-saw fence at least once in a while check it on the same tooth at both the front & the back
    of the blade swing with the blade rolled all the way up to see if your fence is actually straight with your blade.

    If you use a square to check if your table saw blade is 90 degrees to the table try this, instead of just using the blade of the square pointed up with the head of the square setting on the table, take the throat plate out & using a checked for true long bladed combination square let part of the square blade go all the way to bottom of the saw blade with the rest of the square blade measuring the top part of the saw blade. I have measured just on the top of the tale with a machinist square & still found the blade to be out of square with the table when checked it the above manner.

    As a side note I will mention I have a dial indicating tool that measures angles in degrees to check my squares with.

    http://www.grizzly.com/products/Dial-Protractor/G9900
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bart Leetch View Post
    If you use a square to check if your table saw blade is 90 degrees to the table try this, instead of just using the blade of the square pointed up with the head of the square setting on the table, take the throat plate out & using a checked for true long bladed combination square let part of the square blade go all the way to bottom of the saw blade with the rest of the square blade measuring the top part of the saw blade. I have measured just on the top of the tale with a machinist square & still found the blade to be out of square with the table when checked it the above manner.
    http://www.grizzly.com/products/Dial-Protractor/G9900
    Bart, the never occurred to me. I am doing that as soon as I get in the shop.

  8. #8
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    I think the major advantage to knowing these little "tricks" is that it takes the guessing out and frees your mind to worry about other little "tricks" I haven't learned yet.

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