While it may seem to be a very basic skill, being able to read a ruler is the foundation to just about any project you make by hand or even with a Shopbot! Reading a metric ruler is pretty simple- no fractions, everything converts nicely in factors of 10, and its pretty straight forward. The English system, however, can be kind of confusing- fractions, units, and symbols. This instructable will help you understand how to use a "standard" ruler better; specifically being able to read fractions of an inch or "Drawing the Inch" as I call it with my students.
The cool thing about knowing how to label the fractions inside of an inch is that you can use it as a calculator to reduce fractions! Follow along and I'll show you how. This instructable may be a little hard to follow if you don't read it through all the way to the end before trying it out.
Step 1: Start Your Inches!
Gather supplies. See Picture 1. You need:
Pencil or Pen
A few definitions that might help you understand this instructable a little better:
Numerator: The number above the line in a common fraction
Denominator: The number below the line in a common fraction
The easiest way I have found to explain an inch is to draw it out, starting with a mark representing zero and a mark representing 1. These DO NOT HAVE TO BE ACCURATE!!! I find it is a lot easier if you make your "inch" BIG to give you more room to write in the fractions. SO:
On the paper, Draw a rectangle as shown in Picture 2 and 3. This is going to be our "ruler". Remember to make it big! On the ruler, make a mark, also as shown in Pictures 2, 3, and 4. This will be out 1 inch mark.