How To Measure Wood

How To Measure Wood


Every DIYer who enjoys woodworking needs to know how to measure wood properly. And even though this is a very simple task, one tiny mistake can ruin all your hard work.

Indeed, it all starts with the right measuring of wood. When I was first starting to explore the beauty and joy of working with wood, I paid little attention to the strict measurements. I failed to realize that even as little as 1/10 of an inch matters.

Below, you will find an easy to follow, no-nonsense tutorial which will help you learn how to work with wood measuring precisely and efficiently.

What You Will Need To Follow This Tutorial

  1. Pencil (or a marker)
  2. Tape measure
  3. Carpenter’s angle

A Quick Pro Tip

When opting for finished lumber, keep in mind that a 2×4 is closer to 1 – 3/8 x 3 – 3/8 in most cases. Thus, always order oversize to make sure you stay away from unpleasant surprises when you get down to work. However, sheets goods such as plywood are measured in real inches.

On another note, length is measured in strict inches but when it comes to width and thickness, the values are only nominal. The best way to save money from overpaying just to get nominal values instead of anything strict it so mills the lumber yourself.

Step by Step Instructions for Measuring Wood

Step 1 – Measure the wood with a tape measure

Step 1 Measure The Wood With A Tape Measure

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First off, place the wood material and secure it at one place. The surface needs to be flat and static. Next, measure the wood with the help of a tape measure. You can measure both the length, as well as the width and the thickness. Reading tape measure is easy as the units are neatly displayed.

Step 2 – Use a carpenter’s level to mark accurately

Step 2 Use A Carpenter’s Level To Mark Accurately

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First things first, if you are using more than a single measuring tool, you want to compare if all the tools’ metrics are equivalent. For example, some rules can be manufactured displaying a slight difference of the same metrics which are displayed on another rule.

Once you have measured the wood and you are ready to start working on cutting it to the precise dimensions you need, it’s best to utilize a carpenter’s angle. The carpenter’s angle will allow you to mark the wood on the exact fixed spot with your pencil or a marker. Always measure twice. Thus, you can go on with processing the wood accurately.

Paying attention to the metrics while working with wood is a must. I know it can seem tempting to wake up the artist inside you and lean more to your creative side. However, woodworking will put your precision to the test. It does take time before you start measuring wood (almost) on default. Anyway, this is not one of those daunting tasks you can simply avoid.

Be precise and you will be able to showcase your woodworking skills like a pro. Was this article useful? Show us your support with your thumbs up and feel welcome to join us in the comment section below.