You don’t need a calculator to quickly find the center of something that’s an odd length, such as 37 5/8 inches (95cm). The smart folks at This Old House show us two ways to quickly divide a length in half using just your tape measure.
In the video above, Tom Silva demonstrates the two methods. The first is easier because it involves only one tape measure:
- Measure your item. In this case, a board.
- Round up to a larger number that’s easily divisible by two. In this example, 40in (102cm).
- Pull a tape measure diagonally across the board until the 40in (102cm) graduation aligns with one edge.
- Make a pencil line at the 20in (51cm) graduation line (half of 40). That will be the center of the 37 5/8 inch board.
The second method is to use two tape measures, pulling each across from opposite edges, and find where the identical measurement is. That’s the center.
Maths is fun, but sometimes maths shortcuts are even more fun.
Ask Tom: How to Find Measurements Without Maths [This Old House]