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1. Pull the tape straight out of its case with one hand.
2. Note the markings on the tape. Each mark indicates a 1/16-inch increment. There is usually an arrow indicator at 16-inch increments to show the typical distance between wall studs. The diamonds are for marking joists and studs at points one-fifth of 8 feet.
3. Look at the back of the tape. Some manufacturers include lumber tables or other useful information.
4. Line up the 1-inch mark with one end of the object being measured. Sometimes the metal hook becomes loose and can cause your measurement to be off by up to 1/16 of an inch. Be sure to deduct 1 inch from the measurement.
5. Slide the thumb lock down to hold the tape in place. Not all tapes have this feature and newer ones have an automatic lock with a hold release instead
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