Updated: Apr 7

tape measure
Tape Measure

By: Jason Becker

Before we get into this article, take a moment to see how your measuring skills stack up. Included in this link is a tape measure test, go ahead and take the test and see how well you do.

Here is an additional link for a 1" representation, that you can fill out while watching the video.

1 Inch Handout
Download PDF • 23KB

I usually have my students fill them out with different colors to make the different increments stand out a bit more.

One of the most important skills a welder/fabricator can possess, is the ability to read a tape measure. Everything we work with in the welding industry revolves around measurements; whether it is a weld size, cutting materials, fitting up a joint, etc. it all has to be measured. Having been a welder for 20+ years, I took this skill for granted. Everyone knows how to read a tape measure and work in fractions of an inch right? It seems like such a basic task that everyone knows how to do, boy was I wrong. A few days into my first class, I had the students cutting up various pieces of material for weld coupons. About 10 minutes in, the students had a various array of pieces cut and none of them were correct. I obviously took this skill for granted. I then shut down the sheer, and asked the students, "how many of you can read a tape measure"? Instantly all the hands went up. I started asking them to measure a few simple items, and the results were all over the place. At that moment, I realized that the students thought that they knew how to read a tape measure, but they obviously didn't. So I d