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Beading Resources > Free Beading Instructions > > Measuring with Calipers

 Measuring with Calipers 

by Tammy Honaman, Author, Jewelry-Making Expert and Educator,
Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®
A90C
Calipers make measuring small things, like beads and holes in beads, a snap.


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Digital Caliper

Step 1
If the battery is not already installed, insert it into the calipers following manufacturer's directions.
Step 2
With the points of the caliper closed, check the digital read out to ensure it is at ''zero.'' If not, follow manufacturer's instructions to reset the caliper to zero before measuring anything.

If equipped, press the button on the caliper to switch between inches and millimeters to select a digital measuring format.

Measuring the Outside of an Item

Step 1
Using the wheel, slide the caliper so the points separate; open them wider than the item to be measured.
Step 2
Place the item to be measured between the points on the left of the digital readout screen. Slide the wheel to close the points so they rest on either side of the item. The digital readout will give you the exact measurement.

Measuring the Inside of an Opening

Step 1
Slide the points on the caliper closed. Place the points on the right of the digital readout screen inside the opening to be measured.
Step 2
Slide the wheel so the points open. Open them as far as the opening in the item will allow. The digital readout will give you the exact measurement of the opening.

Measuring the Depth of a Container or Opening


Some calipers have a depth gauge which allows you to measure the depth of a container or opening.

Step 1
Stand the caliper vertical, with the base of the caliper over the opening, resting on the ledge of the item, if possible.
Step 2
Slide the wheel so the caliper opens; from the bottom, the depth gauge will emerge. Reposition, if necessary, so the depth gauge can have access to the opening.
Step 3
Slide the wheel until the depth gauge hits the bottom of the container. Read the measurement to determine the depth of the container or opening.

Brass Sliding Gauge

This form of caliper works the same as the digital versions except the outside and inside measuring points are the same and the millimeters and inches are read like reading a ruler.

Measuring the Outside of an Item

Step 1
Slide the caliper open wider than the object to be measured.
Step 2
Place the item to be measured between the opening.
Step 3
Slide the caliper closed until the item is captured between the points.
Step 4
Find the line on the caliper above the units of measurement--where the line rests on the ruler is where you read the measurement from.

Measuring the Inside of an Opening

Step 1
Make sure the caliper is closed. Place the points of the caliper into the opening to be measured.
Step 2
Slide the caliper open until the walls of the opening stop the caliper.
Step 3
Find the line on the caliper above the units of measurement--where the line rests on the ruler is where you read the measurement from.
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Have a question regarding this project? Email Customer Service.

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Products sold by Fire Mountain Gems and Beads® are intended for experienced jewelry-makers and designer-artists;
children 14 years of age or younger should use these products with adult direction.

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, Inc. - One Fire Mountain Way, Grants Pass, OR USA 97526-2373
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