<img class="lazy" height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg%20xmlns='http://www.w3.org/2000/svg'%20viewBox='0%200%201%201'%3E%3C/svg%3E" data-src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=376816859356052&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
 In Shop Blog, Techniques

We may receive a commission when you use our affiliate links. However, this does not impact our recommendations.

Last week Roy Underhill took me to the back room of his new school in Pittsboro, N.C.

“Is this the office?” I asked.

“No,” Roy said with a wicked grin. “This is where I keep the confiscated tape measures.”

It might surprise some modern-day woodworkers that the spring-loaded tape measure wasn’t always the tool of choice for laying out one’s work. Instead, the preferred layout tool for woodworkers for many generations was the folding rule: a brass-bound boxwood device that would unfold to 24″ , though other lengths were available.

And that’s why Underhill bans tape measures from The Woodwright’s School.

The invention of the modern tape measure is sometimes credited to Alvin J. Fellows of New Haven, Conn.,


 

By registering, I acknowledge and agree to Active Interest Media's (AIM) Terms of Service and to AIM's use of my contact information to communicate with me about AIM, its brands or its third-party partners' products, services, events and research opportunities. AIM's use of the information I provide will be consistent with the AIM Privacy Policy.


Start typing and press Enter to search