Measuring woodwork with a rule

Hand tools
Boring tools

Grinding tools
Hammering tools
Holding tools (other)
Layout tools
Micrometer caliper
Sloyd knives
Steel scale
Vernier calipers
Wire gages

Cutting threads
Layout metalworking
Nuts & bolts

Bolting woodwork
Cutting woodwork
Finishing woodwork
Glueing woodwork
Jointing woodwork
Layout & testing
Layout, using paterns
Lumber & lumbering
Measuring with rule
Nails for woodwork
Painting wood
Screws woodwork
Shaping woodwork
Structure of wood
Try square usage

Proper use of the rule

The rule is a tool for measuring or reproducing measurements. Two points must be kept in mind when using it:

  1. One end of the rule must be flush or even with the point from which the measurement is to be taken or made. This may be a point somewhere on the surface, or a point at the end of the surface.
  2. The reference mark made by a pencil or knife at the point which establishes the required measurement on the stock may be a straight line at right angles to the edge of the rule or may be established by means of an arrowhead, the point of which should be the exact location.

The outside dimensions of round or square stock are measured with a caliper rule.

Drawing lines with a rule

A rule and pencil can be used to gage lines parallel to an edge. Hold the rule in one hand, with the thumbnail at the desired dimension and at the same time in contact with the edge of the board. The rule must be kept at right angles to or square with the edge. Hold a pencil point firmly against the end of the rule. Move the rule along, holding the thumbnail against the edge of the stock and the pencil against the end of the rule.

The edge of the rule may also be used for drawing straight lines provided the edge of the rule is true. The folding rule, zigzag rule, or the flexible steel tape should not be used for this purpose, since the accuracy of a line drawn with these tools cannot be dependable. To connect two points with a straight line, place the edge of the rule on the reference marks. These reference marks should be as far apart as possible.

Hold the rule with one hand at the center of the rule. The pencil should be held at a slight angle so that the top of the pencil will ride along the edge of the rule.

Reading a rule

The accuracy of layout work depends a great deal on the ability of the woodworker to read a rule correctly. Rules are divided into large sections, each of which measures one inch (in the English-system rules). Each of these sections is subdivided into smaller units which are fractions of the inch. When an inch is divided into 8 spaces, each space is 1/8"; when an inch is divided into 16 parts, each part equals 1/16”.