Today I'm going to talk about some measuring tips and tricks for you. Let's get on with these measuring tips OK. Let's start off today quickly with tape measures. This is a carpenter's tape measure 25 feet we don't need that 25-foot tape measure in the workshop. So what I like to do is pick up these smaller ones they're usually 10 or 12 feet now I'm right-handed so the first thing I do when I go to measure something is pick up a pencil in my right hand and then if I pick up a tape measure and I hold it in my left hand and most of the tape measures on the market are like this. When I hold them in my left hand the numbers are all upside down and I know it's been the cause of me marking things wrong because the numbers are upside down. I've done that over the years but I discovered this a few years ago that you could actually buy tapes that when you hold them in your left hand the numbers are the right way up. This tape is the single reason I've made so few mistakes because when I mark stuff now I see the numbers the right way up and I just don't make mistakes when I use this kind of tape. I will tell you there are some tapes that have both they'll have both numbers on the same tape so they'll have this and then they'll have another one upside down so it doesn't matter what hand you hold it in you'll be able to read the right way numbers. So just be aware that there are a variety of tapes and I have to do is go and look for them.

I often find that I need to divide a board into two or three or four different equal pieces and rather than trying to measure across and do all the math there's a really quick way of doing that and that is – for example if you wanted to divide even the board in half rather than trying to figure out its eleven and a half inches and working the math to that you could just put it to 12, for example, put the very tip of this side of the tape so right here with that and the very tip of the 12. Put those right on the edge and then when you mark where the six inches in right on that six-inch mark that's the center of the board and you can double-check. It easily by going to say sixteen so again the very tip and the very tip of sixteen and they go to eight because that's half of it and I can see it's right dead middle because there's a seam running down there. It gets even more fun because you can divide it into five parts if you want so in this case I'm going to go to 20 so five times four is 20 so I now need to go every four inches. Four eight-twelve sixteen and twenty and that will give me 1 2 3 4 5 equal parts perfect quick and easy way of dividing the board.

Sometimes I need to measure from inside corner to inside corner to see things are square or sometimes I need to fit something in there and it's one of the jigs I need to make but for now, what I do now is I just use two rulers. I really like to clamp them together because now I can combine this measurement with that one and I know exactly what it is but you know there's no reason that you couldn't use a small square and do exactly the same thing. Put them corner to corner and again I like to clamp them so that it doesn't move on me and now I can read from there to there and add the measurements up and I know exactly what they are. Or I can just move them from end to end if I want to do that.

Sometimes I need to find the center of different things maybe it's a dowel it could be a lid that I'm making a pattern or something. The quick way to do that is to get yourself a square and a kind of a triangle and this is just a construction triangle it'll work fine. For this, I like to clamp them just so that it doesn't move and basically what you do is you put the angle right in the very V of the square that you're using and now that's when you put for example a dowel in there. I can hold that and you'll make a mark turn it 90 degrees make another mark and there's the center of your doweling. Same thing with this lid. Just mark it put it on the that the two ends and draw a line do a circle to turn 90 degrees or so do another line and where lines intersect it's a perfect middle of your circle.

When I'm doing things like picture frames I always use what we call an engineer's Square and these are available at almost any stationery store around the world. They still make them they're very very accurate. I was just using my ruler and it there's a bit of a while and it like that which you wouldn't expect and for construction who cares if it's off by a little bit. But when you're doing things like picture frames and things like that in woodworking where you need exact measurements to pick yourself up some engineering squares. It'll save you a lot of time and frustration. Well, that concludes my measuring hacks.

Filed under: DIY Tips

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