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Measuring and Marking

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Measuring and Marking

Measuring and Marking

1. For measurements less than 1', we suggest that you use a rigid metal rule. Unlike a tape measure, a metal rule will lie flat on your workpiece, won't flex, and doesn't have a riveted end.

For measurements greater than 1', a trusty tape measure works fine. Just remember that two tape measures often will give you two different measurements. So, always use the same tape measure throughout the construction of a project. If you and someone else are working on the same project, both of you should use the same brand and length of tape measure. It's a good idea to double-check their accuracy by laying them side by side, as shown above, to make sure that they measure the same.

2. When cutting pieces to length, always square one end before you mark anything. Never mark both ends for length before cutting -- you double your chance for error.


3. The riveted end on a tape measure can contribute to inaccuracy if its rivet holes become elongated over time. Unless you're certain that the end of your tape measure is dead-on, you should avoid using it. Instead, line up the 1" mark with the squared end of your workpiece, and then add 1" from the reading on your tape when marking the other end of the cut.

Continued on page 2:  Meauring and Marking Rules


Comments (5)
gamerescue1 wrote:

Try setting the squared end of the board at the tape's 10" mark, then then the subtraction is very easy.

4/14/2013 11:18:22 AM Report Abuse
gamerescue1 wrote:

The add/subtract technique is a good one I've used it countless times, but on occasion, with multiple tasks of a project, and interruptions, I've wound up with boards 2" short. To avoid this now I keep a variety of cardboard or scrap paper strips tucked away that I mark the correct measure on and use as my "quadruple" check before cutting. I also have a long 1x2 leaned in the corner for long measures. When there are too many marks on my "witness" I toss it and start another.

4/14/2013 11:07:21 AM Report Abuse
frfilyaw wrote:

Both samaxton & bmayfield0011 are correct if you were measuring a distance you would subtract 1" but the article is talking about laying out a distance. In that case you would "correctly" place the 1" mark of the tape on the cut end and layout the length of project at the correct length PLUS 1".

4/12/2013 07:14:40 AM Report Abuse
samaxton wrote:

Bmayfield is correct, you would "subtract" 1" rather than "add" as the article wrongly states. But it is a good technique to use for better accuracy with a tape.

4/11/2013 07:11:38 PM Report Abuse
bmayfield0011 wrote:

If you are measuring an item you want to duplicate and start at 1" on the tape measurer, you would subtract 1". Example, if you measure something that is 22" long but start at the 1" mark, you will measure it at 23 - 1.

10/14/2012 12:44:08 PM Report Abuse

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