The Practicality Of Diamond Shapes On Measuring Tape

rumblestaffPublished: April 24, 2018Updated: April 25, 201858,016 views
Published: April 24, 2018Updated: April 25, 2018

Of course you know what a tape measurer is used for, but most people have no idea what those tiny black diamonds are for. It's one of those things that we've all seen, but likely wouldn't be able to tell you what it's used for. This might come in handy the next time you break out the tools to get some renovation work done on your home. One of the most mind-bending has to be the black diamonds which are on some versions.

They usually sit above the numbers, nestled into the lines which show segments of an inch. It's pretty obvious they aren't just for decoration, but you probably have no idea what they are actually for. Well, turns out they are used by people who make a living in construction. It stands to reason those who make money for building will need tape measures that are a little more in depth than those of us who just get them out to check our height. The black diamonds are actually called truss marks (also known as stud or joist marks). A truss is a framework, usually meaning rafters, posts and struts which support a building. So those innocuous little marks actually help professionals with truss layouts, meaning it speeds up the process of knowing where each section of whatever you're laying should go.

Unless you use a measuring tape daily, you may have never even noticed those small diamond-shaped details on the top scale. And, even if you have, we bet that you only have a best guess as to what they might mean.They’re not just cute, they’re also super helpful! What do these black diamonds mean anyways? The black diamond is meant to signify the center area between studs in a home or building. The symbol will always be set at the 19.2-inch mark, but to best use it to its advantage, you must first take the time to understand the “8-foot rule.”

Unless you use a measuring tape daily, you may have never even noticed those small diamond-shaped details on the top scale. And, even if you have, we bet that you only have a best guess as to what they might mean.They’re not just cute, they’re also super helpful! What do these black diamonds mean anyways? The black diamond is meant to signify the center area between studs in a home or building. The symbol will always be set at the 19.2-inch mark, but to best use it to its advantage, you must first take the time to understand the “8-foot rule.”

As the man in the video says: “Many tape measures add red numbers (or some other graphical standout) every 16-inches, a very common spacing for studs in house framing. This spacing allows for six supports in each 8-foot length. If you want to locate a center between the studs, the black diamond is your best bet”. The woodworker goes on explaining: “If you divide the 8-foot space we have been using by 5 we get a spacing of 19.2”. The black diamonds on the tape measure represent that spacing. The first black diamond is at 19.2” and after that black diamonds appear at 38.4”, 57.6”, 76.8” and 96”, or 8-feet. That is one less stud for every 8-feet of wall, counting the beginning and end studs”.

Pretty cool, huh? Basically, if you know that your walls were built following this standard stud placement formula, then, instead of breaking out that cumbersome stud detector, you should be able to just use your measuring tape to locate them. Let's take a look at the video, shall we?

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      Garryk · 26 weeks ago

      Why would you want to locate the center between studs?