It Really is 6 Inches
Tape measures come in a variety of sizes, from a few feet to over 100 feet and everything in between. Some have a metal case and some have a plastic case. No matter the length or material, they all have a few things in common.
The end of every tape measure is metal hook. Not only does this prevent the tape from irretrievably retracting into the case, but it can be used as a grab. To make an outside measurement, hook or grab the edge of the object being measured then stretch the tape.
Did you ever wonder why the metal hook slides around? No, the factory didn’t do a bad riveting job. The hook slides back and forth so that measurements can be made either by butting the tape against an object or by hooking it on the edge of the object. The sliding motion ensures an accurate measurement in either direction. Notice that 1st inch isn’t an exact inch. The thickness of the metal hook makes up the difference when pushed against something and the wiggle makes up the difference when pulled taut.
Not all, but some of the metal hooks have a serrated edge. This can be used as a scribing tool. Can’t find a pencil, just press and move back and forth to make a mark in the wood.
At the base of every tape measure is a number. This is the length of the tape measure. Knowing this makes is easy to take an inside measurement. Bending the tape measure will distort the measurement. Instead, use the tape measure as part of the measurement. The tape measure picture here is 2” in length, therefore the measurement is really 6 inches.
Do you know what the red squares on a tape measure are for? These red squares are every 16” and mark all the stud locations. Use these marks to nail base or anything else that needs to be nailed into a stud. Mark the first stud, line the end of your tape up, stretch it out, lock it into place and use the red squares for you nail locations.