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“Almost” only counts in horseshoes!

October 11, 2011

…and hand grenades!

Hi folks!  Today’s lesson is about using a tape measure or other device to determine a measurement, and then relaying that information to your friendly (not psychic) antique plumber.   Sure, pictures are great, and we can often identify the maker from a photo, but holding a tape measure behind the item at an off angle really does not help.  What you need to do is actually read the tape and then relay that information to us. 

There are many different types of measuring tapes out there, so first you need to determine which type you have.

This particular tape is both metric and standard, that’s that the “SAE/MM” means on the side of the tape.  Use only SAE (inches) when you are sending measurements into us, as we are all old and didn’t play well with the metric system.  When looking at your SAE tape, you will see a whole bunch of lines.  This is because a measuring tape is divided into various segments.  Some tapes will have more lines than others, it just depends on the configuration of the tape.  Most are in 32ths of an inch, which means there are 32 little lines marked on the tape for every inch.  Yes, we expect you to count all those little lines.  Stating ” it’s two little lines past 1/2″” does not help, as we do not know if your tape is in 32nd’s of an inch, 16th’s of an inch, or something else.

When measuring stems, (or other round objects), you want to measure across the widest point.  Here again, don’t hold a tape near the stem and send in a picture of it.  We cannot tell (again, we’re not psychic) down to the 32nd of an inch from a blurry photo that was shot off angle.  We need you to do your homework…..  Yes, all that stuff you allegedly learned in fifth grade actually does have a use.

Yes, we are here to help, but our help can only be as good as the information you supply us.

All for now!


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