Measuring & Marking

How to Measure and Mark when doing DIY

A Thread In Time

To measure the depth of a drilled hole, make sure all the debris has been removed, drop a bolt into it and then turn the nut down until it just touches the surface. Then measure from the end of the bolt to the underside of the nut. Viola – you now have the precise depth of the drilled hole.

How to Measure when doing DIY

Marking a Wall

Marking a wall’s undulations on a shelf, for example, is sometimes necessary if you want to get a good fit with minimal filling.

Any of these three illustrated helpers will enable you to accurately mark every dip and rise of a wall. Note, however, that to get an accurate result you must always keep the marker holder at a right angle to the wall. If you allow it to move at an angle, the cut line you mark on the shelf will not be aligned with the wall’s surface – the diagram shows an exaggerated example for clarity.

How to Measure when doing DIY

If you have a router with an attachment for routing circles, use it as the guide. Failing this, a piece of scrap wood with a hole drilled through it in line with the end which has been cut to a shallow point, or taping the marking pencil to the edge of wedge, will achieve the same result. Note that keeping the marker in line with a point, as opposed to a flat edge, will give you a better result (refer to diagram)

Useful Measuring Tip

Two pieces of timber clamped together in a ‘V’ make a very useful measure for recesses or over obstacles such as an irregular stone wall, as illustrated. For example, if you were laying a pipe under a low garden wall, this device could be used to straddle the wall and give you a precise measurement for the length of pipe required.

Lightly clamp the pieces of timber together, move them into position and open until the outer corners meet the surfaces to be measured. Then tighten the clamp and measure between the points to find the exact dimension.

How to Measure when doing DIY

Shopping List

  • Nut
  • Bolt
  • Piece of paper
  • Two scrap lengths of timber

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