How to Read a Dial Caliper

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A dial caliper is read in hundredths of an inch, and it can be used to take outside measurements, interior measurements and depth measurements. Find out how to use a dial caliper with help from a custom furniture maker in this free video on woodworking tools.

Part of the Video Series: Woodworking Tools
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Dave Trull with The Trull Gallery, a custom furniture shop in St. Petersburg, Florida and today I'm going to to talk to you about how to read a dial caliper. Dial calipers as a rule will read to one-hundredths of an inch. This is the average size; it's the sixth-inch and the jaws, you can see that the dial actually spins and with this type of caliper, you can actually use it to measure in three separate ways and I'll show you how to read it as we make some measurements. The most common is an outside measurement like I have here which is actually .576 inches. So it's a little under a half inch. We can also use it for interior measurements. Now I'm going to use these fingers and measure the hole I have here. Again, pulling it up and taking a look at it, it reads .984; just under an inch. There's a third way you can use the caliper as well and that's using this end and that's good if were doing depths and the easiest way to show you here is on my table saw, we'll measure the depth of my miter slot and that's reading .82. So just around 3/8th of an inch. So there are three separate ways to read it and again just as a, as a quick refresher, you're going to look at inches, then tenths of an inch and then hundredths of an inch. That's dial caliper in a nutshell; I'm Dave Trull with the Trull Gallery, The Fine Art Of Furniture Making.


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