Friday, June 25, 2010


Now that it's full steam ahead on the pirate ship, I'm reminded time and again of something that has puzzled me ever since I took up DIY many, many years ago.

Every tape measure I've ever used has the measurements printed so that they are the right way up if you stretch it out left-to-right. i.e You hook the end of the tape over the left-hand edge of whatever you are trying to measure, hold the body of the tape in your right hand, and pull it out towards the right.

This works well until you want to mark a measurement.

I'm right handed. I want to hold the pencil in my right hand, which means I have to hold the tape in my left and cross my arms over each other. Awkward.

Also, the left-to-right thing is OK if you have a piece that you are simply trying to cut down to size, lopping off a few inches from the end, because the measured piece is to the left and the waste to the right. But I'm equally likely to be cutting several smaller pieces from a long piece of wood and therefore want to measure from the right.

I find it easier to measure nearly everything from the right, holding the tape in my left hand and not having to cross hands.

So I've got incredibly good at reading off measurements upside down.


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