Trade Skills – Top Measuring Tips
It might seem like a simple task, measuring. But there are certain techniques and tips you can utilize to be more accurate with your measuring and get more out of your measuring tape.
TIP 1 – Improve accuracy by tilting the curved blade to be as close as possible to the surface you are measuring.
TIP 2 – When fitting one component to another, such as a door into a frame, minimise the risk of measurement error by making a pencil mark on the back of the tape blade to indicate the actual dimension, and then transfer it to the door. This is particularly easy with the FatMax Tape which has a three-way end hook. The pencil mark can be easily removed with a damp cloth.
TIP 3 – Use the small notch in the end hook for ‘pencil gauging’ parallel lines down the length of the material, using your finger or the mouth of the rule case to maintain a fixed distance from the edge.
TIP 4 – To avoid unnecessary damage to your tape, always control the rate of rewind and ensure that the tape doesn’t kink. Longer tapes have very powerful springs, so take particular care to avoid trapping your fingers between the case and then end hook.
TIP 5 – For electricians, the blade of a Stanley tape can make an excellent, makeshift, ‘Fish Tape’ for drawing cables through cavities.
TIP 6 – Mark out large circles or arcs by pivoting the hook slot on a nail or screw inserted into the work-piece and holding a pencil at the length of the radius required.
TIP 7 – Use the conveniently diamond marked 40cm/16″ centres for setting out joists.
TIP 8 – Sometimes, when making a measurement the end hook may interfere with accuracy by holding the blade off the surface, try laying the tape flat on the work and make your measurement from a convenient ‘zero’ point such as 10cm, so a measurement of 10cm would appear as 20cm on the tape.
TIP 9 – If a steel rule on a straight edge is not available you can draw a straight line, by turning the blade over.
TIP 10 – Use your tape to check the squareness of a box by measuring the diagonals.
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