How Does a Scale Ruler Work?

Save

What is a Scale Ruler?

• A scale ruler is the three-sided ruler used by architects and readers of blueprints to convert between scaled drawings and the actual dimensions without having to resort to any mathematical calculations. An architect uses the scale ruler to convert dimensions into a smaller drawing of a building plan. The reader of the blue print will then use a scale ruler to translate the drawing into the real sizes for construction.

Choosing the Correct Scale

• On each side of a scale ruler at the far left before the zero mark is a number reflecting the scale of the rules on that particular side. Using the appropriate scale is crucial and should be the first step. If reading a blueprint, the appropriate scale will be written on the plans. If drafting a plan, choosing an appropriate scale will depend on the size of the drawing compared to the actual dimensions described.

Measuring with a Scale Ruler

• Common scales are 1/2, 1/4 and 1/16. These reflect the fractions of an inch that correspond to feet in the full-scale dimensions. To read a blueprint with a scale ruler once the appropriate scale is determined, line up the zero mark with the beginning of the length to be measured. If the distance falls exactly on a line of the ruler, that is the measure in feet. Make sure the correct marks are being read, as most scale rulers have two scales per side for maximum efficiency.
If the distance being measured does not fall exactly on a line, the exact measure will be the number of feet corresponding to the nearest line passed plus a certain number of inches. Determining the inches will require a second measurement. Before removing the scale ruler, first mark the appropriate foot line on the drawing. The first inch of the scale ruler is subdivided into twelfths, corresponding to inches. Line up the zero line with the mark representing the foot line of the first measurement, and use the detailed marking to find the number of inches. The full measurement will be the number of feet plus this number of inches.
Even with this second step, using a scale ruler is much easier and faster than making complex conversions using math. It also minimizes the chance of error in the calculations. With a little practice, using a scale ruler becomes a simple but essential tool for the contractor and architect alike.

• Photo Credit Matching Copr., Make My Own House, My Home 101, Residential Architects
Promoted By Zergnet

Resources

You May Also Like

• What is the Definition of a Drafting Scale Ruler?

A ruler is for drawing lines, a scale is for measuring. Classic drafting scales are triangular, with a different drawing ratio on...

• How Does a Parallel Ruler Drafting Table Work?

The parallel ruler drafting table is an essential piece of equipment used by architects, designers and engineers. It allows architects to quickly...

• How to Use an Architect's Scale Ruler

Architects use scale rulers to determine and represent the actual dimensions of large structures such as houses and buildings, and smaller items...

• How to Make a Ruler

Having students create their own ruler is a great way to get them to understand how a ruler works. There are two...

• How to Use a Drafting Scale

When making architectural drawings of a structure, a draftsman must determine a "scale" for the drawings so that they reflect the building's...

• How to Read an Engineering Ruler

An engineering ruler is a straight edge designed to measure objects on a construction plan to scale. The engineering ruler has six...

• How to Use a Triangle Scale Ruler

The blue prints used in the construction industry are "draw to scale." This allows an architect to convey the dimensions needed to...

• How to Use a Metric Scale Ruler

The metric system is a system of measurement used through much of the world and in scientific and technical applications. The "meter"...

• How to Read an E-Scale Ruler

Reading an E-scale, also known as an Engineering scale or tri-scale, can be very confusing to the average person. Having three separate...

• How Does a Scale Ruler Work?

In order to understand how a scale rules works, the user must determine what their scale drawing dimensions are going to be....

Check It Out