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How To Read A Tape Measure With Confidence

Since we don't live in a shape-shifting existence, everything has a specific length, width and height. Measurements are taken to make a fitting suit or design a building. Hence, it is imperative to know how to read a tape measure correctly as no one wants to wear a lopsided piece of clothing. Leaning towers and hazardous construction sites are also not good for business. Various types of tape measures are available in the market for the consumer to choose, whether it be a dressmaker's soft tape or a heavy-duty retractable version commonly used by contractors.
Before delving into the basics on how to read a tape measure, there are 2 units in use depending on what region of the world you're at. The imperial system goes by feet and inches, whereas the metric system uses meters and centimeters. Some tape measures may include both units on opposite sides of the tape.
Every tape measure bears distinctive tape measure marks which are lines of various lengths. The longest lines are the main marks with a number printed alongside. These numbers indicate either feet or meters on tape measures for extended lengths. If the tape measures are for measuring limited lengths, the main marks normally indicate inches or centimeters.
Between 2 main marks, there are numerous smaller marks of various lengths. They represent tape measure fractions of distance between the 2 main marks. To identify the measurement for each fraction, count the number of marks of a similar length and divide the main mark's measurement by number of these marks. Do the similar for the next bunch of marks until you have identified all the possible fractions. You may end up with 3 or 4 fractions of measurements depending on the details of the tape measure. If you can reach this point, you're nearly home.
Take a measurement with your tape measure of choice and note where the end point intersects at the tape measure. If you are taking measurements of a room with a retractable tape measure, hook one end to the start point. It's advisable to lay the tape measure against a flat surface such as the floor or the wall and extend to the end point. This ensures accurate measurement. If the end point is another wall, place the flat surface of the tape measure's casing against the end point's wall. Allowance for a tape measure's casing will be stated on the casing itself. It's now a simple exercise of math by adding the number of main tape measure marks with the number of fractions of each of the smaller tape measure marks, plus the casing's allowance if applicable, to arrive at the total measurement. If you made it this far, give yourself a pat on the back.


Is Your Weighing Scale Protected Against Water and Dust?

Weighing scales are increasingly used in harsh working environments. If you're working in industry, or your weighing scale is portable, the likelihood is that your weighing application will require the scale to be protected against the ingress of dust and water.

Water and dust ingression can cause serious damage to sensitive electronic components within your weighing scale. These components are particularly sensitive to rapid changes in temperature and exposure to excessive temperatures over long periods of time, both of which can be a direct consequence of your scale's exposure to water and dust. For example, non-permitted condensation (condensation of air humidity on the scale) may occur if your scale is taken to a considerably warmer environment, and the build-up of dust may cause internal components in the scale to overheat or corrode over time.

So, whether your scale is susceptible to liquid splashing in the catering industry, or solid particle ingression in a busy warehouse, it's important to ensure that your weighing scale is adequately protected against its working environment. A simple way to do this is by checking its Ingress Protection rating.

Ingress Protection (IP) ratings, such as 'IP-67' for example, classify and rate the degree of protection provided by a weighing scale against the intrusion of solid objects (including body parts like hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and water. The rating aims to provide the weighing scale operative with more detailed information about protection, rather than using vague descriptive terms such as 'water-proof' and 'dust-proof'.

Typical Weighing Scale IP-Ratings and Definitions

The IP-65 Rating

The '6', or first digit, refers to solid particle ingress protection, and means dust protected. The '5', or second digit, refers to water ingress protection, and means protected against water splashing. The scale is designed for temporary contact with liquids.

The IP-67 Rating

The '6', or first digit, refers to solid particle ingress protection, and means dust protected. The '7', or second digit, refers to water ingress protection, and means protected against water jetting. The scale is designed for temporary use in wet areas.

The IP-68 Rating

The '6', or first digit, refers to solid particle ingress protection, and means dust protected. The '8', or second digit, refers to water ingress protection, and means protected against temporary immersion.

The IP-65 rating is the lowest recommended IP-rating for weighing scales used in an industrial environment.

If you're unsure about the level of protection provided by your weighing scale, or you'd like technical help in purchasing a waterproof scale, always consult the help of a professional body.


Woodworking Measuring Tools: The Basics

Depending on what you're making, there are any number of tools you might require for a woodworking project. Some tools are suitable for general purpose use, and others are quite specialized in nature. Woodworking tools are generally categorized into cutting and shaping, assembly and finishing. The simplest of these are woodworking measuring tools, yet they are also entirely essential. Basically, they show you where to cut the wood so your finished dimensions will be accurate.

Rulers are one of the tools used in woodworking for the purpose of measuring. The common types of rulers are the wooden folding, the metal tape measure, and the wooden zigzag ruler. Tape measures are most useful in the process of measuring long pieces of wood. When purchasing a ruler, look for a durable, well made product with standard markings. It also requires a locking mechanism to keep it in place. Take care of the ruler and wipe it after every use. This is especially important if it's made of metal, which is susceptible to rusting.

Squares are used in woodworking to make angles. Like rulers, they also come in many types. Squares also have markings and are also used to check the true and square joints. Miter squares are used for 45 degree angles. The L-shaped try squares are utilized for 90 degree angles. For either 45 or 90 degree angles, you'd use a combination square. Wood squares are less expensive than metal and slightly less accurate but are sufficient for most woodworking projects.

Some other measuring tools are gauges, dividers and compasses. You'll also require an instrument for marking your measurements, and in many cases a sharp pencil is adequate. However, a marking knife is a favorite of many woodworkers because of its higher level of accuracy.

It's important to take good care of your woodworking tools. Clean them after each use and check them for rust or rot. Keep in mind that the end result relies on them.


Things Not To Do With A Bandsaw

Bandsaws are infamously handy tools to have in the woodworking shop or the factory. Some people even have one in their sheds if they really feel the need to show off. There is a certain section of the male society that feel such an affinity with this tool that they will use it at every opportunity, appropriate or not.
But this is not to be recommended. National statistics show an unhealthy list of bandsaw accidents that have occurred through mis-use and the following are a general guideline of notes to try and avoid accidents.

Do NOT attempt to use your bandsaw to dissect snacks. You may be in the middle of some intricate sawing on your latest woodwork project and it may look like fun but cutting a Swiss roll with this implement is highly irresponsible and dangerous. Eighteen people every year (unofficial figures) are injured every year by band saw accidents that have occurred whilst cutting up food. This is because the food feeds through so easily that the operator slips and finger amputations have occurred.

One highly bored male has been shortlisted for the 'Award Of Ridiculous Things To Do' by using a bandsaw to trim his toenails. Thought to have begun as a bit of a dare by his mates, he managed the first trimming quite successfully and gained some sort of satisfaction that he could take his life (or at least his toes) in his own hands and continued with the process on a monthly basis. It is thought that the ensuing bloodbath occurred after the male got clever and tried to trim the nails with only a two week space in between and the nails weren't long enough.

It is always advisable to keep all body parts away from the workings of a bandsaw. According to health and safety guidelines, hair, paper and fabric are just a few of the things on a long list that shouldn't cut with a bandsaw and we all know how these rules come about. It's because some idiot has obviously tried it before and met with some messy end.

Anything that doesn't resemble wood or metal should not be cut with this tool. It is not a toy. This is why tools now come supplied with a 460 page manual of things not to do. This is so that the manufacturer doesn't get sued by someone saying "No one told me I couldn't cut my hair with it so when I couldn't find my scissors I thought it would be a good idea". Bandsaw manufacturers are sick of paying out compensation for this type of fool and have therefore issued an online guide of do's and don'ts for owners to follow.

Much safer are those men that wear nylon slacks and cagoules who enjoy nothing better than congregating at each other's garages on a Sunday afternoon to inspect each other's tools and discuss the merits of the band saw as opposed to the hack saw. The most active business their tools are likely to see are the Sunday morning polishing of its parts before the weekly neighbourhood viewing.

A bandsaw is most definitely a tool with numerous merits that has made life easier for so many people. Those people are in the wood working and metal working industry. If you are an avid DIY fan and you have the space for a small saw then by all means purchase it. But please, please ensure you follow all the safety instructions, use it for the purpose for which it is intended and never be tempted into dangerous stunts by your drunken mates.


How Do You Measure a Chainsaw Blade and Chain?

At some point, you will likely feel it is necessary to replace the chain from your well-used chainsaw and it will be important that you know both the length of your chainsaw blade as well as the length and type of chain you will need. Looking at charts can get confusing but it really isn't that hard once you know what to look for in determining the length of both the chainsaw blade and chain.

When you're ready to replace your chain, the first thing to do is determine the size of your chainsaw bar. If you happen to have an Oregon chainsaw, this should be easy. Just check the first two numbers of the ten-digit model number that is stamped on the motor end of the blade. That's your chainsaw bar length.

Don't have an Oregon chainsaw that easily shows you the length of the blade? Then here are some tips for figuring it out yourself.

What's The Best Way To Measure A Chain Saw Blade?

To measure the chainsaw blade itself is simple enough to do. Just put your measuring tape at the end of the bar up against the casing and measure straight down the bar all the way to the tip of the blade.

Blade and bar are two terms that are both used to indicate the same item. This is the blade that extends from the casing of the motor and carries the chain which is what does the sawing for you.

Manufacturers were kind enough to standardize the chainsaw blade lengths into two-inch increments. The most common sizes are 16, 18, and 20 inches although the full range goes from 10 to 42 inches! When you measure your blade, round up to the nearest 2-inch measurement if needed.

How Do You Measure A Chainsaw Chain?

In order to measure the chain on a chainsaw, you will need to know the number of drive links as well as the pitch of the chain.

The length of the chain is determined by the number of drive links. A drive link is one tooth on the chain. The drive links will be different sizes depending on the pitch of the chain.

The pitch of the chain is important to know as it must match the pitch of both the drive sprocket as well as the bar nose sprocket. This should be stamped on the drive link but if you need to measure the pitch yourself, take the distance between any 3 rivets of the chain and divide by 2.

To be more specific, a 1/4" pitch chain might have 52 drive links and be 2.17 feet in length, while a 3/8" pitch with 52 drive links would be 3.18 feet in length. The number of drive links has a direct correlation to the blade length.

When in doubt, check with the chainsaw manufacturer or anyone who actually makes chains and they should be able to help you further.


If You're a Woodworker, You Need a Woodworking Jig

Woodworking is a good pastime. When you get started, however, you might find out that you're having some difficulties with precision. It is not that easy to produce a perfect rectangle or square while keeping track of all your measurements.

The good news is, there is a solution to the problem. It is a device called a woodworking jig. With a jig, your task is much less difficult because it can do so many things. It will allow you to duplicate the same dimensions and measurements in each one of your projects.

With a jig you can embark on more complex projects that make use of slender wood. With the right jig, you can plane the wood by yourself. Jigs can also be utilized to turn a belt sander upside down and use it for jobs that you never thought possible.

They are a necessary part of every woodworking shop. Jigs are ideal for the repetitive tasks that are demanded by certain projects. So you can get through complex projects faster and manage them more easily.

You can either make your own jigs or purchase them pre-made. Even though they are pretty economical to buy, making your own from pieces of scrap wood is even less costly. There are many patterns available for making your own jigs. You can find them on the internet or in pretty much any store that sells woodworking materials.

When making a jig, use those scrap pieces of plywood that are hanging around. You are likely only going to use the jig for one project, so avoid spending too much cash on supplies. However if you would like a sturdier jig to get you through more than one project, hardwood is a better choice.

It is good to have a few kinds of jigs around so there's always something on hand for the project you are working on. A dovetail jig is essential for accurate dovetail joints. Dowel jigs are useful for making dowels that you can rely on. A self centering jig offers increased precision when using thicker woods.

A Kreg jig is perfect for cabinet making. The drawer slides have to be accurately positioned in order for the drawers to move effortlessly. Kreg jigs make this job significantly easier since you don't need to measure and mark, which makes mounting much less complex. These jigs use a technique known as Kreg joinery, whereby you drill a hole at an angle into one part, and attach it to the other with a self-tapping screw. You get much versatility for very little money. The Kreg Jig K3 Master System is one of their best selling products.


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