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Thread: Disgusted w/ my math capability, and i think i'm a welder.. pffft

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    Angry Disgusted w/ my math capability, and i think i'm a welder.. pffft

    I messed up in life and had to get a whole new career for myself. So i chose something that interested me, WELDING. The state of idaho agreed i needed a new 'career' and paid for 1yr of classes. Unfortunately, they picked a place that the guy had an 'issue' teaching women. He wasn't opposed to 'teaching' me, but God forbid i needed extra time with him for this/that..whatever. He basically got me thru the year with my MIG, FLUX, STICK cert, and some weld blueprints, and poof-out the door i went. Now i feel like a freaking moron because today i went to apply (weld test etc) at a fence machine shop, and when he asked me a simple math question-i froze up like a deer in headlights. Oh, make no mistake, i can weld real purty, i can swirl that bead, make it dance if ya want, but math????? pffffffffffffft... yeah, not so much. I have googled this and that, and ended up with 20 open tabs. I even tried my local library for a math/welder book. I need info on the RIGHT BOOK. I dont want to learn 'if sally traded jim 4 apples and 1 orange bullcrap'.. i want/need a REAL book on 'if you get 30 orders for backing bars, how many'..you get the idea. It's already bad enough im an older gal (45yr) trying to penetrate a man's world, much less looking like i dont know crap because of a math issue. I sure wish that dingleberry teacher of mine took me serious. ANY SUGGESTION?

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    Re: Disgusted w/ my math capability, and i think i'm a welder.. pffft

    Quote Originally Posted by igobyharris View Post
    I messed up in life and had to get a whole new career for myself. So i chose something that interested me, WELDING. The state of idaho agreed i needed a new 'career' and paid for 1yr of classes. Unfortunately, they picked a place that the guy had an 'issue' teaching women. He wasn't opposed to 'teaching' me, but God forbid i needed extra time with him for this/that..whatever. He basically got me thru the year with my MIG, FLUX, STICK cert, and some weld blueprints, and poof-out the door i went. Now i feel like a freaking moron because today i went to apply (weld test etc) at a fence machine shop, and when he asked me a simple math question-i froze up like a deer in headlights. Oh, make no mistake, i can weld real purty, i can swirl that bead, make it dance if ya want, but math????? pffffffffffffft... yeah, not so much. I have googled this and that, and ended up with 20 open tabs. I even tried my local library for a math/welder book. I need info on the RIGHT BOOK. I dont want to learn 'if sally traded jim 4 apples and 1 orange bullcrap'.. i want/need a REAL book on 'if you get 30 orders for backing bars, how many'..you get the idea. It's already bad enough im an older gal (45yr) trying to penetrate a man's world, much less looking like i dont know crap because of a math issue. I sure wish that dingleberry teacher of mine took me serious. ANY SUGGESTION?
    Don't know if this is what you're looking for but this is math for welders that goes to community college.

    It's 263 pages and this is what it covers:
    • Whole Numbers
    • Using Your Scientific Calculator
    • Fractions
    • Decimals
    • Tolerances- How To Calculate Them
    • Measuring Tools
    • Wire Diameter
    • Ratio & Proportion
    • Percentages
    • Accurate Setting And Adjustments
    • Metric Measurements
    • Solving A Formula
    • Temperature Conversions
    • Electric Power Problems
    • Geometry
    • Calculating The Costs Of A Welding Job
    • Heat Input


    It's not a book but you can print it out and have a book.
    http://spot.pcc.edu/welding/PDFs/fin...packet4_20.pdf
    If you don't have a printer take it to one of those copy shops and they'll print it out for you and put it in a binder.

    The info is from Portland Community College, Oregon.
    There is some other stuff as well on blueprint reading and whatnot.
    http://spot.pcc.edu/welding/

    PS. Good Luck! And 45 is nothing by the way.
    Last edited by Pete.S.; 03-08-2017 at 05:19 PM.

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    Re: Disgusted w/ my math capability, and i think i'm a welder.. pffft

    What was the question?
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    Re: Disgusted w/ my math capability, and i think i'm a welder.. pffft

    This ain't exactly Wizard of OZ stuff, but the fix is likely that simple. I had a long series of dud teachers in math through school. I skipped 4th, had a man who wasn't cut out for teaching in 5th. 6,7,8 The math/science teacher only understood book math, no real world math. Science, he was utterly confused! 9th, the teacher had a breakdown early in the year. After a sub two weeks, he returned. I believe he was on strong prescription drugs. Algebra 2, the teacher was flamboyantly gay. It was a liberal school board in a liberal town. I was (in 1971 less enlightened than now). He hated me, I returned the sentiment.

    Junior year of high school, I met a great math teacher. I learned more that year than any year other! The class was Geometry. I loved it, got A's all year.

    Math is easy with a teacher, who can translate it into life. Find a teacher. You'll pick it up fast. I now drive down the road doing complex calculations in my head, figuring voltage loss, de rate factors for conductors in conduit, how many sheets of metal will be needed for a 300 gallon sap tank, etc.

    Is there a forum for those struggling with math?

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    Re: Disgusted w/ my math capability, and i think i'm a welder.. pffft

    Exactly. What was the question ? Cut seven equal pieces out of a 20 footer and allow for the blade thickness ?
    If you can't something handle that simple equation you need a GED, not a welding hood.Maybe a line job welding a frism to a frasm 200 times a day ?

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    Re: Disgusted w/ my math capability, and i think i'm a welder.. pffft

    A mastery of decimals and fractions and the conversion of one to the other along with some basic knowledge of plane geometry will go a long ways in your trade. I never could get the hang of algebra so it's been a challenge throughout my life. The book sounds like something you should print or buy and read it cover to cover several times. Yes, you could weld on a production line to put some $$ in the bank while self educating yourself. Just don't become complacent with it and decide you want to do it the rest of your life.
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    Re: Disgusted w/ my math capability, and i think i'm a welder.. pffft

    I struggled with math in high school but once I got into the machine shop everything changed. When started using math daily it started to click. I could see the problem and how to figure it out and how to prove my answer was correct. Now I'm like Wille B just doing it in my head on the fly.
    Get a fraction to decimal chart and learn it starting with 1/2 1/4's 1/8's and work smaller as you pick it up.
    Get a tape measure and learn it down to 1/16ths. (this is not math it should be just like reading)
    Teach yourself to skip count... count by twos threes etc up to twelve.
    Twelves are important when working with feet and inches. 12,24,36,48,60,72,84,96,108,120,132,144
    There is no shame in carrying a calculator. It will help if you struggle with accuracy. Eventually you will start doing simpler stuff in your head because its faser than typing it into the calculator.
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    Re: Disgusted w/ my math capability, and i think i'm a welder.. pffft

    What was the question????
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    Re: Disgusted w/ my math capability, and i think i'm a welder.. pffft

    I'm too old to use a phone for everything. You aren't. I bet there is an app for that.

    Willie
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    Re: Disgusted w/ my math capability, and i think i'm a welder.. pffft

    I work with people that are really smart. They seem to "learn" the first time they see something. For me (and most people I believe) I learn by repetition. My advise : go to the library and check out math books. Read them and do the questions. Start at a 1st grade math book if you have to. In a couple of years you will be checking out algebra books.

    I am currently using this method to learn German. But it is hard to find children's books in German here in the USA. So I am reading stuff on the internet. It's mostly frustrating, but if I am persistent eventually I realize I am learning something.
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    Re: Disgusted w/ my math capability, and i think i'm a welder.. pffft

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonzoo View Post
    Exactly. What was the question ? Cut seven equal pieces out of a 20 footer and allow for the blade thickness ?
    If you can't something handle that simple equation you need a GED, not a welding hood.Maybe a line job welding a frism to a frasm 200 times a day ?
    That is not just math that is real world understanding. You have to subtract six blade cuts, from 240 inches. And then divide by 7 pieces. But most and I mean most guys mess that up real well.

    Sincerely,

    William McCormick
    If I wasn't so.....crazy, I wouldn't try to act normal, and you would be afraid.

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    Re: Disgusted w/ my math capability, and i think i'm a welder.. pffft

    igobyharris - I teach math (and welding and woodshop) and I would recommend one of the programs I use with some students.

    google: Khan Academy

    -It's free
    -It goes at your own pace
    -You can choose topics and grade levels to study
    -The questions include hints to click on and videos to click on

    -It also makes a nice smiley face and a pleasing "ding" when you get stuff right
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    Re: Disgusted w/ my math capability, and i think i'm a welder.. pffft

    Quote Originally Posted by William McCormick View Post
    That is not just math that is real world understanding. You have to subtract six blade cuts, from 240 inches. And then divide by 7 pieces. But most and I mean most guys mess that up real well.

    Sincerely,

    William McCormick
    I know guys who mess that up super well

    I also work with some special Ed kids that can do that in their head almost before the question is finished being asked.

    ...math is funny that way...
    Dave J.

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    Re: Disgusted w/ my math capability, and i think i'm a welder.. pffft

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post
    I know guys who mess that up super well

    I also work with some special Ed kids that can do that in their head almost before the question is finished being asked.

    ...math is funny that way...
    That was really not a math question, or rather the difficulty lies in knowing what the actuality is, that you want to apply the simple math to. The average person hears seven pieces and to them that means seven cuts "simple". I have seen it too many times to have any doubts.

    I have so much fun with the new guys. In two weeks though they are almost indestructible. I bash them belittle them, but always let them know that I went through a similar training program. When they ask me if I made the same poor choices, I say "NO I am not an idiot like you". It makes them laugh, and they know of course I made the same mistakes while learning.

    The tape measure is the best when they freeze up on the tape measure. I start asking them things like, "if you broke up an inch into sixteen equal pieces how many sixteenths would be in that inch" But after two weeks they can divide 5/8" in half by doubling the denominator to 16 and changing the fraction to 5/16"

    That is about the time they realize that centimeters and millimeters are not so cool after all. And that fractions are very cool. Unless you just want to play with numbers and not get anything done.

    The more you know about math the more you tend to just figure on seven cuts when you hear seven pieces. A few trips to the steel yard and you know for sure if you want four ten foot I-beams from a forty footer, you have to make three cuts. You only get two factory cut ends, and six sloppy torch cut ends that you have to clean up. But a lasting memory and understanding is created.

    Even if you are some sort of super mathematician you just cannot apply the math, until you have lived the reality, and gain some understanding of the reality of it. Then you can see how reality messes up the simplicity that most math teachers teach. Science teachers too.

    Most math teachers always try to race for the right answer, which to me is a sign that they are not that good. Or need to show off their speed. I tend to wait till I understand it some. And if I have to take a guess I will let you know it is just a guess. Most math teachers think they know it and even reality does not change their mind.

    I know you always take your time and come up with very correct answers. Which I certainly appreciate. You are an alien math teacher. I bet your students are prepared for the real world.


    Sincerely,

    William McCormick
    If I wasn't so.....crazy, I wouldn't try to act normal, and you would be afraid.

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    Re: Disgusted w/ my math capability, and i think i'm a welder.. pffft

    Quote Originally Posted by William McCormick View Post
    Even if you are some sort of super mathematician you just cannot apply the math, until you have lived the reality, and gain some understanding of the reality of it. Then you can see how reality messes up the simplicity that most math teachers teach. Science teachers too.

    Most math teachers always try to race for the right answer, which to me is a sign that they are not that good. Or need to show off their speed. I tend to wait till I understand it some. And if I have to take a guess I will let you know it is just a guess. Most math teachers think they know it and even reality does not change their mind.

    I know you always take your time and come up with very correct answers. Which I certainly appreciate. You are an alien math teacher. I bet your students are prepared for the real world.


    Sincerely,

    William McCormick
    I wish I could take credit for purposely taking my time - it's mostly because I've screwed up in the past (and made cutting/welding/bending mistakes) that makes sure I draw and think before doing.

    Plus math doesn't come easy for me - I have to work at it. I make sure to remind my students that it only looks easy because I've done this so many times.

    I try and prepare them for the fact that precise answers that include integers and easy fractions are often not the norm in careers.
    Choices must be made to determine the necessary amount of precision.
    That includes whether a person even has the ability or equipment to be that precise.

    I can definitely compliment your solutions and experience with career related math - some of your work has ended up on my "smart board" for class discussion.
    Dave J.

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    Re: Disgusted w/ my math capability, and i think i'm a welder.. pffft

    I used to baffle the young guys on the job when I'd figure the number of feet in a roll of conveyor belting without unrolling it. That's another reality William was talking about.
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    Re: Disgusted w/ my math capability, and i think i'm a welder.. pffft

    Harris,

    DO NOT LET THIS GET YOU DOWN.

    I personally love math and real world engineering problems, others (many) not so much. My wife, hates it and tells all the kids, "Go ask your dad." And yet she as an optician has to deal with weird math that I don't understand about optics and your prescription to make a pair of glasses like optical power, cylinder, axis, and some other jargon that I don't get. But that's because I have no need for that stuff and never will. But when it comes to math in the school books she just "doesn't get it". Some of the MOST TALENTED people I know at everyday mathematics are carpenters and machinists who can do it in their head all day long because of PRACTICE for years. Those are the same people who the teachin lady in skool said would be failures. If you haven't ever had to do it you CAN. It's just something new to learn. Decimals, fractions, conversion from metric to standard, etc all look like a foreign language if you have never been taught because it is. Math is just another language like music (which I have NO understanding of) or English. Just like before you ever picked up a stinger and hood if someone gave you one on the first day expecting you to stack dimes, you would have failed miserably.

    Look through PeteS's link. Good stuff right there. I'm glad he shared that. I'm going to start going through some of that stuff with my youngest son (10) who really hates math but has the knack for all things mechanical, building, welding, machinery, farming, etc. He can swing a hammer, run a tractor, stick weld with 7018, fit plumbing pipe, rip wood on a table saw, hunt, fish and trap. My middle son just "gets" abstract math easily and at the same time has ZERO interest in using his hands for anything that doesn't involve a ball. Hopefully my mechanic son will see why I am trying to help him understand math with PeteS's link. PRACTICAL applications...

    YOU CAN DO IT.

    (edit & confession) Harris, you've sparked me to go back and conquer MY math failure. I never did finish my engineering degree 20 years ago. The more advanced math upper level Calculus, differential equations and other "advanced" crazy math classes was a sore spot along with other youthful issues. I'm going to go back and slay that dragon. I signed up with Kahn Academy.
    Last edited by xryan; 03-09-2017 at 04:14 AM. Reason: confession
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    Re: Disgusted w/ my math capability, and i think i'm a welder.. pffft

    If you start at the appropriate level, and are determined enough, you can teach yourself math. But it is all in how determined you are. I taught myself Calculus before I took a course on it. The key thing is that I taught myself at the appropriate time when I was mathematically ready for it, meaning: I had all the background knowledge for it, and was efficient at using it. Don't try to learn Trigonometry before you know how to do the 4 basic math operations and can recite many, many multiplication tables, and their inverses, division. Etc. etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by xryan View Post
    YOU CAN DO IT.

    (edit & confession) Harris, you've sparked me to go back and conquer MY math failure. I never did finish my engineering degree 20 years ago. The more advanced math upper level Calculus, differential equations and other "advanced" crazy math classes was a sore spot along with other youthful issues. I'm going to go back and slay that dragon. I signed up with Kahn Academy.
    Exactly. It's all in the determination. Let me know if you need any help. My background is in Math and Physics - the backbone of all engineering. You name it, I've taken/passed it: All calculus'es (lol), Diff-Eq, Partial Diff Eq, Complex Number Theory, Number Theory, Abstract Algebra I- and II, Linear Algebra I- and -II, Numerical Approximations/Methods, Discrete Math, Probability, Classical Geometry, Differential Geometry, Logic, Univ Physics I & II, Electromagnetic Field Theory, Quantum Mechanics, Classical Physics, Thermodynamics, Math Methods, Subatomic Physics, Special/General Relativity (self-taught). Obviously I don't remember every single little tidbit, but I know that once I look stuff up, it all starts coming back to me.
    Last edited by Oscar; 03-10-2017 at 06:40 PM.
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    Re: Disgusted w/ my math capability, and i think i'm a welder.. pffft

    A roll of wire is average .85 cubits (Estimated) in diameter(15") x 3.1416, (pie) x # of turns x 1.5, (a cubit is 1.5 feet). Noah's cubit was 1.5 feet, or 18" Mine is 18.5 inches. By today's standards I am near dwarf.

    4' per typical turn, x number of turns. I up, or down by the cubit estimate. In a 100 foot coil, I may be off by three feet.

    I do it all the time. No such thing as a cable scrap.

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    Re: Disgusted w/ my math capability, and i think i'm a welder.. pffft

    forget all that complicated math cr@p. learn how to read a ruler and basic shop math. for the fancy stuff use a pocket calculator.
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    Re: Disgusted w/ my math capability, and i think i'm a welder.. pffft

    Quote Originally Posted by xryan View Post
    Harris,

    DO NOT LET THIS GET YOU DOWN.

    I personally love math and real world engineering problems, others (many) not so much. My wife, hates it and tells all the kids, "Go ask your dad." And yet she as an optician has to deal with weird math that I don't understand about optics and your prescription to make a pair of glasses like optical power, cylinder, axis, and some other jargon that I don't get. But that's because I have no need for that stuff and never will. But when it comes to math in the school books she just "doesn't get it". Some of the MOST TALENTED people I know at everyday mathematics are carpenters and machinists who can do it in their head all day long because of PRACTICE for years. Those are the same people who the teachin lady in skool said would be failures. If you haven't ever had to do it you CAN. It's just something new to learn. Decimals, fractions, conversion from metric to standard, etc all look like a foreign language if you have never been taught because it is. Math is just another language like music (which I have NO understanding of) or English. Just like before you ever picked up a stinger and hood if someone gave you one on the first day expecting you to stack dimes, you would have failed miserably.

    Look through PeteS's link. Good stuff right there. I'm glad he shared that. I'm going to start going through some of that stuff with my youngest son (10) who really hates math but has the knack for all things mechanical, building, welding, machinery, farming, etc. He can swing a hammer, run a tractor, stick weld with 7018, fit plumbing pipe, rip wood on a table saw, hunt, fish and trap. My middle son just "gets" abstract math easily and at the same time has ZERO interest in using his hands for anything that doesn't involve a ball. Hopefully my mechanic son will see why I am trying to help him understand math with PeteS's link. PRACTICAL applications...

    YOU CAN DO IT.

    (edit & confession) Harris, you've sparked me to go back and conquer MY math failure. I never did finish my engineering degree 20 years ago. The more advanced math upper level Calculus, differential equations and other "advanced" crazy math classes was a sore spot along with other youthful issues. I'm going to go back and slay that dragon. I signed up with Kahn Academy.
    Great post Ryan!

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    Re: Disgusted w/ my math capability, and i think i'm a welder.. pffft

    Go to your local college/university Math department and talk to the Math Club and ask to be tutored. Another option, if you attend church ask to be tutored on math. As docwelder said, learn ruler/measuring tape.

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    Re: Disgusted w/ my math capability, and i think i'm a welder.. pffft

    Personally I believe you should know how to count in increments at least to 16. If you are doing residential it comes in handy sometimes. You should of course know addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

    You should know your circle math, and triangle math. You definitely need to know your 3,4,5 triangle your 6,8,10 triangle and your 12,16,20 triangle. Because if you are going to core through walls, to allow a branch pipe to pass through a wall. Many times the main pipe is not perpendicular to walls it is passing through, so you cannot just measure off the wall the main is passing through and core away. Sometimes you have to create a 12,16,20 triangle to see where to core the hole. There is no other way, other than to "gun sight" it which can be hard to set up. And it can introduce variables because such a short sample distance is used. I always gun sight before I core incase I have made some silly mistake that is obvious when you gun sight it.

    To do the triangle square method, you may need a plumb bob or just use a chalk line as a plumb bob, to set the 12 foot side of the triangle directly under the main pipe you are going to branch off of, and chalk it on the floor. Then swing a short arc 16 feet out, approximately 90 degrees to the main. Then swing a 20 foot short arc. Where the two arcs intersect is the point that shows where 90 degrees from the pipe is. You can extend that line further if needed by just creating a chalk line parallel to the 16 foot long line. Most of this is not math, it is the reality. Math is almost retard simple, knowing how to apply it is unnerving. You can do this by yourself with a ladder and simple tools in a few minutes.

    Sometimes there are boilers in the way, and you need three guys three ladder, and three tape measures. Or you have to set the 12,16,20 triangle so the intersection of the arcs meets the wall that the main is penetrating. Then you can use a line and just compensate back to the place on the main you are taping into and move the line off the wall at the point the triangle intersected the wall the amount you need to compensate. Not much math at all really.

    Math to me is more like the muscle necessary to do the job the raw brute force. All the rest is the art and the know how.



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    After you are out in the field you know that you cannot count on fancy laser systems, especially when there are ten guys just standing there getting paid over $70 an hour. So you have to be ready to jump in with these kinds of procedures.



    Sincerely,

    William McCormick
    If I wasn't so.....crazy, I wouldn't try to act normal, and you would be afraid.

  24. #24
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    Re: Disgusted w/ my math capability, and i think i'm a welder.. pffft

    IMO, we all have an intuition or aptitude for some things and no matter how hard we try there are some concepts we will never "get". Have pride in the things you do well and have a cohort, mentor, friend, colleague, that will get you through the tasks that get you hogtied. A friend is a very good nurse that that is excellent at patient care but simply can't pull off the math involved in proportions for med delivery. She has always found someone in her circle that gets her over this hurdle. I sometimes work with a couple of other guys doing sitework; they grumble every time when it comes to layout; why are plans in hundredths when it is a feet and inches world (well, OK, the US), I pickup the task and it is second nature to me... 5 1/2" = .46" and so on. I read an article that brought up an excellent point; instead of focusing on the things we don't know (and continuing to struggle with them), we should stick with what we do best and enjoy it. Eddie Van Halen started on the drums, would it make sense for him to master them or move on to being a god on the guitar? So, don't sweat the math stuff.

    As others have said, having the right teacher is important; Geometry is easy for me but I can still remember the struggle I had in 6th grade with angle/side relationships, the teacher made something simple into something so complex that I thought it was so complicated that I didn't understand the concepts. Moral of the story; get someone to help you that knows how to teach the subject.
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  25. #25
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    Re: Disgusted w/ my math capability, and i think i'm a welder.. pffft

    Most people over simplify the tape measure they never define it. It is a calculator that breaks down inches to, half inches, quarter inches, one eighth inches and one sixteenth inches. Some tapes total inches, some tapes total inches and show feet divisions, larger tape measures total feet and show inches between feet. Some tape measures show 16" divisions. And if you have a line to measure that falls in between a sixteenth mark, or you mark a line between the 1/16" division, it will do 1/32" accuracy. Centering tape measures have the centering marks, that show you the center for any distance you measure.



    Sincerely,

    William McCormick
    If I wasn't so.....crazy, I wouldn't try to act normal, and you would be afraid.

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