One night, you hear a crash. Out you run into your spare room and see that your bookshelf has just collapsed. You decide then that instead of spending money on a cheap replacement only to have it break again, you’re going to build your own bookshelf out of some sturdy oak. Before getting into a big project like that, you need to know a very basic but key skill to have a project like this work: reading a tape measure.
- A tape measure
- Some paper
- Some form of writing utensil
First off, the tape measure is a versatile device. It can be found in many forms. It measures in inches and feet and can go from 5 ft up to 40 ft long. The tape can be smooth cloth for clothing measurements to a flexible metal sheet for construction. When looking at the face, it will show feet, inches and 1/16th inches. Some will have the lines vary in four different sizes depending on their fractural equivalent: 1/2, 1/4, 1/8th, and 1/16th.
Remembering these only takes time and practice.
- There is 1 large line in the middle between the inches – that’s the 1/2 inch.
- There are 2 lines smaller than the 1/2 inch, they are located in-between the first half that is divided by the 1/2 inch mark and the 2nd half of the 1/2 inch mark; they are the 1/4 marks.
- The smaller lines that are dividing the 1/4 and 1/2 marks are the 1/8th marks.
- And the smallest lines dividing the 1/8th marks are the 1/16th marks.
- First, let’s do 5 and 1/2 feet. Lay out the measuring tape and draw a line from the metal end, to the 5 feet mark, continue past and stop on the middle line. If the lines are uniform, count 8 lines. That’s 5 and 8/16th, or 5 and 1/2.
- Next, let’s do 3 feet and 3/4 of an inch. Draw the line up to the 3 foot mark, continue up till you can count 3 of the 1/4 line markers or 12 of the 1/16th marks. That counts as 12/16th or 3/4.
- Now let’s do 2 feet and 5/8th of an inch. Draw the line from beginning of the measuring tape and stop at 2 feet, continue on and count 5 of the 1/8th inch marks or 10 of the 16th inch marks. That counts as 10/16th or 5/8th.
- Last we want to do 10 and 3/16th. We draw the line and stop at 10 feet and count 3 of the 16th inch marks. That makes 3/16th inches!