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View Full Version : Geesh! How Do I Measure my Beads?


Beads-Me!
11-07-2003, 09:43 AM
....sigh...... All right - I need to grow up and actually learn how to measure my beads! I've been taking pictures with my trusty dime for my auctions and up until this point have not had to actually measure them... But the person that won my auction last night wants the size of the beads and I need help! Where do I pick up the tool to measure beads? And in the mean time - how do I measure them with my measuring tape? Across the hole or width?? Thanks for helping me out - I know I should have figured this out long ago but.........:rolleyes:

:cool: Nancy

!ngridh
11-07-2003, 09:53 AM
well, if you are in a rural area go to your hardware store...I think they are called callipers...cheap...and just for the record a dime is 3/4ths of an inch...they are cheap too...

bubbasjewels
11-07-2003, 10:14 AM
yup! calipers are your friends :-) I measure beads hole to hole and around.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Nov-2003/12620-gauge.jpg

Foofaraw
11-07-2003, 10:19 AM
OOOhh, never thought about using one of those, hubby has a digital one. And now I have an excuse to play with it!!!!

He's gonna love you guys! NOT!

beadamaniac!
11-07-2003, 10:43 AM
I measure mine with my ruler, the mm side, which is why alot of times "around 5x7mm" is in the description. The 5mm would be width (hole to hole) and the 7mm diameter.

Cole
11-07-2003, 10:44 AM
If you can't find calipers right away, perhaps put the bead on a mandrel, and mark the edges on the mandrel with a pencil or marker, then use your tape to measure? And then when you tell the customer, say its "ABOUT xxmm" so she won't be upset at a fraction of a mm difference!

Beads-Me!
11-07-2003, 11:00 AM
Thanks everyone - you're the best! Dave has calipers around here somewhere - now I just need to find them...... :rolleyes:

:cool: Nancy

LoriGreenberg-Beadnerd
11-07-2003, 02:01 PM
Hi Nancy.

If you can't find them, I just saw them at Home Depot yesterday. Inexpensive.

Also, just fyi, you might want to start listing both the width and the diameter of the beads as well as the mandrel size. I used to list my beads as one measurement, diameter, and didn't state that and I had a buyer that was 'disillusioned' about the size of the beads when they received them. That wasn't a fun email to get.

It's a pain, but worth it.

glitterbead
11-07-2003, 02:09 PM
Originally posted by Foofaraw
OOOhh, never thought about using one of those, hubby has a digital one. And now I have an excuse to play with it!!!!

He's gonna love you guys! NOT!

Yup - I use digital calipers as well! You can get a decent pair through McMaster-Carr for $80 - $90.


Lee

Jinx.Garza
11-07-2003, 02:57 PM
There are two kinds of people in the world. Those for whom a coin is essential and tells us all we need to know, and those to whom measurements are required (but are useless information to the first group). Wise eBay sellers will accomodate both groups.

I've gone a long time catering only to those like me (visually oriented) with a coin. I finally broke down a few weeks ago and bought digital calipers from Rio Grande. Now I'll include the actual size of my beads as well as a coin.

Jinx

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Nov-2003/10250-calipers.jpg

Beads-Me!
11-07-2003, 03:02 PM
Looks like I need to add something else to my wish list!! Luckily we have the old fashioned type in the meantime!

:cool: Nancy

Tirian
11-07-2003, 03:02 PM
I measure hole to hole, unless it's an odd shaped bead and then I do length and width. I use a brass caliper (about $5) and have been fine with that.

Though, Jinx, seeing the photo of your digital caliper -- I think I have to have one!

Girlie~O~
11-07-2003, 05:35 PM
Nancy! This is too funny! I was out searching for these today too! Bought some at the good ole' fashion hardware store!

:clap: :D
Roseanne;)

Jacinthe
11-07-2003, 08:12 PM
how about a simple thing like this, which can be found probably in any school supplies area in any local shop, anywhere... well at least here in holland that is... It cost me about 5 bucks.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Nov-2003/20424-measure.jpg

The circles are all millimeters to measure the width (from side to side) of the beads and there is the ruler on the side to measure the height (through the hole). Not that I use it all that much yet.

hugs from holland,
sarah

SilverMistStudios
02-03-2005, 09:52 PM
I just got my mom and I two digital bead calipers. I am disabled and unfortunately my strength isn't good enough to be able to hold the bead in place and adjust the caliper. I need to get one of those little diameter things as shown above I guess for me. You say you could probably find them in school supplies?

But is the rule of thumb that you round the numbers? Like 5.25 would be 5mm and 5.75 would be 6mm?

I am trying to figure out the size of some bicone swarovskis.

lunamoonshadow
02-03-2005, 10:01 PM
Ok, I'm gonna sound like such an idiot here....but I keep my little brass mm gauge sitting on my computer keyboard so I can use it to "see" how big the beads are that I'm bidding on...before I place my bids....(it's the one that Rings-n-Things sells for I think $6.50)....pathetic, huh?? I've gotten pretty good at "guessing" sizes from playing with it though--I can pull beads out of my bead boxes (czech pressed stuff) & guess within a mm how big they are...lol
Silvermist--mine doesn't take any strength at all--I can slide it with my thumb--it's very smooth & has a little knob that sticks up to slide it by--if you could roll a pea across your fingers with your thumb you could hold the bead in one hand & measure it with the gauge I've got in the other hand--no strength needed to adjust it at all :)
~~Lyn

Helen Simon
02-03-2005, 10:36 PM
Yea, I bought one of those brass calipers when this thread happened way back when, but like those pictured, there's a space where the measurement doesn't start right at the edge of the right angle of the brass...like duh, why not just measure, if you can't close it in to measure...so now I measure, but only the largest measurement, which suffices my buyers. Love, Helen

!Karen
02-03-2005, 10:52 PM
I bought mine from www.harborfreight.com (http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=47257)

lunamoonshadow
02-03-2005, 11:10 PM
:confused: Helen I'm confused~my calipers are open exactly 1mmbetween the jaws when they read 1mm~~when they're closed the lines all line up perfectly straight across the caliper, are you saying that yours don't? To read it I read the where the bottom (for mm, top for inches) "first" line on the non-moving part of the caliper meets the moving/sliding part of the caliper. It gives me a pretty exact reading in mm's...not as exact as I'd get from a digital readout, but I don't really need to know to the third decimal point out, I'm happy with "whole" mm's. I can close mine in quite tight on a bead--& get a really accurate mm measurement...I'm wondering if yours were defective maybe? The line shouldn't start at the right angle, because you can't measure "zero" on them--the drawback to the "less expensive" is you can't measure less than one mm. To get 1mm I just slide the center until the bottom line shifts one line "up" the scale...(am I making any sense here?)
~Lyn

Yea, I bought one of those brass calipers when this thread happened way back when, but like those pictured, there's a space where the measurement doesn't start right at the edge of the right angle of the brass...like duh, why not just measure, if you can't close it in to measure...so now I measure, but only the largest measurement, which suffices my buyers. Love, Helen

Josie
02-03-2005, 11:16 PM
:confused: Helen I'm confused~my calipers are open exactly 1mmbetween the jaws when they read 1mm~~when they're closed the lines all line up perfectly straight across the caliper, are you saying that yours don't? To read it I read the where the bottom (for mm, top for inches) "first" line on the non-moving part of the caliper meets the moving/sliding part of the caliper. It gives me a pretty exact reading in mm's...not as exact as I'd get from a digital readout, but I don't really need to know to the third decimal point out, I'm happy with "whole" mm's. I can close mine in quite tight on a bead--& get a really accurate mm measurement...I'm wondering if yours were defective maybe? The line shouldn't start at the right angle, because you can't measure "zero" on them--the drawback to the "less expensive" is you can't measure less than one mm. To get 1mm I just slide the center until the bottom line shifts one line "up" the scale...(am I making any sense here?)
~Lyn
Mine are perfect also. I wonder if you didn't get a faulty set Helen? Mine sit on my computer stand also. :p

Tracey

kathy320
02-04-2005, 10:40 AM
I just printed out the Fire Mountain Gems chart and sit my bead on top of it. Really cheap, and works great!

CharleneN
02-04-2005, 05:16 PM
I have a digital caliper and really like how easy it is to read. I have a slide type too but would have trouble seeing the measurement unless I was wearing strong readers. With the digital I can see it just fine.

I got it from Fire Mountain for $30 and it came with an extra battery. I think it was a special sale but it would be worth checking them out for those who want to save a few bucks. It is very nice quality and came with a padded case too.

tammiemabe
02-04-2005, 06:44 PM
I use one of the inexpensive brass calipers, include 2 or 3 measurements(think I got it on ebay a while back) and a quarter for visual too..... for those who don't happen to have their caliper handy by their computer.. good idea:)

Kris(too)
02-07-2005, 12:19 AM
I just printed out the Fire Mountain Gems chart and sit my bead on top of it. Really cheap, and works great!
I do something similar to this. Only my chart is in a book called The Beaders Companion and it is the only page I use. Recently I got feedback about the size of an item being "less" then expected in spite of measurements given. I have added a coin shot this week for folks who need that visual reference. "You can't make all the people happy all the time." But I'm gonna try anyway! Emmett!!!! :D

SilverMistStudios
02-07-2005, 12:50 AM
I just got my mom and I two digital bead calipers. I am disabled and unfortunately my strength isn't good enough to be able to hold the bead in place and adjust the caliper. I need to get one of those little diameter things as shown above I guess for me. You say you could probably find them in school supplies?

But is the rule of thumb that you round the numbers? Like 5.25 would be 5mm and 5.75 would be 6mm?

I am trying to figure out the size of some bicone swarovskis.

I also have the digital ones. Mine is possessed though! LOL! It won't shut off!
But anyway can someone answer my question about about the rounding of the numbers?