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  1. #1

    Measuring cordage diameter

    Ok, does anyone know how to accurately measure the diameter of small hollow core cordage ? I have some random lengths of various types of small cordage and would like to be able to tell which is 1.75, 2.2, 1.9 etc. I have electronic calipers, but since they have no core the diameter varies depending on how tight it is stretched or not stretched and without a core it doesn't keep a consistent shape around it's diameter. I was wondering if anyone knows how an cordage inspector might measure it ?

  2. #2

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    I've threaded cord (with cores) though the holes in a drill gauge. Proper size would not be too loose nor too tight.

    ...Bob

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick H View Post
    Ok, does anyone know how to accurately measure the diameter of small hollow core cordage ? I have some random lengths of various types of small cordage and would like to be able to tell which is 1.75, 2.2, 1.9 etc. I have electronic calipers, but since they have no core the diameter varies depending on how tight it is stretched or not stretched and without a core it doesn't keep a consistent shape around it's diameter. I was wondering if anyone knows how an cordage inspector might measure it ?
    Step 1. Flatten.
    Step 2. Circumference = 2 x (width of flattened piece)
    Step 3. Diameter = Circumference / pi

    [OR] Diameter is approx. equal to flattened width * 0.637
    Last edited by ufdigga; 02-06-2015 at 14:34.

  4. #4

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    Horex sliding caliper
    Alinox Scala sliding caliper

    I have one from Scala (F.J. Schall), inherited from my uncle (master carpenter). I think this tool is already older than 65 years (Made in West-Germany) and it still looks like new. A couple of days ago I cleaned and oiled it and measured the diameter of shock cord and yesterday the size of the #5 YKK zipper slider. I was impressed because all my prior measurements with a ruler were wrong.

  5. #5

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    Inspection by eye backed with the knowledge gained by frequently working with the various ropes is the only reliable method I know for us to determine which rope is which.

    As you've found, measuring tools don't work well as the diameter can be anything you make it to be by how little or much tension you apply. Even those selling it don't know the diameters. Dynaglide, for example is variously listed as 1.8mm and 2mm.

    If you want to open a real can of worms, look into how to measure the length of a rope.

  6. #6
    Thanks all, excellent comments. I'm not surprised. The gist seems to be that every measurement will be approximate no matter what the method. Come to think of it, I Imagine it also depends on how exact the tolerances are for the individual formed fibers. I really have no critical need to now. I just like to know. Thanks all. I will probably still mess with all the suggested methods and then go out and hang in the trees to think about it.

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