Measuring tapes are used to take measurements of height, length, and width. There are various types of tape measures, so which one should you use? It can be confusing! For example, there are special types of tape measures used for building and other carpentry work, just as there are also certain types of tape measures used to make quilts, to make clothing, and to complete other craft projects.
The most widely-used type of measuring tape has markings that represent several measurement units. The top portion of the tape measure is divided into standard measurements of inches, feet, and yards. The bottom markings on a measuring tape represent metric units including millimeters and meters. Some measuring tapes represent inches by using large numerals and some indicate feet by using red numerals.
The large majority of standard measuring tapes use a similar design and system of measurement. Reference marks for plotting both metric and standard readings are located on the tape measure. In most instances, standard readings are made using the top portion of the measuring tape (standard units). However, depending upon the type of project a metric measurement may need to be taken.
Before you can accurately use a tape measure, you'll need some basic knowledge. Inch measurements are divided into one-sixteenth fractions and the remainder of the tape measure is divided using the same fractional sequence. The markings located between each inch represent one-half of an inch. The next marking represents one-quarter of an inch, then one-eighth of an inch, and lastly, one-sixteenth of an inch. An easy way to memorize the distance that each mark represents is to remember that every eighth line represents one-half of an inch, every fourth line represents one-quarter of an inch, and every second line indicates one-eighth of an inch.
The simplest method for using a tape measure is to place the beginning of the tape at the starting point of the object to be measured and then to extend the measuring tape the distance of the desired measurement. If the object is not self-secured, it is helpful to place the it on a solid and flat surface before beginning the measurement; this will assure that the object is level.
Once an object has been measured, the final result may be an even amount of inches, feet, or yards, or a mixture of the three. To establish the final measurement, take the whole number reached during the measuring and count the tape lines to determine the fraction portion of the measurement. Always measure items two to three times to assure that the measurement is precise.
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