Once you have decided to go ahead and get on with a project, one of the greatest frustrations to making a good start is not having a decent measuring device. Whether its woodwork, metalwork, tiling, building or even planting out the garden, accurate measuring forms the vital start point. And, as our Alf says – he’s one of our regular London tilers – “if you get it wrong from the outset, imagine how you’ll be feeling when all is said and done!”
This is what most of us buy as a basic start up. But today, there’s such a wide selection, with literally hundreds of variations to choose from. Practicality suggests that you purchase one that is easy to read and use. Here at Mr-Skill, we concluded that a 3 meter-long flexible metal tape measure – with a 13mm wide blade – makes a useful tool. Oh, and make sure it has a yellow backing with clear black numbering in centimetres and inches, as well as a blade lock and a smooth retracting mechanism. Of course, you could find a carpenter right here and leave the calculations to them too!
We have all used tape measures that threaten to slice our fingertips off when we reel them in! A smaller belt tape should suffice for most project work. Bigger projects, such as built-in cupboards for example, may benefit from an 8 meter tape with a 19mm or wider blade. However Alf simply cannot do without his long-standing 300mm long steel rule. With the measurements etched on the stainless steel face, this one is in it for the long haul.
A 200mm basic vernier calliper finished in stainless steel is very useful when cutting mortises or tenons, where accuracy is paramount. This measure is also handy for fitting butt hinges, when you need to measure the thickness of the leaf, and you cannot do so accurately with a tape or rule. Don’t forget to have a set-square available to check for perfect right angles when needed.
Keeping it Simple
These days, there are all sorts of clever gadgets that allegedly make our working lives simpler. Electronic room measurers for example – they cost a fortune and by the time you have figured out how the infernal device actually works, the batteries have gone flat and you could have long since finished the job using a conventional measure. If this all seems code to you, rather get a general building quote here on Mr Skill. That way, you can sit back and relax while the professionals work out the detail and do the measuring. As our Alf always says, “life is too short for hassles!”