The majority of people probably think they know everything about measuring tape and that there is not much more to them than they already think. A measuring tape is after all a very simple device with only one function – to measure items.
However, this is not entirely true and there are five hidden features of measuring tape that everyone should know about.
1 The Adjustable End
At the end of a tape measure is a metal tip that always seems to be loose and for a reason. The tape’s first inch is actually short of an inch by 1/16th in order to make sure you get accurate readings whether measuring a surface’s interior or exterior edge. “True zero” is the name given to this feature.
The tip is precisely 1/16th of an inch in thickness so that if measuring the exterior of a surface and the metal end hooks onto the edge, a gap will be created by the metal piece shifting out to avoid having that counted as part of the measurement.
Those who want to measure the interior of a surface such as in a window frame will want to include the thickness of the metal piece as a part of their calculations. In this instance, the metal piece will move back to ensure the gap is filled. Be sure to push or pull the tape to ensure it is taut and can make use of the true zero feature.
2 The Black Diamonds
The black diamonds that show up on metal tape measures are there for the purpose of spacing I-beam “timbers”. A number of the manufacturers of wood products provide I-beam timbers instead of solid lumber floor joists.
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The diamond marks that are on tape rule blades are to space out such engineered floor joists in new constructions that often need different spacing requirements. Builders can use the diamond marks to make use of the extra strength of engineered I-beams with the use of fewer floor joists without any loss of support.
3 The Curve
The blade on a tape measure always has a curve to it, and this is not some strange design quirk. The reason the blade on a tape measure is always curved is because the blade is able to stay rigid even after having been extended precisely because of the concave design. The curve means the blade is able to stand out while you are still measuring, making the measurement much easier to read.
4 The Nail Grab
Almost all measuring tapes come with a small slot located on the end hook, the purpose of which is to grab the end of a screw or nail. If a flat surface is being measured alone, a screw just needs to be inserted or a nail hammered in and the end of the tape can be hooked on to ensure an accurate and clear measurement.
5 The Scribing Tool
There is a serrated edge on the bottom of a measuring tape’s end hook. This can be used to make a mark on whatever you are measuring by running it backwards and forwards over it.
A measuring tape can have hidden features that not only do many people not know about but can actually be incredibly useful.
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