DIY Tool Guide – Part Five

Knowing just how big or small things are is a really essential part of any successful DIY project, and when you think about it, knowing exactly how big or small things are can even save you money!

When you’re buying paint, tiles, carpet, lino and virtually any other DIY material you’re most like to buy it by length or volume. To work out what length or volume you need then you must measure the place where you’re using the materials… are you with me yet?

What I’m talking about is the simplest precision instrument that we all need to keep in our toolbox, yes that’s it… a tape measure!

There’s an old carpenters adage that goes ‘measure twice, cut once’, the point being that cutting off too much is easy, sticking some back on is virtually impossible (and it’s true for most materials). If you’re going to bother measuring at all then your tape measure is your best friend, it’s compact easy to use and accurate when used correctly.

A tape measure that’s between 5m and 10m in length will cost you around £10 although you might feel the need to splash out on a branded Stanley Tape Measure which is going to cost more like £20.

Look after your tape measure, use the locking mechanism to prevent the measuring tape from recoiling too quickly into the holder… although this may not do the tape any harm it’s really not great for your fingers when the last six inches of tape give them a good hard slap as the tape finishes recoiling! Be careful not to twist or deform the tape too far, once it gets a kink in it then it stays there forever and can make the tape stick in the holder which makes it very awkward to use.

An essential accessory to your brand new tape measure is a HB pencil, you’ll need this for marking off your measurements for cutting and levelling purposes… A pencil line ALWAYS works better than marking your cut with your thumb and hoping you didn’t move it!!

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