Self-Marking Tape Measure

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Introduction: Self-Marking Tape Measure

About: My name is Troy. I'm a Mechatronics and Aerospace Engineer. I make things out of wood and electronics and spend time outdoors (especially SCUBA diving).

The Self-Marking Tape Measure a is tape measure and a marking unit all in one. When marking a measurement traditionally, sometimes it feels like you need a third hand. Whether you are measuring and marking your wall to hang a painting, or finishing your final measurements on that weekend project; with the Self-Marking Tape Measure, you can feel confidant making measurements in solitude.

Step 1: Materials

You will need the following:

Step 2: Design

After doing some measurements on the tape measure, I came up with this extremely simple design that clamps onto this specific tape measure.

If you use a different tape measure, feel free to download my solid file and make any necessary changes.

Step 3: Print

I printed my part using ABS filament with a fill of 25%.

If you use this exact same tape measure, print the stl and assemble.

Step 4: Drill Hole for Guide

The first guide hole was included as part of the design, however, it was purposefully designed to be smaller than the nail used as the guide. This was to allow for a perfectly tight fit of the guide after printing.

Drill the hole in the print larger to 1/16" for a tight fit of the nail. Make sure to only drill halfway through the lead side of the part.

Step 5: Assemble

To assemble the final tape measure:

  • Insert machine screws into the printed part
  • Carefully remove the screw and belt clip of the tape measure
  • DO NOT LET THE TAPE MEASURE COME APART
  • Insert the tape measure into the printed part and tighten screw
  • Insert the marking guide nail
  • Attach washers and wingnuts
  • Break lead so that it doesn't stick out above printed part
  • Tighten wingnuts

Step 6: Thoughts

This was a really fun project inspired by many of the self marking tape measures out there. At first glance, I didn't think they were worth the money. If you look at the reviews of most, people claim they are terribly inaccurate. After building my own, I can say it's usually accurate within about 1/16 of an inch. Definitely a tool that can come in handy in a lot of situations, but not something I would want to use for precision joinery.

Rainy Day Challenge

Participated in the
Rainy Day Challenge

Full Spectrum Laser Contest 2016

Participated in the
Full Spectrum Laser Contest 2016

1 Person Made This Project!

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28 Discussions

0
mikeasaurus
mikeasaurus

3 years ago

Great minds think alike, Troy :)

I like your design better, as I think it can adapt to more varieties of tape measures without much modifications.

0
tomatoskins
tomatoskins

Reply 3 years ago

Haha I saw that the other day! :) I like that yours uses a standard pencil. Much simpler than specially ordered lead.

0
Luke Wilson
Luke Wilson

3 years ago

That is absolutly Amazing!

0
inventorinlearning
inventorinlearning

3 years ago

can this design used for tatctix 12ft tape measures? thx

0
tomatoskins
tomatoskins

Reply 3 years ago

You will probably need to modify the design to fit your exact tape measure.

0
Proto G
Proto G

4 years ago

Great idea!

0
vandenbrande
vandenbrande

4 years ago

Handy stuff troy the tomato! gonna build one to.

0
tomatoskins
tomatoskins

Reply 4 years ago

Awesome! Be sure to share a picture when it's done!

0
SteveMann
SteveMann

4 years ago

Very useful, especially with a nice diamond-tipped scribe to mark and break glass and tiles, etc..

0
napoleonrubio2
napoleonrubio2

4 years ago

como descargo todos los pasos.??

0
Naugas
Naugas

4 years ago

There's a very clever Swedish measuring tape that has this and some more functions in-built, made since the fifties - the "Talmeter".

http://www.hultafors.com/hand-tools/measuring/marking-measures/marking-measure-talmeter-2m3m/talmeter/

0
calistoar
calistoar

Reply 4 years ago

True, there is also a similar brand Mabo (a French subsidiary of Stanley), of the early 70s. I have one and it still works perfectly and in addition, has a spirit level and the body can be used as square angle. Look on Ebay: Nivomètre Mabo. (labelede as "vintage"!!) Not expensive . Very ingenious & robust construction. Greetings from Argentina.

0
Gandyo001
Gandyo001

4 years ago

Very nice. I am making one now!

0
Proto G
Proto G

4 years ago

Good job!

0
John L
John L

4 years ago

Job well done. It really looks nice. But can't you accomplish the same thing with a combination square? They can even be purchased 24"(600mm) long.

0
KarenW80
KarenW80

4 years ago

I agree with other comments! Making life/projects easier is what it's all about!

Unfortunately job keeps me too busy lately so...Where can I buy it:)

0
ste
ste

4 years ago

Great! Very simple and effective.

0
peter.kocsis.77964
peter.kocsis.77964

4 years ago

I can see how this can be handy to quickly draw arcs by using a small brad as the center pivot point.

0
BeachsideHank
BeachsideHank

4 years ago

Actually, this looks rather handy in spite of the accuracy issue, sometimes it's smart to cut oversize and trim to final length.