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  • How to Read a Tape Measure. Don't let all those little lines dissuade you from using

  • a tape measure. Follow these guidelines to help you in reading all of those little ruler

  • marks. You will need and a tape measure. Step 1. Recognize the marks on the top of the tape

  • measure. The black numbers are inches and the red numbers are feet. There are 12 inches

  • in a foot. Step 2. Identify the shorter marks between the inch marks, divided into fractions

  • of an inch. Most tape measures are divided into 16ths of an inch. Therefore, there are

  • 15 lines between the inch marks, all representing 1/16 of an inch. Step 3. Look for special

  • markings every 16 inches. These markings aid in many do-it-yourself projects that need

  • to be measured on 16-inch centers. Step 4. Notice the metric side of the tape measure.

  • The markings represent meters, centimeters, and millimeters. There are 100 centimeters

  • in a meter and 10 millimeters in a centimeter. Step 5. Write your measurement in feet, inches,

  • and fractions of an inch. For example 3 feet, 6 1/4 inches. Express metric measurements

  • in the smallest increments. You would not say "2 centimeters and 3 millimeters." Instead,

  • you would simply say "23 millimeters." Step 6. Measure precisely and double check your

  • measurement. It takes a lot less time to measure twice than redo an entire project because

  • of inaccuracies. Did you know James Chesterman patented the first spring-loaded tape measure

  • in England in 1829.

How to Read a Tape Measure. Don't let all those little lines dissuade you from using

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