Author Topic: I keep cutting things short!!  (Read 1827 times)

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Online Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 336
I keep cutting things short!!
« on: September 15, 2020, 09:54 AM »
I switched from Imperial to Metric as I figured it would be easier to add/subtract solid numbers as well as remember them but so far I'm still making as many if not more mistakes.  SMH

Since switching, I built a 8020 table saw outfeed table and ended up cutting 1 piece short by 10mm and another by 5mm.  Yesterday I was breaking down sheets of Birch ply for cabinet drawer boxes and ended up cutting 4 pieces to short by 100mm.  Then I was crosscutting all the sides, was in a rhythm, grabbed the stack of front/rear (32 of them), didn't look at my labels and cut them so they're all short!  This was more of my own not paying attention, not having enough room to keep them separated well, pencil labels to small to stand out, etc., but nonetheless is a mistake.

All that said, it seems I can't get through a project without wasting material.  Do you have these same issues or others you tend to make?  If so, does it happen often, and have you found any methods to reduce the mistakes?

Possible solutions based on everybody's feedback:
  • Measure twice cut once
  • Not all rules are created equal!!  Check your rules against each other.  You cannot mix/match rules which are not the same and expect the same results.  Use rules which match for measuring, marking, fence/rail alignment, etc.
  • If using metric, "cm" graduations rather than "mm" is known to cause more errors for some people.  This is because it has 1-9 after each 10cm rather than 10,20,30, etc. or 10,11,12, etc.  Errors have been reduced by people who have switched to mm scales.
  • If you use "cm" graduations, learn to call out the measurement in meters (if applicable), followed by centimeters (if applicable), and finally millimeters.  This will help you consistently find the correct spot on the rule.
  • Double check with Imperial tape measure
  • Label your stock ... besides name, size, etc., cut mark location helps to verify against the table saw rule, etc.
  • Cut story poles and double check against the story pole
  • Cut long pieces first
  • Cut similar pieces all at the same time
  • Don't do everything all at once ... you can fatigue ... slow down
  • Shorten everything else!
  • Get out the epoxy and wood filler
« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 11:52 AM by Bugsysiegals »

Offline Rick Herrick

  • Posts: 250
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2020, 10:00 AM »
I too am trying to move my brain from imperial to metric.  I have both tapes in front of me all the time and I sometimes get the metric number in my head but will double check it with the imperial tape.  One thing I was thinking was to build a simple chart thats 36" total and put the metric number by each 1/4 inch just to give me another sanity check.  Make a poster out of it, basically.  I bet that hurts to cut nice material and find out its short.  Good luck.  Seems the old 'measure twice, cut once', still ain't enough... [cool]

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1973
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2020, 10:07 AM »
It does happen once in a while though not too often to cause me concerns or frustrations ("Measure Twice, Cut Once" has been around for ages).

For odd measurements or critical pieces, I use both imperial and metric units to double check my settings before making the cuts.

If possible, I make pencil marks on the stock instead of measuring to find the cut marks.

Edit: Using pencil marks - This also eliminates potential errors caused by any difference between a measuring tape and the measurement scale on the table saw or miter saw. Photo added.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 10:48 AM by ChuckM »

Offline Don T

  • Posts: 1979
  • Phoenix, Az
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2020, 10:24 AM »
Slow down. Why are you rushing? I assume this is a hobby.
RO150, C12, DF 500 Q, CT33, TS75, MFT3, Kapex 120, MFT3/Kapex, MFK 700, RO 90, ETS150/3, CT22, Centrotec Installers Kit, Parallel Guides & Ext, Carvex, OF1400, LR32 Set, MFS400 w/700 rails, KA UG Set, First Aid Kit, RTS 400 EQ, Vecturo OS400 Set, CT Wings, CT Drill Guide, Pro 5, CXS, C18, HL850, Vac Sys set

Online Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 336
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2020, 10:40 AM »
Slow down. Why are you rushing? I assume this is a hobby.

This is just a hobby and I was rushing the cuts because my wife had to join a conference call and I wanted to wrap things up ... lesson learned ... mark the board dimensions and check them before each cut. 

Online Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 336
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2020, 10:41 AM »
I too am trying to move my brain from imperial to metric.  I have both tapes in front of me all the time and I sometimes get the metric number in my head but will double check it with the imperial tape.  One thing I was thinking was to build a simple chart thats 36" total and put the metric number by each 1/4 inch just to give me another sanity check.  Make a poster out of it, basically.  I bet that hurts to cut nice material and find out its short.  Good luck.  Seems the old 'measure twice, cut once', still ain't enough... [cool]

I've also measured twice and had the error so while not optimal I like the idea of double checking with imperial ... great idea!

Online Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 336
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2020, 10:42 AM »
It does happen once in a while though not too often to cause me concerns or frustrations ("Measure Twice, Cut Once" has been around for ages).

For odd measurements or critical pieces, I use both imperial and metric units to double check my settings before making the cuts.

If possible, I make pencil marks on the stock instead of measuring to find the cut marks.

Thanks for the idea, I will begin to use this.

Offline zapdafish

  • Posts: 590
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2020, 10:56 AM »
I have made this mistake too, i usually just shorten everything else by 10mm.  [big grin]

I started using story sticks to transfer measurements and do the measure twice thing on the story stick marks. Before the cut, just lay the story stick up to make sure you are on your marks and not inside it. It has saved me from misreading fence settings too,

I switched from Imperial to Metric as I figured it would be easier to add/subtract solid numbers as well as remember them but so far I'm still making as many if not more mistakes.  SMH

Since switching, I built a 8020 table saw outfeed table and ended up cutting 1 piece short by 10mm and another by 5mm.  Yesterday I was breaking down sheets of Birch ply for cabinet drawer boxes and ended up cutting 4 pieces to short by 100mm.  Then I was crosscutting all the sides, was in a rhythm, grabbed the stack of front/rear (32 of them), didn't look at my labels and cut them so they're all short!  This was more of my own not paying attention, not having enough room to keep them separated well, pencil labels to small to stand out, etc., but nonetheless is a mistake.

All that said, it seems I can't get through a project without wasting material.  Do you have these same issues or others you tend to make?  If so, does it happen often, and have you found any methods to reduce the mistakes?
« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 10:59 AM by zapdafish »
CT22, TS55, Kapex, RO150, Domino, RS 2 E

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1973
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2020, 11:00 AM »
I've also measured twice and had the error so while not optimal I like the idea of double checking with imperial ... great idea!

"Measure twice, cut once" works perfectly well...in theory. In practice, other factors come into play that affect the outcome including when you have to do additions or subtractions to arrive at the cutting measurements. I look at that advice as a reminder for checking my settings rather than as a final solution.

I also try to cut all the long pieces first so that if I do make a rare cutting mistake, I might have a way out somehow.

One last habit. Unlike what you may see in a magazine or hear from others, in a complex project, I do not make a cutting list and cut out all the pieces. I sometimes make changes to a design or sketch on the fly as I work, and cutting out all the pieces could force me to stick to what may not be the best result I want to see. So I start with, say, the carcase or frame, and cut those parts first. By dividing the build into subunits, it gives me flexibility while avoiding shop fatigue which can cause all kinds of errors in the shop.

Some may argue that it's more efficient to have the machines set up once and finish all the cutting tasks. Well, only if every cut is dead-on and correct. Making an error on 20 identical pieces that can't be fixed is more painful than setting up some machine once every few days.

In the image I attached in my first post, I was working on the door. I didn't cut anything about the door until more than a week after I started the project. Zero cutting errors so far (but some on the DF500 operation, but that's another story).
« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 11:17 AM by ChuckM »

Offline jimbo51

  • Posts: 495
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2020, 12:49 PM »
I am working on a project to increase the width of the bays on a pair of systainer racks. This involves a saw and a Domino 700 and later some epoxy filler. The original work involved miter cuts that required a bit of trimming so that each bay is a slightly different width. I have decided that I want all the racks to have drawers that I can swap out freely. The next set I made with butt joints.

Offline Vtshopdog

  • Posts: 52
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2020, 01:38 PM »
Regarding Metic tape measures, not all are created equal.  Years ago we had a half dozen Metric tapes in my ski shop that somehow the scale markings were such that it was really easy to miss by 10 cm. There was a subtle way the digits were printed that facilitated screwing up. (kind of a bummer when instead of a $10 piece of wood cut short it's a $500 pair of skis with binding holes in wrong spot....)

The screw up tapes had 10 cm digit markings followed by 10-90 mm markings then next 10 cm digit ( for example 40cm then 10mm, 20mm ....90mm  then 50cm, 10mm, 20mm rather than 41,42, 43 ...50 etc)

My guys were messing things  up way too often, finally one of us (ME!) made exact same mistake twice in a row.  Replaced the tapes and problem went away.


Offline Don T

  • Posts: 1979
  • Phoenix, Az
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2020, 02:00 PM »
Slow down. Why are you rushing? I assume this is a hobby.

This is just a hobby and I was rushing the cuts because my wife had to join a conference call and I wanted to wrap things up ... lesson learned ... mark the board dimensions and check them before each cut.
Sometimes I will check all dimensions again before making cuts. I have been in your shoes.
RO150, C12, DF 500 Q, CT33, TS75, MFT3, Kapex 120, MFT3/Kapex, MFK 700, RO 90, ETS150/3, CT22, Centrotec Installers Kit, Parallel Guides & Ext, Carvex, OF1400, LR32 Set, MFS400 w/700 rails, KA UG Set, First Aid Kit, RTS 400 EQ, Vecturo OS400 Set, CT Wings, CT Drill Guide, Pro 5, CXS, C18, HL850, Vac Sys set

Online Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 336
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2020, 02:16 PM »
I have made this mistake too, i usually just shorten everything else by 10mm.  [big grin]

I started using story sticks to transfer measurements and do the measure twice thing on the story stick marks. Before the cut, just lay the story stick up to make sure you are on your marks and not inside it. It has saved me from misreading fence settings too,

I switched from Imperial to Metric as I figured it would be easier to add/subtract solid numbers as well as remember them but so far I'm still making as many if not more mistakes.  SMH

Since switching, I built a 8020 table saw outfeed table and ended up cutting 1 piece short by 10mm and another by 5mm.  Yesterday I was breaking down sheets of Birch ply for cabinet drawer boxes and ended up cutting 4 pieces to short by 100mm.  Then I was crosscutting all the sides, was in a rhythm, grabbed the stack of front/rear (32 of them), didn't look at my labels and cut them so they're all short!  This was more of my own not paying attention, not having enough room to keep them separated well, pencil labels to small to stand out, etc., but nonetheless is a mistake.

All that said, it seems I can't get through a project without wasting material.  Do you have these same issues or others you tend to make?  If so, does it happen often, and have you found any methods to reduce the mistakes?

Thanks, another great tip!

Online Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 336
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2020, 02:31 PM »
Regarding Metic tape measures, not all are created equal.  Years ago we had a half dozen Metric tapes in my ski shop that somehow the scale markings were such that it was really easy to miss by 10 cm. There was a subtle way the digits were printed that facilitated screwing up. (kind of a bummer when instead of a $10 piece of wood cut short it's a $500 pair of skis with binding holes in wrong spot....)

The screw up tapes had 10 cm digit markings followed by 10-90 mm markings then next 10 cm digit ( for example 40cm then 10mm, 20mm ....90mm  then 50cm, 10mm, 20mm rather than 41,42, 43 ...50 etc)

My guys were messing things  up way too often, finally one of us (ME!) made exact same mistake twice in a row.  Replaced the tapes and problem went away.


Funny, my tape measure is exactly this way with 1-9 repeating.  I'd not thought about it but I bet this makes for more mistakes than less.  Which tape measure did you replace it with?  I was going to get a FastCap but I'm not sure what's the "best".  If this really causes this many mistakes I wonder why they continue to make these tapes in this way...

P.S. Sorry to hear about this skiis ... I should be so lucky to be catching these errors and forming good habits on cheap pieces of wood.

320778-0320780-1
« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 02:35 PM by Bugsysiegals »

Offline Vtshopdog

  • Posts: 52
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2020, 03:16 PM »
.

P.S. Sorry to hear about this skiis ... I should be so lucky to be catching these errors and forming good habits on cheap pieces of wood.

(Attachment Link) (Attachment Link)

This was in a retail ski shop, employees mis-drilling skis was a cost of doing business- they all did it at some point and it was simply an issue of when, not if.

(I will say for some of the Techs “When” was sooner and more frequent than for others...)

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 875
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2020, 04:22 PM »
the problem is the tape measures.  For some reason, almost all of them are in cm, no mm.   This makes it so easy to screw up when reading it.    You want say 236mm.   Your brain is expecting things like 100, 200, 300, and then between them. 10, 20, 30 markings, and then 1mm tick marks.   So,  200, ->30 -> 6 ticks,    but since almost all of them are in cm, you are looking at 10, 20, 30, 1, 2, 3...   It just sets up the path for issues.

The only tape I have found in the US that is any good marking wise is the true32 tape.  It works correctly (mm).  All the rest are in cm, I have messed up a lot with them.   As folks know from other threads, I'm very metric, these stupid cm tape measures cause nothing but issues.

This Thread. covered some of the issues.  Once you go over 1m, screw ups becomes super easy.

When tools are marked in mm (as all festool stuff is), but all the tapes you find are cm, it just sets up for issues.  And no, this isn't a divide by 10 issues, it's how we read out/remember numbers.

From experience, if you keep coming up short, I can almost guarantee it's a mistake in going from mm to trying to locate on a cm tape.  But if you are coming up 10mm short every time, maybe it's just time to clean the tip of your tape.   [tongue]

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 1253
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2020, 04:43 PM »
Here's how someone told me to think about it.

If the call out is in millimetres, then:

looking left to right on the number

if a single digit always millimetres

If 2 digits then the first digit is centimeters and the last digit is millimeters

If 3 digits then first 2 digits are the number of centimeters and the last digit is millimeters

If 4 digits then first digit is meters next two digits centimeters and the last millimeters

and on

So 236 milimeters is 23 centimeters and 6 millimeters
Ron


Offline kevinculle

  • Posts: 359
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2020, 04:46 PM »
For any significant project I prepare an Excel spreadsheet that starts with the overall dimensions of the finished object(s) then drills down to the exact dimensions of each piece and the order of processing from rough lumber through finished parts, assemblies, and projects.  If you start cutting one piece before you know the dimensions of every other piece it fits with you are hoping, not planning.  In my experience each 8 hour workday needs about 2 to 4 hours of detailed planning before it starts if you want to be productive and minimize waste.  You can avoid this planning time discipline but you will waste more time making and remaking the parts of your project.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1973
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2020, 04:56 PM »
Snip.
 In my experience each 8 hour workday needs about 2 to 4 hours of detailed planning before it starts if you want to be productive and minimize waste.  You can avoid this planning time discipline but you will waste more time making and remaking the parts of your project.
Let me get this clarified with you first as I might be misreading your message. Are you saying you spend 25% to 50% of each of your working session on planning?
« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 04:58 PM by ChuckM »

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 6701
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2020, 05:15 PM »
Meh, I keep on cutting things short ALL the time. Think I could build a house with all the material I wasted over the years.

The problem is not the tape measures, nor the system.

It's me.

Offline rmhinden

  • Posts: 353
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2020, 05:26 PM »
the problem is the tape measures.  For some reason, almost all of them are in cm, no mm.   This makes it so easy to screw up when reading it.    You want say 236mm.   Your brain is expecting things like 100, 200, 300, and then between them. 10, 20, 30 markings, and then 1mm tick marks.   So,  200, ->30 -> 6 ticks,    but since almost all of them are in cm, you are looking at 10, 20, 30, 1, 2, 3...   It just sets up the path for issues.

The only tape I have found in the US that is any good marking wise is the true32 tape.  It works correctly (mm).  All the rest are in cm, I have messed up a lot with them.   As folks know from other threads, I'm very metric, these stupid cm tape measures cause nothing but issues.


I agree.   I think I read it somewhere, it's less error prone if you only work in mm.  That is, not in cm.  It avoids the issues you mention.

I only get rules that are in mm.    As you wrote, the FastCap true32 tape is good  The Woodpecker metric rules are in mm.   

Bob

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 875
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2020, 05:39 PM »
Meh, I keep on cutting things short ALL the time. Think I could build a house with all the material I wasted over the years.

The problem is not the tape measures, nor the system.

It's me.

You were working the "tiny house movement" before it was cool.

I generally find there are always shorter parts to be made, so most errors are saved.  I cut longest stuff first,  so then I can always use screw ups to make shorter parts.

Offline TwelvebyTwenty

  • Posts: 99
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2020, 05:45 PM »
My wife has been telling me for a long time that I overestimated the length of things.

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 4009
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2020, 06:39 PM »
the problem is the tape measures.  For some reason, almost all of them are in cm, no mm.   This makes it so easy to screw up when reading it.    You want say 236mm.   Your brain is expecting things like 100, 200, 300, and then between them. 10, 20, 30 markings, and then 1mm tick marks.   So,  200, ->30 -> 6 ticks,    but since almost all of them are in cm, you are looking at 10, 20, 30, 1, 2, 3...   It just sets up the path for issues.

The only tape I have found in the US that is any good marking wise is the true32 tape.  It works correctly (mm).  All the rest are in cm, I have messed up a lot with them.   As folks know from other threads, I'm very metric, these stupid cm tape measures cause nothing but issues.

I tend to concur.  The issue I have with FastCap tapes is that they're often less accurate than Hultafors tapes, for example.  In the attached photo, two Hultafors tapes (3M and 6M) are on top, and two FastCap tapes below. 
- Willy -

  "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. 
  The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass."

 - Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898)

Offline FestitaMakool

  • Posts: 563
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #24 on: September 15, 2020, 06:40 PM »
Meh.. you’re doing it wrong: Measure once and cut twice, or more..  [big grin]
it’s the head that gets screwed up. Fractions in imperial is no good if the measuring device doesn’t have the right scale (At least what many of those I’ve seen and used here)
Metric where all goes 10x in each scale, is easier - but leaves no guarantee for error - the user! [wink]
There’s no “wrong” thinking, whether one thinks in mm, cm or meter. Do what’s easiest for you.
I use metric (of course) almost for anything new. But there are imperial on some (rare, old) stock or framing wood. Not to mention imperial in mechanical applications, such as bolts. I then use imperial to measure something established in imperial. For new layout metric is easier to work with once you familiarise. A tape measure or measuring stick with both standards helps familiarise.
“The Stig” Yes, it is true, at least some part of it..
“If you have an old Land Rover and a fit wife, you’re most likely always busy”

Offline FestitaMakool

  • Posts: 563
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #25 on: September 15, 2020, 06:47 PM »
Hultafors is quite renowned here by professionals.
I only carry Hultafors measuring sticks, apart from one Stabila. I usually have 10+ of them spread all over. And checked side by side, unless damaged they are all more or less spot on to each other.
“The Stig” Yes, it is true, at least some part of it..
“If you have an old Land Rover and a fit wife, you’re most likely always busy”

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1973
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #26 on: September 15, 2020, 06:55 PM »
Snip.
I tend to concur.  The issue I have with FastCap tapes is that they're often less accurate than Hultafors tapes, for example.  In the attached photo, two Hultafors tapes (3M and 6M) are on top, and two FastCap tapes below.
Less accurate?

It shouldn't matter as long as the same tape is used throughout to measure everything in a project, including using that same tape to set up the table saw. etc. I know for a fact that the tape measure on my table saw isn't the same as any tapes I own (Lee Valley, Fastcap, Craftsman, etc.).

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 7674
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #27 on: September 15, 2020, 07:00 PM »
Another issue is if you switch between different manufacturers tape measures. Not every tape measure is exactly the same. A few years back I purged the 5 different tapes I used and replaced them with 3 Starretts that were on sale.

One sits on the table saw, one sits on the Kapex and the third is what I use for general measurements.

If what I'm cutting is absolutely critical...I then use the same tape to both measure and to mark the wood. 

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 4009
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #28 on: September 15, 2020, 07:06 PM »
Another issue is if you switch between different manufacturers tape measures. Not every tape measure is exactly the same.

Exactly my point.  It seems that my Hultafors tapes are the most consistent, tape to tape.  Too bad they're so hard to find in the US. 
- Willy -

  "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. 
  The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass."

 - Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898)

Offline kevinculle

  • Posts: 359
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #29 on: September 15, 2020, 08:10 PM »

Let me get this clarified with you first as I might be misreading your message. Are you saying you spend 25% to 50% of each of your working session on planning?

No.  When I am working a large scale project I put in 6 to 8 hours in the shop, working steadily to my plan and always 15-30 minutes at the end of the day to clean and organize for the next day.  Then in the evening I work the plan to update where I'm at, make sure all the details for tomorrow's work are complete and plan ahead a few days.  On a day to day basis this probably takes no more than an hour.  Before I ever start the project I do full scale SketchUp models and my detailed spreadsheets covering all parts and operations.  So I am estimating between the initial planning and the daily refining the plan I spend 2 to 4 hours total in planning for every 7 to 8 hours working the wood.  In my experience the time spent doing effective planning pays back many times over in the quality and productivity of my shop time.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 08:12 PM by kevinculle »

Offline afish

  • Posts: 57
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #30 on: September 15, 2020, 10:08 PM »
I agree with the fastcap true 32 tape. I love that thing I even bought the flat version for my unisaw.  I work in metric for cabinet work but switch back to imperial for eveything else.  Old habits die hard.  I havent had any issues so far with the fastcap tapes not matching up between the two (handheld and saw).  Also when I use the end stops with my LR32 and have cut the panel based on 32mm it fits perfect between the stops, snug but not to snug and no slop.  I couldnt be happier but maybe I just got lucky...

Online Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 336
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #31 on: September 15, 2020, 11:30 PM »
the problem is the tape measures.  For some reason, almost all of them are in cm, no mm.   This makes it so easy to screw up when reading it.    You want say 236mm.   Your brain is expecting things like 100, 200, 300, and then between them. 10, 20, 30 markings, and then 1mm tick marks.   So,  200, ->30 -> 6 ticks,    but since almost all of them are in cm, you are looking at 10, 20, 30, 1, 2, 3...   It just sets up the path for issues.

The only tape I have found in the US that is any good marking wise is the true32 tape.  It works correctly (mm).  All the rest are in cm, I have messed up a lot with them.   As folks know from other threads, I'm very metric, these stupid cm tape measures cause nothing but issues.

I tend to concur.  The issue I have with FastCap tapes is that they're often less accurate than Hultafors tapes, for example.  In the attached photo, two Hultafors tapes (3M and 6M) are on top, and two FastCap tapes below.

I’ve many different measuring devices and often wondered which is correct (General Ultratech Caliper, Stanley tape measure, Kregg Multi-Purpose Marking, Lee Valley Long Life Folding, SS Starrett, Woodpecker, Oregon, and Incra rules).  I've double checked and everything is in alignment except the Oregon adhesive rule and Incra Lexicon scales. 

Besides the tape measure which can be off since the hook can flex, this is great to know since I use Incra fence with plastic scales and/or teeth for the MFT/3 fence, parallel guides, and miter sled ... now I know not to use the plastic scales on the same projects where I've used any of my other rules and vice-versa.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2020, 03:08 PM by Bugsysiegals »

Offline Bohdan

  • Posts: 984
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #32 on: September 15, 2020, 11:42 PM »
When I need to buy a new tape measure I go to a store that has lots of different brands, pull the tapes out to a long length and compare a bunch of tape readings. The ones that don't agree with the rest I discard and from the rest I select the one that  like.

This tape usually agrees with the ones that I have at home.

(This would be easier if I remembered to take one of the tapes from home with me.) [big grin]

Offline afish

  • Posts: 57
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #33 on: September 16, 2020, 08:15 AM »
I dont think that tape measure error is as huge of a deal as some.  I have only had one time that I remember that one tape was grossly wrong and it was a junk brand, I stay away from it anyways.  A 1/16 or mm or two shouldnt be a make or break scenario in most woodworking.  After all thats what fillers are for, there's going to be a lot more of variance in any wall than on two different tape measures. Yes its better to be consistent and use the same tape throughout the entire job.  Yes some tools or machines will have their own rule and if I am cutting or setting up to make a bunch of critical cuts I always let the tool start a cut then stop and pull out my tape and verify the saws rule matches my tape.  This practice comes from working in some large shops that might have 10 table saws and 200 carpenters working in it. So you never knew how accurate or what the guy before you did so you always had to verify.  At home you develop more trust in your equipment but its still a good practice.   

Offline six-point socket II

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Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #34 on: September 16, 2020, 02:50 PM »
As a native metric'ian, I'd like to hear more about what you think the problem actually is.

I can understand that if metric isn't exactly "natural" for the user, switching between mm and cm can cause troubles/"accidents".

Like my Woodpecker Square(s) and also my German made Squares and T-Squares use mm. But my folding ruler(s) and most tape measures use cm.

So 110 (mm) on my Square is actually 11.0 cm and 110 (cm) on my folding rule or tape measure is 1.10 m

To me that has never been an issue, because, again, it's natural - and even if it wasn't: the size of the "300 mm" Square alone, screams "it's mm" because that's never going to be 300cm or 3m ;)

I'd ban every tape measure from the shop that starts at "1" again after "10".


Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

"... . Say yes to stuff, and it will take you interesting places." - Anne Richards, CEO Fidelity International

Online Bugsysiegals

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Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #35 on: September 16, 2020, 04:06 PM »
As a native metric'ian, I'd like to hear more about what you think the problem actually is.

I can understand that if metric isn't exactly "natural" for the user, switching between mm and cm can cause troubles/"accidents".

Like my Woodpecker Square(s) and also my German made Squares and T-Squares use mm. But my folding ruler(s) and most tape measures use cm.

So 110 (mm) on my Square is actually 11.0 cm and 110 (cm) on my folding rule or tape measure is 1.10 m

To me that has never been an issue, because, again, it's natural - and even if it wasn't: the size of the "300 mm" Square alone, screams "it's mm" because that's never going to be 300cm or 3m ;)

I'd ban every tape measure from the shop that starts at "1" again after "10".


Kind regards,
Oliver

I switched to metric a few years ago and this is my second project since doing it.  Adding/removing 0 isn't difficult and for me I believe it's the repeating 1-9 or 10,20,30, which causes improper reading of the rule. 

In this case, I was supposed to cut several boards at 1149mm but instead cut them at 1049mm which is 100mm short.  I suspect I pulled the tape measure out until I seen 100cm which is followed by 1 and my mind jumped to 1100 and then moved over to the 4 thinking I was where I needed to be.  The Stanley tape measure is the only metric rule I have which is labeled in this way ... all other rules are either numbered consecutively such as 100, 101, 102, etc., or are in mm.  In fact, the 8020 pieces I cut short were also measured with the Stanley tape measure.

Maybe it's only an accident waiting to happen for non-native metric persons but it seems this problem could be easily avoided altogether by printing the numbers consecutively.  Perhaps I'd still make the occasional error with cm to mm but I bet it would be far less of an issue than the repeating 1-9.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 04:09 PM by Bugsysiegals »

Offline DeformedTree

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Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #36 on: September 16, 2020, 04:53 PM »
As a native metric'ian, I'd like to hear more about what you think the problem actually is.

I can understand that if metric isn't exactly "natural" for the user, switching between mm and cm can cause troubles/"accidents".

Like my Woodpecker Square(s) and also my German made Squares and T-Squares use mm. But my folding ruler(s) and most tape measures use cm.

So 110 (mm) on my Square is actually 11.0 cm and 110 (cm) on my folding rule or tape measure is 1.10 m

To me that has never been an issue, because, again, it's natural - and even if it wasn't: the size of the "300 mm" Square alone, screams "it's mm" because that's never going to be 300cm or 3m ;)

I'd ban every tape measure from the shop that starts at "1" again after "10".


Kind regards,
Oliver

I switched to metric a few years ago and this is my second project since doing it.  Adding/removing 0 isn't difficult and for me I believe it's the repeating 1-9 or 10,20,30, which causes improper reading of the rule. 

In this case, I was supposed to cut several boards at 1149mm but instead cut them at 1049mm which is 100mm short.  I suspect I pulled the tape measure out until I seen 100cm which is followed by 1 and my mind jumped to 1100 and then moved over to the 4 thinking I was where I needed to be.  The Stanley tape measure is the only metric rule I have which is labeled in this way ... all other rules are either numbered consecutively such as 100, 101, 102, etc., or are in mm.  In fact, the 8020 pieces I cut short were also measured with the Stanley tape measure.

Maybe it's only an accident waiting to happen for non-native metric persons but it seems this problem could be easily avoided altogether by printing the numbers consecutively.  Perhaps I'd still make the occasional error with cm to mm but I bet it would be far less of an issue than the repeating 1-9.

Your case is exactly the exampled I gave in the other thread I liked to above.  When you go over 1m, things get screwy fast.

Its really just frustrating as it doesn't need to be this way, there is no reason for cm, it's defeating a big purpose of metric and bring numbers to the other side of the decimal, which is just one more thing to deal with.   Adding to it, aside from tape measures, almost nothing is in cm, especially the stuff woodworkers are using.     Drills, Bits, Tools, hardware, 32mm cabinets, sliders, material thicknesses, on and on,  everything is in mm,  so randomly injecting cm in there is just absurd.   From a lifetime of seeing people struggle with/dislike metric,  centimeters are one of the core problems, when you have mm and m, things make sense, and the use case is there, suddenly using this other unit here and there that is getting closer to an inch, but not an inch,  adds one more unit (remember, trying to get away from fractions, thou's, inches, feet, yards, and trim down to mm and m).  You will not find many anti-metric folks who don't use cm as a core of their arguments against metric.

Offline six-point socket II

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Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #37 on: September 16, 2020, 05:11 PM »
I hear what you say about "cm" and I can even see the "problem" you're addressing - but to be honest, for native metric users, it simply isn't one. It is done/used every day like that. And the process of simply changing the decimal dot feels/is natural.

Everything above 1m would mean a 4 figure number in mm. That's not really practical to work with (at those lengths), that's why cm are used. And it's the same vice versa: a 12 mm drill bit "makes more sense" than a 1.2 cm drill bit. It just "naturally grew/ evolved"

But I guess it all comes down to what you are truly used to. I bought myself a tape measure that has a metric and fractional scale, just to better understand FOG posts when fractional measurements are used, to get a "feel" for it, so to speak. And I'm sure, if I started to do projects with inches/fractional measurements, I'd make the same mistakes.

Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

"... . Say yes to stuff, and it will take you interesting places." - Anne Richards, CEO Fidelity International

Online Bugsysiegals

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Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #38 on: September 18, 2020, 06:07 PM »
FWIW - I ordered a Starrett adhesive rule and not only does it align perfect to my SS Starrett rules but it fits inside the Incra tracks.  The Incra Lexicon scales aren’t off by a lot but if you wish to have all rules the same, this is a suitable replacement.

I also received the Fastcap True32 tape measure and it’s only off by about 0.5mm after 1000mm which seems acceptable to me.  More importantly, it’s in mm rather than cm which should eliminate errors, has 32mm markings which is helpful, and some other standard 32mm cabinet design markings which may or may not be helpful.

Offline afish

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Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #39 on: September 18, 2020, 07:33 PM »
FWIW - I ordered a Starrett adhesive rule and not only does it align perfect to my SS Starrett rules but it fits inside the Incra tracks.  The Incra Lexicon scales aren’t off by a lot but if you wish to have all rules the same, this is a suitable replacement.

I also received the Fastcap True32 tape measure and it’s only off by about 0.5mm after 1000mm which seems acceptable to me.  More importantly, it’s in mm rather than cm which should eliminate errors, has 32mm markings which is helpful, and some other standard 32mm cabinet design markings which may or may not be helpful.

If you do a lot of the 32mm cabinets I think you will really like the true 32 tape.  not only is it all in mm as you pointed out but the 32mm marks should help with errors too.  You can also write on the tape since it has a matte finish so that should also help if you are doing a lot of repetitive measuring for a particular dimension or have some standard dimensions for cabinet heights/depths. Its not the most durable tape but they are cheap enough to replace when they wear out.  Mine has a pretty fast recoil so you may have to watch out for that.  Fastcap also makes a true32 peel and stick version for tablesaws that has both mm with the 32mm marks and imperial scale on it which is also nice. 

Offline DeformedTree

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Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #40 on: September 18, 2020, 08:34 PM »
I hear what you say about "cm" and I can even see the "problem" you're addressing - but to be honest, for native metric users, it simply isn't one. It is done/used every day like that. And the process of simply changing the decimal dot feels/is natural.

Everything above 1m would mean a 4 figure number in mm. That's not really practical to work with (at those lengths), that's why cm are used. And it's the same vice versa: a 12 mm drill bit "makes more sense" than a 1.2 cm drill bit. It just "naturally grew/ evolved"

But I guess it all comes down to what you are truly used to. I bought myself a tape measure that has a metric and fractional scale, just to better understand FOG posts when fractional measurements are used, to get a "feel" for it, so to speak. And I'm sure, if I started to do projects with inches/fractional measurements, I'd make the same mistakes.

Kind regards,
Oliver

So while you aren't wrong if you grew up using cm and mm back and forth, as as been brought up in other threads, even in metric countries, usage of cm is limited.  From working with folks around the world, and some comments here, it's understood there is some heavy cm usage in northern parts of continental Europe  (parts of Germany, lands to the northwest), else where they aren't used, and those folks have the same issues and grew up metric.

I use metric in my professional carrier, we do it all in mm, there is no cm.  Going over 1m in mm is not a issue.  You would have to hit 10m before a discussion of this would even come up. Not many things get that big, and if you did, you would just use meters.  But calling out say 2125mm on a print is perfectly normal. It's also how drawing standards and dimensional control standards work.  If metric, you use mm, if inch, you use inches. I have worked with many people/companies from many European Countries, haven't seen a cm yet.

Around my house, when doing stuff in metric, i do it in mm, have done wall framing in it just fine.  Cutting a stud to 2286mm, not problem, no way in heck would I try doing 228.6cm  2286 is just so much easier to think than 228.6

The real core issue is simply why tape measures a generally in cm?  I've looked into ordering some from other countries just to get mm ones. It's not like you find inch tape measures that are in yards  (yes they do in fact exist in some niches),  sure it's a unit that exist, but outside of sports we don't use it.  Tapes marked out with cm,  is like finding tape measures in yards instead of feet/inch.

Offline Svar

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Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #41 on: September 18, 2020, 10:26 PM »
So while you aren't wrong if you grew up using cm and mm back and forth, as as been brought up in other threads, even in metric countries, usage of cm is limited.  From working with folks around the world, and some comments here, it's understood there is some heavy cm usage in northern parts of continental Europe  (parts of Germany, lands to the northwest), else where they aren't used, and those folks have the same issues and grew up metric.
Not quite, cm is used in everyday life everywhere. Nobody expresses things of human or furniture scale in mm. Look at IKEA labels, for example. To say someone is 1815 mm tall would be really strange. You'd say 181.5 cm. Strictly mm are more common in design or engineering. Once you go down in scale, sure, 18 mm ply, 40 mm board, 50 mm screw.
I've never met a person outside of US who had "issues" with cm and mm. I'm not being condescending, there is just no issue, the two are an order of magnitude apart. If a drawing calls for 70 cm wide table you wouldn't measure and cut it 70 mm (3") wide by accident, not even blindfolded.
Earlier people pointed out inconvenience of rulers in cm. This is how it's supposed to be. You wouldn't label an imperial tape in 1/32" where instead of 12" you'd read 384.
Tapes marked out with cm,  is like finding tape measures in yards instead of feet/inch.
Tapes marked out with cm is like tape measures in inches, which is how they usually are. People use cm in situations where you use inch in US. A chair is 18" tall, a chair is 45 cm tall. That's why most rules/tapes are in cm.

Also, I never cut thing short.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2020, 11:19 PM by Svar »

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1973
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #42 on: September 18, 2020, 10:45 PM »
Snip.
To say someone is 1815 mm tall would be really strange. You'd say 181.5 cm.

My Canadian driver's licence (not license [tongue]) says I'm xxx cm in height & xx kg, not xxxxx, gm in weight. Even though we've gone metric as a country (km per hour, for example), we still buy lumber by board foot, and label sheet goods as 4 x 8, etc. The truth is, whether I use imperial or metric or a mix of the two, I need to be careful to avoid making mistakes. Patience and carefulness go hand in hand a long way in getting good outcomes in fine woodworking no matter what systems or tools you use.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2020, 10:55 PM by ChuckM »

Offline Frank-Jan

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Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #43 on: Yesterday at 06:07 AM »
My Canadian driver's licence (not license [tongue]) says I'm xxx cm in height & xx kg, not xxxxx, gm in weight. ...

Why would someone's weight be printed on a driver's licence? My weight is pretty variable, and my European/Belgian driver's licence doesn't have an experation date (current one is issued 2008 because I lost my wallet)
I just checked my canadian passport, my weight isn't mentioned in that.


« Last Edit: Yesterday at 06:09 AM by Frank-Jan »

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1973
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #44 on: Yesterday at 10:02 AM »
Interesting question, and you can find all kinds of answers (guesses) on the web why people think weight is included on the licences. Not every province (or state in the US) adopts the same standard: Quebec or Ontario, for example, doesn't collect weight for its driver's licences. I know some (all?) provinces issue licences that can list your gender as "X".


Offline DeformedTree

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Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #45 on: Yesterday at 11:31 AM »
My Canadian driver's licence (not license [tongue]) says I'm xxx cm in height & xx kg, not xxxxx, gm in weight. ...

Why would someone's weight be printed on a driver's licence? My weight is pretty variable, and my European/Belgian driver's licence doesn't have an experation date (current one is issued 2008 because I lost my wallet)
I just checked my canadian passport, my weight isn't mentioned in that.

In the US, all licenses have persons weight, along with a bunch of other info to help match the license to the corpse.  Worse now is they have bar codes that businesses scan (some states are banning this practice, except for those it was intended for (smoke/booze sales, cops).   Yes, your weight changes, so does our hair.  What if you had a beard the day of the photo and the next week shaved it off, new glasses, got a perm, etc.   

Offline Alex

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Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #46 on: Yesterday at 02:41 PM »
even in metric countries, usage of cm is limited.  From working with folks around the world, and some comments here, it's understood there is some heavy cm usage in northern parts of continental Europe  (parts of Germany, lands to the northwest), else where they aren't used, and those folks have the same issues and grew up metric.

No. Simply not true.

For anything human-size, and the objects humans work with, cm is the preferred and most used unit because it relates most to our human size. People in all metric countries use the cm most of all and are very used to them.

I use metric in my professional carrier, we do it all in mm, there is no cm. 
.....
I have worked with many people/companies from many European Countries, haven't seen a cm yet.

In science and engineering the cm is banned. This is done to avoid confusion. In those fields, you often have to put in measures in computers and machines, on drawings and plans, and using the cm proved to cause too much mistakes with the comma. So they made it a standard to only use mm and m because they are a factor 1000 apart so mistakes are easy to spot.

Now don't tell us science knows better, that's completely irrelevant. Science knows what's best, in THEIR field.

But for normal days use, the human psyche relates best to numbers that are not too big, and are whole numbers, so no fractions or commas. If you pick up a pen and judge its size, you don't say it's 0,15 meters or 150 millimeters, you say it is 15 centimeters. Because we like 15 as a number best.
 
Cutting a stud to 2286mm, not problem, no way in heck would I try doing 228.6cm  2286 is just so much easier to think than 228.6

Dead wrong again. 228,6 is easiest to remember and comprehend. Looks like you're struggling with metric, don't blame the system because you are not used enough to it yet. In fact, with a number like that, you just know you're in the 2 meter range, and remember it like 28,6 and add the 200 automatically without thinking.

The real core issue is simply why tape measures a generally in cm?  I've looked into ordering some from other countries just to get mm ones. It's not like you find inch tape measures that are in yards  (yes they do in fact exist in some niches),  sure it's a unit that exist, but outside of sports we don't use it.  Tapes marked out with cm,  is like finding tape measures in yards instead of feet/inch.

Very odd comment. cm to inch factor = 2,54 and cm to yard factor = 91. Meter to yard factor = 0,91.

Looks like the cm is MUCH closer to the inch than to the yard. And the meter is closest to the yard.

So why would you compare a tape in cm to a tape in yards?

As I said above, all metric tapes are in cm because that size is understood best by the human mind. But yes, why would you, with your limited experience in metric believe those 7 billion people who grew up with it?
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 04:19 PM by Alex »

Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 1453
  • formerly @the_black_tie_diyer
Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #47 on: Yesterday at 03:42 PM »
So while you aren't wrong if you grew up using cm and mm back and forth, as as been brought up in other threads, even in metric countries, usage of cm is limited.  From working with folks around the world, and some comments here, it's understood there is some heavy cm usage in northern parts of continental Europe  (parts of Germany, lands to the northwest), else where they aren't used, and those folks have the same issues and grew up metric.
Not quite, cm is used in everyday life everywhere. Nobody expresses things of human or furniture scale in mm. Look at IKEA labels, for example. To say someone is 1815 mm tall would be really strange. You'd say 181.5 cm. Strictly mm are more common in design or engineering. Once you go down in scale, sure, 18 mm ply, 40 mm board, 50 mm screw.

(...)


Hi!

This is basically exactly what I tried to convey @DeformedTree .

Yes, mm are used in (technical) drawings, for scientific purposes, (partly) in standardization and a whole lot of other things. Yes, mm is a scientific unit. People who work in the metal industry or with metal in general, tend to use mm over cm. But I honestly have no knowledge on how they communicate these numbers when speaking to each other, but sure, the drawing will be in mm.

But outside that world, "the spoken word" uses cm (or m).

So if I'm working with a neighbor on a shed, and we need to cut some battens. It goes like this:

How long does it need to be?

"One meter, eighty-six." or "One-hundred-eighty-six." or "One-eighty-six".

No one would say "One-thousand-eight-hundred-and-sixty". And none of the commonly used (measuring) tools would be able to display this.

If I ask for a drill bit, I ask for a "ten mm drill bit" or for a "eighty-six mm hole saw". If it's a long drill bit, it's a 400 mm drill bit, not a 40 cm drill bit.

I hope this simply adds to the understanding of how "we" naturally use these units. This is really how it's used everyday, hence it is not confusing for us. Just as natural, as the "fun fact" that (threaded) pipe diameters are still given in inch. It's a half-inch pipe, it's a 3/4" pipe ... .


Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

"... . Say yes to stuff, and it will take you interesting places." - Anne Richards, CEO Fidelity International

Offline DeformedTree

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Re: I keep cutting things short!!
« Reply #48 on: Yesterday at 09:20 PM »

 
Cutting a stud to 2286mm, not problem, no way in heck would I try doing 228.6cm  2286 is just so much easier to think than 228.6

Dead wrong again. 228,6 is easiest to remember and comprehend. Looks like you're struggling with metric, don't blame the system because you are not used enough to it yet. In fact, with a number like that, you just know you're in the 2 meter range, and remember it like 28,6 and add the 200 automatically without thinking.


How is 228.6 easier to remember?  You just added floating point.  I'm not struggling with metric, nor not used to it.   If I'm going to go that route I would go 2.286 .

Humans want whole numbers, it's just easier.  The beauty of mm is you don't need to go the other side of the decimal much.  While I hate fractions and all their issues it's pretty easy to see why people used them verses decimal inches for so long before the computer age. 

We talk 2286 just fine.  Pretty sure when talking to folks from Europe the phone company doesn't translate their speech real time to make cm come out mm on our end.   Twenty-Two  Eighty-six  rolls off just fine verses  Two-Hundred Twenty-Eight Point-Six.

I sorta wonder if some of you guys say out numbers differently from us.