The three sided ruler is scaled for you. If you look close at each end you see a fraction, 1/8" on one end and 1/4" on the other. Also on the end is a set of smaller marks that is scaled for the entire inch. Example read the 1/4" scale, the long markes are for 1/4" = 1'. Read from the other side and the small marks are for 1/8" scale. The small set on each end is scaled to inches. On the 1/4" end the marks from 0 to 1/4 allow you to scale down to inches ie third mark is 3 inches past the number of feet. It is very simple once a person understands what the markings are for. If you can get a elementary drafting manual, it should be the first thing it explans in detail.
Let me add a couple of things; you might see things like full size, 1/4 size, 1/48 size, and a few others. Full size is 12 in equals 1 ft or 1" = 1" . The 1/4 size is 3 in. equals 1 ft or 1/4" = 1". Like wise 1/48" size is 1/4 in. equals 1 foot.
This is one of the more confusing parts of the reduced drawings you always have to keep in mind so if you start with one scale you have to stay in the same scale.
The rules are also marked with things like 3, 1-1/2, 1, 3/4.... The 3 means 3" = one foot etc. If you want do an enlarged object you change that to have the 3 mean inches rather then a foot thus making the drawing 3 times larger.
The scales often have the smaller units only on the end of the scale past the "0" point. This way you find the full units and add the "inches" on the divided scale on the other side of "0".
Is this getting too confusing? If you are not following this I could make up a couple of sketches???? Let me know.
Okay, thanks guys! I'll take another look at that ruler and go over what you both explained. Reible, can you post some sketches just to have a visual understanding of what you explained? Pearco, I might have to get the elementary drafting manual you are talking about. I also tried to find info on the net but couldn't find any. I know it's on the net somewhere. Thanks!
I did a simple sketch for the 1/2" scale to get you started. Let me know if you need more or if this is enough. I don't have one of my scales located so I'm doing this from memory but it seems about right i.e. the number of divisions might not as many or might be more........
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