How to Measure Wood

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When buying lumber, it's important to get your measurements right. Here's how to make sure you do.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring Tapes
  • Pencils
  • Wood
  • Lay the wood flat.

  • Hold one end of a tape measure at one end of the wood, and pull the tape measure out to the desired length.

  • Check that the tape measure is straight, comparing it to the edge of the wood. Adjust as necessary. When it is straight, mark the wood with a small pencil mark.

  • Move the tape measure over a bit on the same surface of the wood. Measure it again and make a second pencil mark.

  • Remove the tape measure. With a square edge, connect the two pencil marks and check that they are perpendicular to the edge of the wood. If they are not, measure both marks again until correct.

  • Draw a line connecting the lines when they are equally measured, using the straight edge.

  • Repeat on the other side of the wood, if necessary.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check the measurements as many times as necessary. Remember: "Measure twice, cut once."
  • If you are measuring a length too long to allow you to hold both ends of the tape measure, get a friend to help.

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