Author Topic: Manual Measuring Tools  (Read 3664 times)

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Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3358
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Manual Measuring Tools
« on: March 12, 2020, 09:09 AM »
I've had an electronic Starrett micrometer and a Starrett electronic slide caliper for a while, but wanted to learn how to "really" read these measuring tools after watching the ABOM79 machining videos.

I had an el cheapo slide caliper and ordered a Starrett manual micrometer. I watched some videos and read the manual.

Surprisingly, I can get to a 10th of a mil with the micrometer and to a mil with the slide caliper. The manual readings jive with ones from the electronic tools.

I seldom use these tools in woodworking, but it's fun learning something new.
Birdhunter

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Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8171
Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2020, 10:05 AM »
When I first started to use machinist tools the only ones available were vernier style. So my micrometers, caliper and height gage are all manual vernier style.

It was only many years later that dial calipers & dial micrometers first became available. Then sometime after that the battery powered electronic gages first appeared.

Interestingly enough, I noticed on the Starrett website the other day that the old school 24" Vernier Height Gage lists for $2885 while the much easier to read 24" Dial Height Gage lists for $780.  [blink]

Offline Bert Vanderveen

  • Posts: 766
Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2020, 12:01 PM »
This Japanese fibreglass caliper is the one I use all the time. It is precise enough for most woodworking tasks, I find.


311922-0


(I do own three other types…)
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

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Offline FestitaMakool

  • Posts: 845
Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2020, 01:19 PM »
This Japanese fibreglass caliper is the one I use all the time. It is precise enough for most woodworking tasks, I find.


(Attachment Link)


(I do own three other types…)

Oh, that looked nice.. I’m looking for one in high quality plastic/fibreglass or in a composite material. I like my old (cheap in plastic) since it’s precise enough for woodworking and some other uses. The steel ones are terribly sharp and it’s easy to scratch whatever you bump into, and for some things that’s no good. Ant the composite/plastic ones is easier on my clothing as well  [embarassed]

Would you please share where you find these?
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Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3358
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2020, 01:41 PM »
One advantage of the non-electronic units is that you don't have to go find a battery when you pull the tool out of the drawer. Most of my electronic tools use a 2032 battery that seems to have a relatively short life once activated.

Also, to me, using a manual tool like a plane, chisel, or micrometer is more satisfying than powering up a big power tool. 
Birdhunter

Offline Precision Dogs

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Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2020, 04:19 PM »
One advantage of the non-electronic units is that you don't have to go find a battery when you pull the tool out of the drawer. Most of my electronic tools use a 2032 battery that seems to have a relatively short life once activated.

Also, to me, using a manual tool like a plane, chisel, or micrometer is more satisfying than powering up a big power tool.

From my experience, manual calipers are nice, but when it comes to making a lot of measurements, my eyes are getting tired looking at the scale when reading while electronic one usually have a nice display with large readout numbers.
As to battery life on calipers, it depends on the manufacturer. My Mitutoyo caliper lasts anywhere from 3-5 years on one battery( and I use it constantly during a day, and every working day). At the same time, I have some cheap electronic one without battery that I a pre set with Mitutoyo and use a depth gauge for checking slots while machining for I don't care if they will get coolant on them. If I will insert battery in them, it will be completely drained in about 6-8 weeks.

Jerry
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Offline jeffinsgf

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Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2020, 04:27 PM »
I've got a couple pairs of vernier calipers that I use for turning...where it's more about matching than measuring. At work I have a digital read-out Mitutoyo...since all the manufacturing guys want to talk in thousandths. At home I have a dial caliper that is calibrated in fractions on the dial...that's my favorite for woodworking. I bought it from Highland in Atlanta years ago. I've seen a few others and have a General plastic one, but none I've seen are as easy to read as the no-name one I got from Highland.

Offline Bert Vanderveen

  • Posts: 766
Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2020, 05:14 PM »
>>>Would you please share where you find these?

Sure, bought it from Fine-tools.com (Dieter Schmid, Berlin, Germany). Shinwa brand, so probb available at more shops.
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

TS55 · TS55R · OF1010 · DF500 · MFT/3 + TSB1-MW 1000 + VL + CMS TS55 + CMS PS300 + LA-CS 70/CMS · CTL Midi · RTS400 · 2 x CXS Li 1,5 · T15+3 Li 4,2 · TI15 Impact Li 4,2 · Centrotec Sets 2008 + 2015 · PSB300 · LR32-SYS · RO150 · KS120 · 2 x MFK700 · RO90 · OFK700 · BS75 · OFK500 · OF2200 · CMS-GE · Vecturo 18 Li · TID 18 · TKS 80 EBS-Set · DTS 400 · ETS EC 125 w 150 pad · Surfix Set · CTL SYS · CT-VA-20 · … | Mirka 1230L P&C | Hammer: A3 31 Silent Power · N4400 · HS950 | TaigaTools: VacPods Pro Set
On order: … [ ! ]

Offline FestitaMakool

  • Posts: 845
Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2020, 05:49 PM »
Thanks @Bert Vanderveen

Bokmarked.. They had not only the caliper, but many many other nice tools [scared]
- I did find that Wiha (Naturally, for electricians) have three types as well available. Analog dial, std. with magnifying lens and a digital one - all in fibreglass.
(Good thing that there’s no shop like Fine-Tools nearby me, I would have gone there regularly [eek])

I stumbled over a section worthwhile seeing as well: (Scroll down to: “Workbenches made by our Customers:”)
https://www.fine-tools.com/werkstatt.html

“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 mike_aa

  • Posts: 1206
Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2020, 06:49 PM »
...As to battery life on calipers, it depends on the manufacturer. My Mitutoyo caliper lasts anywhere from 3-5 years on one battery( and I use it constantly during a day, and every working day). At the same time, I have some cheap electronic one without battery that I a pre set with Mitutoyo and use a depth gauge for checking slots while machining for I don't care if they will get coolant on them. If I will insert battery in them, it will be completely drained in about 6-8 weeks.

Jerry

Good to know about the Mitutoyo and the battery life.  I have one of those cheap digital ones for woodworking and I found the only way I could ensure the thing would power up next time is to take the batteries out after each use.  I guess I'll be on the lookout for the Mitutoyo!

Mike A.

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 1919
Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2020, 07:39 PM »
This Japanese fibreglass caliper is the one I use all the time. It is precise enough for most woodworking tasks, I find.

(Attachment Link)

(I do own three other types…)

And being fiberglass you don't have to worry about ESD zapping your wood ! :-)
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline PreferrablyWood

  • Posts: 957
Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2021, 03:16 AM »
This Japanese fibreglass caliper is the one I use all the time. It is precise enough for most woodworking tasks, I find.


(Attachment Link)


(I do own three other types…)

I got this Japanese calliper recently and really like it. I have an electronic one but often the battery is depleted when I want to use it. Besides accurate  the dial is easy to read. Should make sheath for it as it seems delicate and likely break easily if stressed.
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Offline PreferrablyWood

  • Posts: 957
Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2021, 03:25 AM »
I have three Starrett measuring tools the 100mm sliding T square, The 150mm combination square and the 300mm combination square. After waiting a couple years I finally have ordered the protractor reversible head and the 600mm rule compatible with it.

I love Starrett squares and that they work equally well for metal work and woodwork is a bonus.

They are accurate and easy to read in satin finish, my eyeglasses are top end so they are indispensable as part of the equation.

« Last Edit: February 21, 2021, 03:35 AM by PreferrablyWood »
TS 55 R EBQ, Vecturo OSC, BHC SDS, RO 150, 850 HL E Planer, MFS 400x2, MFS extensions MFS VB 700 x 1 MFS VB 1000 x 2 . CMS GE, OF 2200, CMS OF+ CMS TS 75 insert modules. SYS-MFT Fixing-Set, 
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Offline Oldwood

  • Posts: 446
  • Alberta, Canada
Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2021, 10:43 AM »
I have gone to all digital mostly because my eyesight is not good enough any more. I find some of the cheap stuff that I only use occasionally I need to pull the battery or when I go to use it they are dead.

Digital angle, depth gauges and measuring tools are incredibly handy and surprisingly inexpensive these days.
Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.
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Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2418
Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2021, 11:05 AM »
In my shop, the majority of measurements are done manually. The combination squares and precision squares (5 or 6 of them in total) are among the most important precision tools for my work.

I have only two digital measuring tools: the (plastic) digital calipers and the tilt box (https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/hand-tools/marking-and-measuring/67350-tilt-box-ii-digital-inclinometer-for-tool-setting?item=88N9050).

I use the tilt box whenever I change the blade angle on the table saw. The box can also be used to set odd angles for sharpening plane blades.

The last time I used the calipers was when I tuned the Kapex with the 5-cut calibration method -- 5 or 6 years ago.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2021, 11:08 AM by ChuckM »

Offline PreferrablyWood

  • Posts: 957
Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2021, 01:01 PM »
Yes I have the digital kaliper and a CMT digital bevel/angle finder, but feel the Starrett gear is more solid and good for laying out cuts and mortises.

The tilt box looks like a handy device for sure.
TS 55 R EBQ, Vecturo OSC, BHC SDS, RO 150, 850 HL E Planer, MFS 400x2, MFS extensions MFS VB 700 x 1 MFS VB 1000 x 2 . CMS GE, OF 2200, CMS OF+ CMS TS 75 insert modules. SYS-MFT Fixing-Set, 
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Offline mino

  • Posts: 221
Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2021, 08:33 PM »
I have gone to all digital mostly because my eyesight is not good enough any more. I find some of the cheap stuff that I only use occasionally I need to pull the battery or when I go to use it they are dead.

Digital angle, depth gauges and measuring tools are incredibly handy and surprisingly inexpensive these days.
Just make sure to keep in mind that accuracy and precision are different things.

With the manual tools, often the precision was worse than accuracy - so it did not matter.

With the digital tools, it is common to have precision (digits on display) much higher than accuracy. Sometimes by 2 orders of magnitude in case of the cheap tools.

A digital caliper with 0.001 inch precision but +/- 0.01 or worse accuracy is no stranger on the market ...
AGC 18(@AGC 125 flange), BHC 18, C 12, CTM 36, DRC 18/4, PSC 420, RS 200, TSC 55
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Offline PreferrablyWood

  • Posts: 957
Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2021, 10:26 PM »
@mino and @Oldwood. I don't personally think the ultimate precision of the digital based compared to high end none electric tools is really the main point. The tactile feel of the old Starrett tools encourage me to work carefully handle the tools well and focus. The likely hood of accurate work increases the more focused and confident you are with good hand eye coordination a steady hand the   accuracy of my cuts have always been adequate with non electric tools. The ergonomics of drawing a line with tool with some mass and a good straight heavy ruler like the Starrett combi squares have means there's no shifting when drawing the line either with knife or pencil.
TS 55 R EBQ, Vecturo OSC, BHC SDS, RO 150, 850 HL E Planer, MFS 400x2, MFS extensions MFS VB 700 x 1 MFS VB 1000 x 2 . CMS GE, OF 2200, CMS OF+ CMS TS 75 insert modules. SYS-MFT Fixing-Set, 
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Offline mino

  • Posts: 221
Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2021, 04:49 AM »
The ergonomics of drawing a line with tool with some mass and a good straight heavy ruler like the Starrett combi squares have means there's no shifting when drawing the line either with knife or pencil.
Absolutely agree.
Just wanted to point that a digital tool at-same-general-price-as mechanical will invariably be of worse accuracy.

The digital measures are no "be all" in practice as the cheap ones are often complete garbage on the accuracy side - which may be fine still for woodworking ..

The reason is that the digital tool needs to be made to the same machining accuracy as the manual one, with the digital readout component added making it more expensive at same accuracy. As long as one is aware of this aspect, and how it is often miss-advertised, all is fine.
 [cool]
AGC 18(@AGC 125 flange), BHC 18, C 12, CTM 36, DRC 18/4, PSC 420, RS 200, TSC 55
Narex: EDH 82, EFH 36(fixed@LR32), EVP 13 H-2CA
My Precious FS/2: 376, 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 2520

Offline Oldwood

  • Posts: 446
  • Alberta, Canada
Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2021, 07:05 AM »
I have gone to all digital mostly because my eyesight is not good enough any more. I find some of the cheap stuff that I only use occasionally I need to pull the battery or when I go to use it they are dead.

Digital angle, depth gauges and measuring tools are incredibly handy and surprisingly inexpensive these days.
Just make sure to keep in mind that accuracy and precision are different things.

With the manual tools, often the precision was worse than accuracy - so it did not matter.

With the digital tools, it is common to have precision (digits on display) much higher than accuracy. Sometimes by 2 orders of magnitude in case of the cheap tools.

A digital caliper with 0.001 inch precision but +/- 0.01 or worse accuracy is no stranger on the market ...

Yes I found that out the hard way. When I bought my first digital calipers they were Mitutoyo, and at that time the cheap versions were not very common. I have bought quite a few of the cheaper sets for knocking around in the wood shop since but keep the Mitutoyos for work that is critical. Some of the cheap sets are good, but some are not to be trusted.

Your point is well take, just because it reads out to 4 decimal points does not mean they are that accurate.
Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.
Confucius

Offline Steve1

  • Posts: 73
Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2021, 08:08 AM »
Just a warning to anybody reading this thread and decides to buy electronic calipers.

The cheap ones will be accurate enough, but are battery hogs.   I believe because they consume some power, even when off, to maintain the zero position.   I have a set of Mitutoyo calipers that go many years between battery replacement.   Leave them on, or shut them off when finished -- does not matter.      Also have a cheap set of calipers that collect dust because I gave up trying to keep a working battery in them.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2418
Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2021, 10:00 AM »
Snip.
The cheap ones will be accurate enough, but are battery hogs.   

I make it a habit of removing the battery from a device when it's going to be idle from use for a long period of time. Battery erosion is often seen in idle AA or AAA batteries.

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 1384
Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2021, 12:17 PM »
Just a heads up. Mitutoyo calipers are one of the most counterfeited items on the internet. Make sure you buy from a reliable source.

Ron

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 199
Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2021, 02:46 PM »
I just bought a $21.00 digital caliper from Amazon.com.  I brought it to work where we have reference blocks to check our measuring instruments and it has been right on the numbers.  I reads in imperial, metric and fractions.

I cannot comment on the durability at this point, but right now it is working fine.

Offline mino

  • Posts: 221
Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2021, 03:19 PM »
I just bought a $21.00 digital caliper from Amazon.com.  I brought it to work where we have reference blocks to check our measuring instruments and it has been right on the numbers.  I reads in imperial, metric and fractions.

I cannot comment on the durability at this point, but right now it is working fine.
I would say $20+ is about where the "normal" ones start, it is similar over here just in €.

Quality ones here go for €40 or so for the basic versions (no USB/Bluetooth or other fancy stuff).

You are lucky to have reference instruments to check against. This allows to risk a cheaper buy and return if not accurate enough.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2021, 03:44 PM by mino »
AGC 18(@AGC 125 flange), BHC 18, C 12, CTM 36, DRC 18/4, PSC 420, RS 200, TSC 55
Narex: EDH 82, EFH 36(fixed@LR32), EVP 13 H-2CA
My Precious FS/2: 376, 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 2520

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 199
Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2021, 03:40 PM »
I just went online to see what a pin gauge set or a block gauge set cost.  Pin gauges are cheaper at $75.00 going up to 1/4".  Block gages go for about double that. 

Our set goes up to 1.000" so I don't even want to know what that cost.

A feeler gauge is just about $7.00 and is useful for checking accuracy.  Clearly, it cannot verify accuracy for larger sizes, but a good indicator nonetheless.

Offline mino

  • Posts: 221
Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2021, 03:55 PM »
I just went online to see what a pin gauge set or a block gauge set cost.  Pin gauges are cheaper at $75.00 going up to 1/4".  Block gages go for about double that. 

Our set goes up to 1.000" so I don't even want to know what that cost.

A feeler gauge is just about $7.00 and is useful for checking accuracy.  Clearly, it cannot verify accuracy for larger sizes, but a good indicator nonetheless.
The problem with calipers or any other length measuring thingie is you need a complete set. The same calipers can be accurate at 1" while very much off at 3".

Over here "basic" digital calipers from a reputable company go €40 or so. Calibration of the same calipers goes €30. It is a lot of work to do for the calibration service guy.

I have one tape measure calibration protocol next to me, and for a 5 meter tape measure it includes a reference measurement each 200mm for a total of 25 measurements. Tape cost $30. Calibration $20.
 [cool]

If I wanted to get a reference measures set and build a thermally controlled chamber to use it I would be in the $10k investment or so. Maybe more.

There is real value in buying "certified accuracy class" kit as you can skimp in the calibration costs most of the time and get a generally more accurate measure for the price. But it is always good to have at least one reference measure which you do get calibrated so can check other measures against it.
AGC 18(@AGC 125 flange), BHC 18, C 12, CTM 36, DRC 18/4, PSC 420, RS 200, TSC 55
Narex: EDH 82, EFH 36(fixed@LR32), EVP 13 H-2CA
My Precious FS/2: 376, 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 2520

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 199
Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #27 on: February 22, 2021, 04:02 PM »
I am not allowed to keep my personal caliper at the office.  It is not officially calibrated.  I could have it engraved with "not calibrated; do not use for quality assurance", but it is easier to take it home.

Our company is an ISO certified manufacturing facility and all measuring equipment has to be certified yearly.  Most of the measuring equipment is certified by one company.  We self-certify the weighing scales with certified weights.  But the optical comparator and the tensile testing equipment is certified by the manufacturer.

It does mean that I can check the accuracy of my  personal equipment and that is useful.

Offline Steve1

  • Posts: 73
Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2021, 07:33 AM »
I am not allowed to keep my personal caliper at the office.  It is not officially calibrated.  I could have it engraved with "not calibrated; do not use for quality assurance", but it is easier to take it home.

Strange policy.

Where I worked, the company annually would come around the offices to pick up and calibrate measuring equipment.   If an employee has calipers in his desk, it seems pretty obvious that he must sometimes take measurements as part of his/her job.

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 199
Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2021, 08:14 AM »
We have about 20 balance beam scales that we use for counting parts and they are labeled "for parts counting only".  Also to comply with our ISO cert.  Those signs probably save us $4,000.00 a year. 

It is just expedient.  And we are able to get away with it.  And it does not impact our quality in any measurable way.

Offline mino

  • Posts: 221
Re: Manual Measuring Tools
« Reply #30 on: February 23, 2021, 08:23 AM »
We have about 20 balance beam scales that we use for counting parts and they are labeled "for parts counting only".  Also to comply with our ISO cert.  Those signs probably save us $4,000.00 a year. 

It is just expedient.  And we are able to get away with it.  And it does not impact our quality in any measurable way.
And it is fine as far as certifications go. The point of such standard requirements is to ensure accidental misuse is avoided the ISO (an other) standards leave it for the organization to choose a way how to (provably) do so.

Obviously, easiest is to not have an uncalibrated tool around. But marking is generally seen as fine too as long as it is easy to follow/understand for the employees and the policy is clear enough even a newcomer (or auditor) will be able to follow it.

I am not allowed to keep my personal caliper at the office.  It is not officially calibrated.  I could have it engraved with "not calibrated; do not use for quality assurance", but it is easier to take it home.
Strange policy.
To the contrary, it is the only (practical) policy that can ensure unverified measuring tools do not end up being used in production either by intention/convenience or by accident.

The only other is banning uncertified/uncalibrated tools altogether.

Not following such standards can lead and lead to from equipment seemingly randomly malfunctioning, dying earlier due to a wrong tolerance etc. etc. It is not self-serving.
AGC 18(@AGC 125 flange), BHC 18, C 12, CTM 36, DRC 18/4, PSC 420, RS 200, TSC 55
Narex: EDH 82, EFH 36(fixed@LR32), EVP 13 H-2CA
My Precious FS/2: 376, 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 2520

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.