Why does a tape measure blade have boxes around some numbers?
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Why does my tape measure blade show boxes in red or black around some numbers?
Your interesting question has a simple answer. The marks all pertain to two very basic measurements: 16 inches on center and/or foot markings.
Studs, ceiling rafters, and floor joists are placed at 16 inches on center. For quick visibility, multiples of 16 (16, 32, 48, etc.) are normally marked on a tape measure with a number in red or a red box around the number as shown in the image to the right.
Foot markings (12, 24, 36, etc.) have black numbers, a black box around
the number, a black triangle at the top of the upper scale, or a black arrow that points to the upper and lower scales as shown in the image to the right. Again, the black box provides easy visibility but a contrast from the red stud markings.
Knowing why a tape measure has boxes around numbers is just one small part of using a tape measure effectively.
To really learn the ins and outs of reading a tape measure and to gain insights into choosing the best one for you, consider purchasing my award-winning article, "Learn How to Read and Choose a Tape Measure." This article received the 2008 Vaughan/National Association of Home and Workshop Writers (NAHWW) Golden Hammer Writing Award in the Internet Category.
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2008 LAF/C.R.S., Inc. All rights reserved.
Question answered by Leon A. Frechette.
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