Fixing a Vintage Measuring Tape

Introduction: Fixing a Vintage Measuring Tape

About: Just sharing what I enjoy making.

I have an Measuring Tape that was my Opa and it hasn't been retracting properly for years. So I thought I would try and fix it, not wanting to through it out.

Step 1: Tools and Materials


  • WD-40
  • Screw Driver

Recommended tools

  • Small pliers


  • Measuring Tape that you want to fix

Step 2: Undo All the Screws

Undo all the screws, remove the face plate. Cheek if there is any thing inside obstructing the tape. There wasn't anything in mine. You may be able to see in the photo that the spiral torsion spring doesn't have spindle, I guess that is because this is an old measuring tape it.

Step 3: WD-40 and Retentioning the Spiral Torsion Spring

So I intended to spry the WD-40 on the sprig and under the moving platform and rewind the spring without taking it out of the casing so as not to let it tangle, but then I dropped everything. This made things harder, things that will help if this happens to you.

  1. The spring and the tape goes the same way.
  2. Tighten the spring first and hold it tight, this is were the pliers would help.
  3. Put the tape on the sting and keep as tight as possible as you wind.

When the tape all winded hold very still and put the cover on.

Step 4: Screw It All Back Together and Hope for the Best

Screw it all together (try not to tilt it) and hope it all works.

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    Alex in NZ
    Alex in NZ

    3 years ago

    My granddad had the identical tape measure! Thanks for reminding me about it, and well done for restoring your tool. :-)


    Reply 3 years ago

    I'm glad it made you smile. Thank you, I was worried I had broken it for a while.