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riptyde 10-07-2013 06:02 PM

Measuring woes
Hi all. I've been looking around here for a bit and like the forum so far. Normally someone's first post would be about an accomplishment or something fun, but not me. Mine is going to be about how much I hate measuring.

I'm one of those guys who have to measure not twice before I cut, but 3, 5....OK 8 times before I cut. I always second guess myself. I hate it. Then I cut and one of two things happen next. I either measure again to make sure I didn't screw up and shock myself that I need to measure again just to make sure I actually did it. Or, I measure again and sure enough I did screw it up.

So, just curious, am I the only one, or are there others like me? What are your measuring woes? What do you hate about measuring? What issues to you have when measuring?

Get your frustrations out here.


oh'mike 10-07-2013 06:44 PM

You would hate working around me--I measure an entire room for trim and then go cut it---never a second thought---

But learning how to measure--that is the first thing I need to teach a new guy---maybe you need measuring lessons---

rusty baker 10-07-2013 07:20 PM

Been measuring for flooring for 40 years and always write everything down. Write down your measurements as you go, and you should always be right.

Daniel Holzman 10-07-2013 08:03 PM

In cabinet building, measuring is often replaced with marking. For example, you need a dozen pieces exactly 12-3/4 inches long. You measure and cut the first one, then use it to mark the remaining pieces. Better precision, better accuracy, absolute repeatability. Beats measuring hands down.

There are entire chapters in fine cabinetmaking books devoted to clever techniques to avoid measuring. Jigs, techniques, methods, all to avoid measuring, since no matter how carefully you measure, there will be errors, many of which are avoidable if you mark instead of measure.

md2lgyk 10-07-2013 08:47 PM

This has nothing to do with measuring. You sound obsessive-compulsive. Do you have this issue with other things in your life??

mikegp 10-09-2013 10:04 AM

If you do use a pre-cut piece to mark the next pieces, make sure you keep using the first one. If you use the last one cut every time the pieces will get slightly longer every cut.

mj12 10-10-2013 07:20 AM

Long time ago a carpenter showed me something. He measured then made a mark. He explained that that mark will always be in the same spot. You want 1/32 less, you can just go from the mark. No need to keep remeasuring.

PoleCat 10-10-2013 07:28 AM

I learned to use the same tape, never change off between two or more.:whistling2:

kevinhart 10-10-2013 09:35 PM

I built a new bathroom in my house, but I measured about 5 inches shorter than I should have, and after putting the shower in, the toilet didn't fit. Super frustrating! Be sure to write everything down.

forcedreno2012 10-10-2013 09:44 PM

My nemesis is stupid fractions. I am from a the metric side of the world and it drives me nuts. 16ths, 8ths etc. Finally broke down and bought a metric tape measure. Mucho happier now. Even got the hubby using it a bit.

I also learned something interesting couple of weeks ago hanging drywall. My house is built with 2 x 4' in REAL 2 x 4's - 2 inches by 4 inches. That extra 1/2 inch comes in handy sometimes.


ddawg16 10-10-2013 10:00 PM

ryptyd....don't feel bad....I'm right there with you.....

One of my common mistakes......say I have a measurement that is 68 7/8". I'll mark the 67 7/8" mark.

So...yea...I measure twice....

I also write measurements down on the wall or stud....

One of the hardest tasks is marking holes in drywall before you hang always need some 'slop' in your cuts....and you have to factor in that slop when positioning holes for boxes....

gma2rjc 10-10-2013 10:10 PM

I don't have to measure 6 or 8 times, but I do have to do it several times. Just because I regularly forget the number between the time that I measured and the time that I get to the saw (or piece of paper I'm writing it on).

The other reason is, like ddawg said, I can look at a measurement that is, for example, 13 & 5/8 but when I go to cut the piece, I'll mix up a couple of the numbers so that I think it's 15 & 3/8. Knowing that this happens, I will usually make myself go back and measure again. Annoying. It's not so bad if it's very quiet here and there are absolutely no distractions.

Mike, holy cow! Do you know how many extra trips to the lumber store I'd have to make if I tried measuring the whole room one time only? Me either, because I could never do what you do. :)


hyunelan2 10-10-2013 11:10 PM


Originally Posted by forcedreno2012 (Post 1252056)
My nemesis is stupid fractions. I am from a the metric side of the world and it drives me nuts. 16ths, 8ths etc. Finally broke down and bought a metric tape measure. Mucho happier now. Even got the hubby using it a bit.


This. Though I am not in the metric world, I have one tape measure that has 16ths on one side and CM on the other side. I found that on a lot of things that I am trying to do precision cuts, I have an easier time using the metric tape than converting fractions in my head. Though, if I did things for a living and used it a lot more, I'm sure the "standard" measurements would be just as easy.

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