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How To Use an Architectural or Scale Ruler

An Architect's or scale ruler is designed for use in determining the actual dimensions of a distance on a scaled drawing. Most architectural, construction and engineering drawings and blueprints are scaled to allow for large areas, structures or items to conveniently fit on a reasonable size of paper.

Example of an Architects Scale Ruler

Before using an architect's scale or ruler, it is important to know the scale of the drawing or item that is being measured. Once the scale of the drawing has been ascertained, select the correct scale on the ruler. For example, 1/8 on the ruler is in fact a scale that converts 1/8 inch on the drawing to 1 foot. This would represent a drawing with a scale of 1/8" = 1 foot. Be careful when selecting the scale on the ruler, there are two scales on each edge. One scale reads left to right and the other right to left.

Line up the zero mark on the scale selected with the beginning of the item you wish to measure, then determine at what point on the scale the end of the item you wish to measure is. Read the number off the scale that is closest to the ending point of the item measured. Mentally note this number and be sure to 'round down' even if you are close to the next number. This number represents the whole feet of the item you are measuring. Then slide the ruler so that the number you noted mentally lines up with the end of the item being measured. Now if you go back to the zero end of the scale the fractional feet to be measured will be represented by the distance of the start point of the object being measured to the zero point on the scale. Take the reading from this part of the scale (depending on the scale this may be graduated smaller or larger than 1") and add this number to the whole feet you mentally noted earlier.

This procedure seems somewhat cumbersome, however once you have mastered it and understand it's principle, you will be quickly and easily converting scale drawings to real measurements with no math involved.

To view a selection of Architect's scales, please click here.

To view a selection of Modeler's scales, please click here.

To view a selection of 'Imprinted' Architect's 6" Pocket Rulers, please click here.

To view a selection of 'Imprinted' Architect's 6" to 24" Rulers, please click here.




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