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On this last April Fools Day, Lee Valley continued their tradition of intriguing but fake products by posting the precision story tape. Now after the joke has blown over, they’ve actually made a small production run of the story tape and are offering it on their web site while supplies last.

You know that a story stick is a straight piece of wood or other material on which you put markings to represent different measurements that you might need to build a project. The story tape is just a more compact version of the story stick. It works just like a regular tape measure, but instead of a measuring scale on the tape, there’s just a blank surface that you can place your own markings.

Whether you want it as a joke or have a real use in mind, the story tape will run you $6. If only Think Geek would release their Dharma Initiative alarm clock.

Story Tape (joke) [Lee Valley]
Story Tape [Lee Valley]

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13 Responses to April Fools Joke Turns Real: The Story Tape

  1. Gordon DeWitte says:

    @ Ben: I had not seen this or the previous “AFDs” from Lee Valley: they’re really neat.


  2. Blair says:

    This would be great to hand to one of the “newbies”, and tell him/her to grab some comprehensive dimensions, preferably in a critical tolerance area!

    One the other hand, I imagine that in certain applications this might actually be a useful tool.

    I may have to get one, hopefully the “cubit” model 🙂

  3. Larry says:

    I think this would be a great replacement for the age old use of a door frame to keep track of the growing heights of the kids. This way, if you move, you can take the record of measurements with you.

  4. rg says:

    Ah, good ol’ Lee Valley — it’s the J. Peterman catalogue of tool stores.

  5. shopmonger says:

    I heard Bob Villa is already working on one of these that reads the story back to you……


  6. Dan says:

    I picked on up at the Ottawa Lee Valley store on April 1st. My only gripe is that the enameled surface is too slick for any sort of markings other than a marker pen.

  7. David Bryan says:

    I was on a couple of jobs with an old sparky who had worn all the marks off his stick rule. I guess he just remembered where they were supposed to be.

  8. Eddie says:

    I’m thinking it’s a measuring tape for the existentialists carpenter. Just make up your own rules…. Kinda like some politicians.

  9. paganwonder says:

    Story sticks and marking gauges are older than rulers/tape measures. This is just a retractable story stick/pole. Very handy- I could use a dozen.

  10. fred says:

    Story poles are great for repetitive measurements and duplicating layouts. With fewer lines to look at – you are not likely to miread the marks when setting a series of cabinets in different locations – as an example.
    Whenever you can substitute an accurate go-no-go type measuring device for one on which you have to interpolate readings – you are likely to improve accuracy. We use sliding gauge bars (set them once at the beginning of the job) for repetitively measuring the diagonals of drawers to insure squareness.

  11. Bob says:

    Amen on the Dharma Initiative Alarm Clock!!! That’d be sweet!

    Fastcap tapes are all markable with pencil, and they have a model with the bottom half blank, for the exact use. you get the best of both concepts.


  12. Bob McClymont says:

    Not just for Construction,used in Manufacturing too (steel fabrication). Instead of having long heavy steel templates taking up shelf space or repeatedly calculating hole locations off drawings, we have decided to purchase story tapes. Mark all punch locations and label the tapes with the part#. Now we have one small drawer with tapes organized in numerical order.

  13. wayne de mann says:

    I have an antique mechanics pal 25 ft cloth tape measure that my dad had. I tried to use it but something didn’t measure up as they say. The tape measurements are wrong. It measured a piece of wood at 4 ft, 2 inches and my others are measuring 4 ft 1/2 inches. The cloth tape is measured in 12″, 1 foot, then 12″ 2, foot and so on. The cloth is marked wrong between all the 9″ and 10″. Don/t know if this a joke tape or a company screw-up. Any input on this would be appreciated. Thanks, Wayne

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