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# Why an Arrow Mark in Measuring Tapes at 16", 32", and So On

06/09/2015 7:51 AM

Dear CR4 MEMBERS,

In the measuring tapes of 2 Metres or 3 Metres, I found an ARROW MARK exactly at 16", 32", 48" etc. The tape is having both INCHES mark on one side and Centi Metre mark on the other side.

What is the significance of the ARROW MARK in the tape.? I could not get any answer from my colleague(s)

In British Units 8" is one chain for field survey/measurement and 16" means 2 chains. The total links in one chain is 100 nos. and hence 800" I am not sure - whether this arrow relates to denote 2 links.

I request CR 4 Members to inform this arrow what it means.?

DHAYANANDHAN.S

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#1

### Re: WHY AN ARROW MARK IN MEASURING TAPES AT 16", 32", and SO ON

06/09/2015 7:55 AM

Placement of wall studs when building or remodeling a house or building.

These will accommodate the 48" by 96" or 120" sheets of plywood, laminate or drywall. Usually put vertical on walls.

Each panel will share a stud on the edge.,

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#3

### Re: WHY AN ARROW MARK IN MEASURING TAPES AT 16", 32", and SO ON

06/09/2015 8:07 AM

GA

"The usual spacing between 2 x 4's in a wall is 16 inches on center. You'll see an arrow on your tape measure at 16, 32, 48, 64, 80 and 96. The spacing between larger structural members, such as roof rafters and trusses, is often 24 inches. You'll see an arrow on your tape measure at 24, 48, 72, 96 and so on. Note that both series of numbers come out even every 48 inches and every 96 inches. That is because the standard size of a sheet of plywood is 4' x 8', or 48 inches by 96 inches. The ends and edges of every sheet of plywood will have a nailing location with standard spacing."

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#2

### Re: WHY AN ARROW MARK IN MEASURING TAPES AT 16", 32", and SO ON

06/09/2015 8:01 AM

That is the distance between studs when framing a wooden stud wall in the USA when using 2x4.

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#4

### Re: WHY AN ARROW MARK IN MEASURING TAPES AT 16", 32", and SO ON

06/09/2015 9:18 AM

Slight correction please- that's the difference between nominal CENTERLINES of framing members using 16" centers (most common in Canada as well). You seriously wouldn't believe how many people think you're supposed to measure 16" between the studs. And when someone decides to finish their own basement, guess what happens to the poor dope that comes in to do cabinetry work afterwards ....(let's just say that cabinet backs shouldn't look like Swiss cheese).

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#5

### Re: Why an Arrow Mark in Measuring Tapes at 16", 32", and So On

06/09/2015 9:40 AM

If you look closely most tapes have arrow marks every 19.2" also. This is for non load bearing walls where code allows for wider stud spacing and you can save one stud every 8'.

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#6

### Re: Why an Arrow Mark in Measuring Tapes at 16", 32", and So On

06/09/2015 3:26 PM

In some, but few, areas 24" c-c is permitted for non load bearing walls. The same for joists on decks. For decks the joists usually have to be wider than the usual 2x6 or 2x8. Beams are usually spaced closer or heavier. All this means that every even foot number 2, 4, 6, 8,.......... On the tape is used for markers. Every odd foot number 1, 3, 5, 7, .......... can be used but isn't as dummy proof as the evens. Good Luck, Old Salt

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#15

### Re: Why an Arrow Mark in Measuring Tapes at 16", 32", and So On

06/12/2015 2:06 PM

I witnessed the use of the 19.2" spacing of trusses for the roof of a 4 car garage once. The project turned out quite nice, then was easily converted into temporary living quarters for the family building it, because all the amenities were included during the initial slab pour.

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#7

### Re: Why an Arrow Mark in Measuring Tapes at 16", 32", and So On

06/09/2015 4:02 PM

This stud spacing standard was developed by three little pigs.

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#8

### Re: Why an Arrow Mark in Measuring Tapes at 16", 32", and So On

06/10/2015 12:07 AM

I find these types of wall to be very poor in quality myself.....even for internal (infernal?) walls.....

No thanks.

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#9

### Re: Why an Arrow Mark in Measuring Tapes at 16", 32", and So On

06/10/2015 8:40 AM

Andy, I don't know how many remods you've done but it sure beats late 19th century plaster on lathe and the just put a beam where it sags building code. LOL

Don't even get me going on some of the interesting tube and knob installations I've run across. :-)

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#11

### Re: Why an Arrow Mark in Measuring Tapes at 16", 32", and So On

06/10/2015 9:38 AM

This is on the newer side of the big pond. We like to do things very quickly and very cheaply, as opposed to older European standards. If you don't like these walls, I can't imagine what you must think of our "pre-fabbed" houses that roll onto site behind trucks in two sections on wheels. At least we have eliminated the obvious seam between the two sections that was prevalent in first generation pre-fabs. Sure beats mobile home trailers, especially during a tornado.

You may interpret "cheaply" in either use of the word.

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#10

### Re: Why an Arrow Mark in Measuring Tapes at 16", 32", and So On

06/10/2015 9:19 AM

I walked in this morning to find this thread,and everything that needs to be said has been said, so I just peppered my GA votes where appropriate.

Since American building codes aren't used universally (or even globally), it's easy to understand the confusion about the 16" arrows on the tape measure. Every contractor or homeowner who looks at a tape measure would see that mark and instantly (or should instantly, in they've got two working brain cells and have ever measures the stud width on an unfinished wall before) know what it means.

Personally, I did not know about the wider spacing for non load-bearing walls, I don't think I've ever seen that before, just 16" on center, and occasionally, 12" on center. I believe the 12" on center is either an older standard, a layout for 'heavy load bearing' walls, like under a dance studio, or someone who does not understand the building codes 'guestimating' what the spacing should be.

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#12

### Re: Why an Arrow Mark in Measuring Tapes at 16", 32", and So On

06/10/2015 11:46 AM

That is the standard stud spacing in normal construction. Just makes the dimensions easier to see.

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#13

### Re: Why an Arrow Mark in Measuring Tapes at 16", 32", and So On

06/10/2015 3:04 PM

In the USA a "surveyor's chain" is a different thing. Use a search engine on the term, because it is more than I want to repeat. The whole chain was 66 feet, but each link was just under 8 inches (7.92") which may be the 8" mentioned in the OP. There are 100 links in the chain to make 66'.

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#14

### Re: Why an Arrow Mark in Measuring Tapes at 16", 32", and So On

06/10/2015 6:00 PM

What many of the answers have not said is that this is a USA standard. I am sure there is a metric standard in your country and other countries that use the metric system. -- JHF

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