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Architectural Scales

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An architectural scale can be used to measure lengths and to transfer them at a fixed ratio. It can be used draft and measure architectural drawings (such as floor plans and orthographic projections). And because the scale of the drawing is often smaller than the actual size of what will eventually be constructed, an architectural scale ruler will have many different units of length and proportional length increments. Earlier models were made of wood. But because they need to be durable and accurate, today’s models are typically made of plastic or aluminum. This type of architectural ruler may be flat with four scales, or it may have a symmetric 3-lobed cross-section design (which has six scales).
Before you can use an architectural scale, you need to know the scale of the drawing you need to measure. Once that has been determined, find the right scale on the ruler. Be careful about making this selection, because there are two scales on each edge. One will read left to right while the other will read right to left. Line up the zero mark on the scale you have selected with the starting point from which you want to measure, then determine where the ending point falls on the architectural scale.
Read and record the corresponding number, and be sure to “round it down” even if you’re close to the next one. This will represent the number of feet that the item is as it corresponds to that particular scale. The process may seem difficult. But once you understand its basic principle, you’ll be able to convert scale drawings into real measurements with very little math involved.
If you’re looking for a place to purchase your next architectural scale ruler, be sure to look at the broad selection we have at Engineer Supply.
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