Need lesson in reading a Vernier caliper

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lwhughes149

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Lorraine
Well, I purchased a caliper this afternoon. It has inches and metric measurements. Can I assume that I will not have to concern myself with the metric? It seems easy enough to read but the window that I view the measurement through has lines that don't match the lines on the inches, they are on the inch side. Can anyone give me an easy to understand lesson in how to use this. I plan to use it when I set up a dado. Lorraine
 

DaveO

New User
DaveO
Lorraine I can't explain it, 'cause I don't know :dontknow: but maybe this could help you in figuring it out
Reading a Vernier

The calipers I've used have both outside and inside jaws. I use the outside jaws to measure the stock, and the inside jaws to compare that measurement to the test dado. I don't worry about what the numbers say :lol:

Dave:)

Here's a few other pages that have explainations also vernier scale - Google Search
 
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Bernhard

Bernhard
User
Well, I purchased a caliper this afternoon. It has inches and metric measurements. Can I assume that I will not have to concern myself with the metric? It seems easy enough to read but the window that I view the measurement through has lines that don't match the lines on the inches, they are on the inch side. Can anyone give me an easy to understand lesson in how to use this. I plan to use it when I set up a dado. Lorraine

Lorraine

easiest way to read it is to geyt a digital caliper..... Just kidding, look at that web site Vernier Calipers
They eplain it quite well.

Cheers,
Bernhard
 

lwhughes149

New User
Lorraine
Dave, the one I have has an outside and inside jaw. I have printed out three examples from the computer on how to read it and will check out your link as well. Thanks for the help. I have dado's to cut tomorrow. My base cabinets are waiting for me. Lorraine
 

striker

Stephen
Corporate Member
Lorraine,

I've used calipers most of my life - grew up in a machine shop. The articles previously mentioned probably do good job of explaining it. In my opinion, using a vernier caliper is akin to using a slide rule for your calculations. My recomendation is to take them back and get a dial or digital caliper. You need pretty good eagle eyes to read a vernier - if your anything like me - I need eye glasses just to see the large print digital readouts!:lol:
 

lwhughes149

New User
Lorraine
Well Striker, as for the need to wear glasses to see the readings, I at 58 find that I have been taking my glasses off for close work. Been doing that for about four years now. I am sure time will catch up with me and I will have to put them back on. As for the caliper, I hope to learn how to use it very soon. I set up a dado cut for my base cabinets and added to the suggested setup two thick shims. Don't know what the size would be with the heavy shims but the set up was dead on. I marked the shims and will go back to them the next time I need that measurement again. I purchased an expensive measuring tool last hear but it was over my head so Lowes got it back. I used a micrometer twenty some years ago when I worked in a machine production job. I will figure this one out. Thanks for reading my post and for the replies. Heading back to the shop. Lorraine
 

Gofor

Mark
Corporate Member
Just turned 59 and still taking my glasses off (or lookin' over the top of them!)
The vernier scale is a method of getting to a finer degree of measurement. For an engineering vernier caliper scale, the graduations on the sliding part will be tenths of an inch and the vernier scale will refine that to hundreths (10 lines). For a fractional (architectural) scale, there will be probably 8 lines for the inch scale and the sliding portion of the caliper will be in 16ths of an inch (giving a 128th inch meaurement)
To read the vernier scale, first notice where the first line to the left lines up with the sliding part. If it lines up dead on, thats the measurement. If it is to the right of the nearest 16th, look to see which of the lines to the right align.
Example: Using a fractional vernier caliper: You measure a piece of "3/4" plywood, and the first line lines up halfway between 11/16ths and 3/4. If you count from the left on the vernier lines from the first line you will see that the 4th of the eight lines lines up exactly with one of the lines on the sliding scale (it doesn't matter which one, only that it lines up exactly) This means that in addition to the 11/16ths (nearest line to the left of the first line) you have an additional four 128ths (1/16th inital graduation times the 8 lines) or 1/32" additional width, giving you 23/32nds inch width.
Also, the inside and outside calipers are aligned, so if you measure your plywood (outside calipers) those same calipers will set your dado, and the opposite side (Inside calipers) will measure your dado cut (not allowing for glue clearance)

Hope this helps and doesn't confuse

Go
 

lwhughes149

New User
Lorraine
Gofo, I just spent about six hours in the shop making three base cabinets and I am exhausted so nothing makes sense tonight. I was never good in math but do know how to properly read a tape measure. I know this new tool will help my in the shop but I think it will take some time for me to understand how to read it. I will try it again tomorrow when the brain is more rested. Thanks for the help. I will eventually understand it. Lorraine
 
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