The success of a building project depends on careful, accurate measurement. That’s why you’ll find at least one tape measure in every carpenter's toolbox.
All modern spring tape measures can trace their origin back to New Haven, Connecticut. That's where A.J. Fellows received a patent for the first spring tape measure.
Some carpenters choose tape measures that have small black diamonds every 19.2 inches. These are used to mark out equal spacing for joists. Joists are horizontal supports for ceilings or floors. There are 5 joists in a standard 8-foot length of building materials.
Other tape measures used by carpenters have an arrow every 16 inches. This is the standard interval for studs in construction. Three 16-inch sections equal four feet which is the standard width for a commercial sheet of plywood or particle board.
Elementary School Connection:
Solve: If a small black diamond appears every 19.2 inches on a carpenter’s tape measure, how many black diamonds will appear on a 25-foot tape measure? Show and explain how you found your answer.
Solve: If an arrow is placed on the tape measure every 16 inches, beside which numbers will the arrows be placed? Show and explain how you found your answer.
Middle School And High School Connection: Check out this video! A carpenter shares four handy tricks using her tape measure.