I bet this week is going to be a doozie, so I think I might just unplug the TV and not read the news online either. I need a detox from all of the social and political unrest that is consuming the news headlines daily.
It’s pretty safe to say that we’ve entered the 2020 Holiday Season. What will your Thanksgiving and Christmas look like this year? COVID has put quite a damper on the holidays, but I’m sure we can figure out some modified ways to celebrate.
Why do we call the diameter tape measure a calculator? Because when you wrap it around the circumference of a pipe or a post, it “calculates” the outside diameter instantaneously. It’s a calculator that never slows down because it doesn’t use batteries. The special scale is in inches or millimeters, and it is stretched out by the factor of pi (3.14159). That’s how it does it for you.
A tape measure can solve basically one problem….How long is the item? But a pipe diameter tape measure can solve a short list of problems for you.
What is the outside diameter (OD) of that pipeline, without having to cut into it. You don’t even have to divide by pi.
What is the diameter of a tree trunk.
What is the accurate diameter of a tire.
What is the diameter of a beach ball, when fully inflated.
Even if the pipe is distorted, and the cross sectional diameter would be different in different directions, you can do it. The pipe diameter tape measure can tell you what the diameter would be, if it weren’t distorted. That’s because the measurement is based on the circumference. The tape automatically divides by pi (3.14159) for you.
This forgotten child gives you the outside diameter of a pipeline in both inches
and centimeters. It is valuable to both Americans (using the inch system) and those who use the Metric system of measurements. It goes up to 38″ diameter (955 millimeters diameter). The only thing it doesn’t offer is the ability to measure straight objects. You would have to have a regular tape for that.
Who would use this tape? Inspectors who travel and deal with both systems. Any drilling companies that use both metric and imperial systems of measurement.
Keep it clean. If you keep sand and dirt from inhabiting your tape, it will look good longer and last longer.
Line it up straight on the pipe. If you put the tape on a little crooked, you will get an erroneously high reading.
Clean the pipe. This makes sure that surface contaminants aren’t interfering with your measurement.
Use a felt tip marker to mark common measurements directly on the tape. Don’t be a hero. This tip will make your job easier.
Put your name on it. Valuable and handy tools have a way of walking away.
Buy only the best pipe diameter tape measure. Lufkin is a trusted brand name.
Keep one in every location that you work (and leave it there). I keep one in the office, my shop, my tool box, and in all my vehicles and boat. A diameter tape doesn’t measure only diameters. The other side is a regular inch tape (or metric tape). So it comes in handy many times.
Please post your own tips in the comments here. I’d be interested in what you come up with. Thanks.
Notice that one side is probably just a regular inch tape measure.
The other side is also in inches, but it seems to be stretched out about 3 times longer than normal. It’s actually stretched out by a factor of pi (3.14159). This is the diameter tape side.
Use the diameter tape side for this lesson.
Clean off the pipe of any dirt or other debris.
Simply wrap the tape around the pipe, keeping the diameter side out, so you can read it.
Note where the zero mark lines up on the tape. That gives you the outside diameter of the pipe.
It may be hard to read the markings. They are probably not marked the same as a regular tape. They may be in 64ths of an inch or 100ths of an inch. Either way, you have just learned how to use a diameter tape!