Tape measures come in many different colors and sizes, but they all use inch and foot increments. Discover how tape measures use red numbers every 16 inches to note the distance between studs with help from an independent contractor and carpenter in this free video on tape measures.
I am Jeremiah Fox, I am a carpenter and handyman out here in New York City. Learning to use a tape measure. In any home repair or remodeling project the first thing you are going to need to know is how to read a tape measure to take all the measurements that you are going to e transferring into the wood and the other things that you have got to do. Now a tape measure may come in many different colors, sizes, etc., but they all have the same thing. They are in foot increments, and in inch increments. So the first thing is these big numbers are the inches, they let you know if it is a foot or not. When you come up to two feet there is also a foot there. And then they also have small red numbers up here so that you know you know you are at one foot one inch, one foot two inches, or if you want you are at thirteen, fourteen, fifteen inches. They also have every sixteen inches a red number, which is you sixteen inch spacing for walls studs. Now all the small lines, smaller lines are the fractions of an inch. And everything divides by two. So the first biggest line is the half inch, and then if you look down the next tallest line is the quarter inch. Because that is half of a half, the next tallest line is an eighth of an inch, and then the smallest line on most tape measures is the sixteenth of an inch. Some tape measures actually go down to the thirty seconds in the first foot. And they would be lines that are half as small as this right in the middle. So when you are coming up with your numbers we are using the smaller fractions. You basically figure out if it is an eighth or is it a sixteenth or you make the mark on it and then you count out. So if you have this mark here, this longer mark is a quarter mark, it is the third quarter up from nine, so that would nine and three quarters. And then you have your seven eighths, your have your random sixteenths, etc. Now there are two types of locking mechanisms on a tape measure, this is called a thumb lock. Pull it out, press your thumb down, and the lock will hold it. There are others ones that are called lever locks that have the locking mechanisms down at the bottom. Make sure your tape measure is a foot measure and not a meter measure, because there are metric tapes out there, and that will throw your numbers all off.