Perhaps you have heard the saying, “measure twice, cut once.” This is a phrase I use all the time in a scene shop. However, I am finding more and more students “come close” and yet, “close” is not really good enough. It is just guessing. The consequence of “guessing” is wasted material… and money… You cut wood improperly and a piece is ruined. It’s faster to double-check than to make a mistake.
I am happy to report that measuring and reading a ruler using whole inches is a solid skill among most of the teenagers I encounter. Most are even competent using quarters, halves, and three-fourths on a measuring tool. However, the majority have forgotten what they learned in grade school about how to read eighths and sixteenths on a ruler or a tape measure.
Now the the kids I work with don’t see this as a problem. They think that if you are not in construction, you don’t need this skill. Wrong! You use this skill in real life all the time. Hanging a picture. Measuring blinds, Checking space needed for a new appliance. Doing an art project.
I is time to review how to read and use a ruler.
I want to take this further.
It is also important to remember that measuring twice means making sure you have thought through a project before you really get into it. Measuring twice is not just for carpenters. The principles of measuring twice apply to nearly ever occupation you can think of.
So… think things through. Make a plan. Double-check your work. And learn/re-learn how to use a measuring tool!