Reading Measuring Tape
Even a doctorate degree may not mean you know how to use measuring tape correctly, especially if you’ve never been trained in its use. For example, most people will be able to read one inch on a tape measure; the inches are clearly marked and divided with numbers, but between the inches, the hash marks may become increasingly difficult to decipher, particularly for the uninitiated. A carpenter will know, but beyond determining that the longest line in the middle of the inch is the half-inch mark, the layman may have trouble coming up with a precise measure. Aside from the marks that tell you the beginning of the inch and the end of the inch, there are fifteen additional lines or marks.
The longest of these fifteen lines is the half inch mark. The next two longest lines are the quarter inch and three quarter inch mark. After that, these lines become harder to interpret. Dividing half the distance between the beginning of the inch and the quarter inch mark will allow you to find the eighth inch mark. Halfway between the beginning of the inch and the eighth inch mark, you’ll find the shortest of the hash marks, which gives you the sixteenth inch. So, tape measures are divided by half inch, quarter inch, eighth inch and sixteenth inch measurements. These are not interchangeable measurements — in other words, the half inch mark is not read as two quarters, although technically that’s the case. Instead, the measurements should be read as follows for the first half inch: one sixteenth, one eighth, three sixteenths, one quarter, five sixteenths, three eighths, seven sixteenths, and one half inch. With this information, you should be able to easily find the measurements you need to find.