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Check your Caliper !

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by T Prior, Apr 20, 2021.

  1. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    I good friend called me and told me that the new Tele he bought was not to spec, the nut was way too wide, as was the neck. I told him to check another guitar that he recently purchased, he did and the 1.65 nut width spec measured 1.77 . I advised him that as far as I know, Fender does not have any 1.77 NUTS on guitars , especially on 7.25 radius guitars.

    Its not the guitar ! I'm gonna go visit him with my tools and see what's up. If things don't seem right when measuring, its probably because "THEY AREN'T " :) LOL

    I have a cheap digital Caliper from Lowes and its common that the zeroing moves a few digits ( 100ths) every now and then . I keep checking it and measure 3 or 4 times. When we are only measuring 1.65, that 2nd digit is extremely important.

    Guitar companies like Fender and Gibson do not have erratic parts for production guitars. If 1 is bad, they're ALL bad. If a guitar is made with a 1.65 nut, and 1000 of them are 1.65, someone doesn't get one that's 1.77 , maybe 1.66 which is probably in spec. Same with the neck, nobody gets a production guitar with a very odd sized or shaped neck different from the other exact same production guitars.

    My friend also told me that his NEW guitar doesn't' feel like mine ( same production guitar ) . I reminded him that mine has different strings ( a tad lighter) and I spent gobs of time working on the setup. I reminded him that even I noticed a big difference from the factory setup which was pretty good, to the fine tuned setup.

    We all need a good Caliper and patience ! :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
  2. Telecentric

    Telecentric Tele-Holic

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    I regularly check mine against a gauge block, since I have them at work. And I always re zero every time I use it. Never an issue.
     
  3. JJLC

    JJLC Tele-Holic

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    The OP demonstration of the 1.770 inch measurement versus the 1.650 inch measurement is a difference of 0.120 inch, which IMO is substantial.

    I have a fairly inexpensive digital caliper that I use to measure fret dimension (W & H), and to measure neck thickness at frets 1 & 11. It is not an expensive caliper but I just block gauged it to a known specimen; it was off by 0.003 inch for a six inch calibration gauge block.
    0.003 inch is nothing. The dimension difference (0.120 inch) in the OP above reference is 40 times that.

    So, IMO all this demonstrates is that when someone has an inexpensive digital caliper, and you want a fairly accurate measurement when you use it, make sure to zero out the caliper before every single use.
    That is all you need to do; nothing else.
     
  4. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I check mine from time to time on feeler gauges. My favorite/trusted one was accidentally run over on the highway. I replaced it with a Husky, but it randomly spits 2 or 3 thousandths off, so I don’t really have much trust in it.

    Anyone have a recommended, and relatively inexpensive replacement? Sorry, I don’t really want to start a thread for this, just an off hand question :)
     
  5. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I bought one of these about 6 months ago.

    https://www.stewmac.com/luthier-too...s/luthiers-featherweight-digital-caliper.html

    It is my go-to, as I have 3 others. I think I use this so much because it is small, and I am too lazy to open the cases of the expensive ones. I just leave this on my bench top.
     
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  6. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    OP, that's almost 1/8" off. He could verify with a ruler
     
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  7. Telecentric

    Telecentric Tele-Holic

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    BorderRadio likes this.
  8. DADGAD

    DADGAD Friend of Leo's

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    I check mine against Starrett gage blocks.
     
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  9. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

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    Really sounds like a janky tool. Not defending the crazy concept of measuring guitar nuts (just play or don't play) but I take your point that Fender isn't going to retool their CNC or revise their design standards just for his 1 Tele. Quality control doesn't allow for swings that drastic. And none of that work is done manually, at least not the shaping of a neck.
     
  10. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

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    Mitutoyo's basic dial models are a good deal. As a machinist I really can't go lower than that. They do cost more than generic cheapos at a home or farm store, but they are better.

    No matter how cheap though, if someone's struggling with two place decimal measurements, that's not the caliper that's the problem.
     
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  11. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    Or the zero has shifted !
     
  12. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Way back in the day when I was a stamping press operator, they only let me crank out door strikes lol--you machinists got all the glory. What I'm getting at is the Husky doesn't deliver a solid repeatable measurement as much as my old, cheapo Checkers special original. No saving lives, just trying to get the same level of consistency at the sub-40 buck level.
     
  13. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah if it shifted that much and the user didn't catch it, maybe try a tape measure.


    There's something cheaper than husky? I've seen the cheapest mitutoyo models on sale for $40. If I had to go cheapo I'd go with a dial,or even vernier. Cheap dials have bad feel, but if it skips you'll see it. If a cheap digital skips you won't catch it. Also, I hate batteries.
     
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  14. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    They Husky wasn't even cheap, overpriced for what it is. I'll take your advice though and look around for a Mitutoyo. For what it's worth, the old caliper I used was identical to the ones suggested above, including the re-branded StewMac version.

    [Sorry OP! wasn't trying to hijack the thread]
     
  15. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

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    I've got two digital calipers, one is a good Mitutoyo and one is a cheap HF model.

    The Mitutoyo is very accurate, and surprisingly, so is the HF one.

    But, if I need to measure something in a real serious way, I use a micrometer :).

    Either the OP's pal has a faulty electronic caliper or he doesn't know how to use it.

    I've also noticed that when a battery is on it's last leg you'll get some very weird and erratic readings.

    It may be a fancy electronic digital caliper, but it's no more accurate than the person operating it ;).



    edit:

    I'll add something to the OP's wish list - a good caliper, patience, and common sense :).


    .
     
  16. JRapp

    JRapp Tele-Holic

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    I use a caliper daily to measure artifacts and I have stopped using digital calipers. I have two pairs of Mitutoyos and they slip like crazy. I can't be bothered zeroing out for every metric, so I use a couple pairs of metal or plastic calipers of decent quality. I only measure to 1/10 of a mm anyway.
     
  17. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I prefer dial calipers. I have a Mitutoyo ($$$) and a Fowler ($$), and the Fowler is just as accurate.

    Why do I like dials? No batteries to go dead, and no drift over time.
     
  18. kennl

    kennl Tele-Afflicted

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    My Brown & Sharpe dial calipers from the 1970's were designed to serve a craftsman throughout a career.
     
  19. NC E30

    NC E30 TDPRI Member

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    There is a good chance that his battery is about dead. My HF set gives really wonky readings right before the battery dies.
     
  20. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    All the replies are excellent, but this isn't really about my friend, I'll work it out with him. Something is amiss. My topic is about US ! A reminder, check our tools !

    I too use a .25 square stock as my ref gauge.

    By the way, each of my battery tools , if I don't use them regularly, sit stored with NO battery installed. We all know what that prevents ! :) lol
     
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