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Misc. Shop Stuff #15: A Review of Folding 'Zig Zag' Rulers

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Blog entry by Smitty_Cabinetshop posted 12-19-2012 04:28 AM 1117 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 14: Flea Mkt Finds Part 15 of Misc. Shop Stuff series Part 16: How Do I Find These Things? »

Double post from another blog topic, but wanted to put it somewhere I could readily add to later. Here goes!

A very incomplete review of folding rules, and there are a number of variations. The first picture shows a vintage stainless steel Lufkin Rule Co. No. 1174 EM. It’s an outside measure rule for English, and inside measure for metrics. Don’t know how old it is.

Another rule in the picture is the Lufkin Two Way, Model 966. It’s an inside rule through and through, and reads from left to right and right to left as you may need it. Never read numbers upside down again! Really cool, and really hard to find.

The next pic shows the problem of the 066F model Lufkin; it’s an inside rule too, but reads upside down if you’re measuring from the right end of a project.

Last up is a real outside measure ruler. The Stanley #426. Aluminum, cool looking, but very impractical.

Finally, a trick that my grandad used that has survived to this day: filing a small notch in the brass ends of stick rulers provides for a very handy nitche for the pencil tip to ride in when striking a line (like using a panel gauge).

That’s all I wanted to add to this topic. Thanks for looking!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive



11 comments so far

View Dave's profile

Dave

11177 posts in 1506 days


#1 posted 12-19-2012 11:32 AM

Smitty some fine examples. That old Stanley is different. I have never seen one. You have a great collection .
I will have to remember the notch, thats a nice tip.
I have about ten or so folding rulz and find myself going to that “one” ruler. I still use my 2 foot most of the time.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View Don W's profile

Don W

15060 posts in 1234 days


#2 posted 12-19-2012 01:55 PM

Smitty, I’ll take a few shots of what I have. I don’t reach for them much. I’m more of a tape measure guy.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View AnthonyReed's profile

AnthonyReed

4715 posts in 1107 days


#3 posted 12-19-2012 02:52 PM

Thanks Smitty.

Little tips like the notch are pure gold and are too often overlooked.

-- ~Tony

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6820 posts in 1818 days


#4 posted 12-19-2012 03:13 PM

Nice, and nice tip. I picked up an old folding rule the other day at an antique shop and have been using it a lot. It is white and just says made in USA on it. I’ll have to show it to you.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9947 posts in 1285 days


#5 posted 12-19-2012 09:28 PM

Maur, welcome to the world of stick rules! Doing diagonal measures during glue up, from inside corners? Stick rule. Don’t have a panel gauge? Stick rule. Need a measuring tool that lays flat and collapses easily? Stick rule.

Love these bad boys.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9947 posts in 1285 days


#6 posted 12-19-2012 09:29 PM

Oh, and yes! Need pictures, Don and Maur!

Thanks, Super!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6820 posts in 1818 days


#7 posted 12-19-2012 11:05 PM

The notch will be added shortly! Amazing how well it has held up. The joints are all tight and work great.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9947 posts in 1285 days


#8 posted 12-19-2012 11:10 PM

Markings on one side only. That’s an economy model I’ve not seen before! Thanks for the pic! Clamp the opened rule in the vice with only an inch or two sticking up when filing. Helps draw a single spot vs. skirting across the entire brass edge.

EDIT: And I didn’t mean to imply it’s not a good tool by saying economy. Sorry, Maur!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6820 posts in 1818 days


#9 posted 12-19-2012 11:46 PM

No offense taken. Nah, this one is double sided, not sure if that means anything.

I’m thinking I’ll use a triangle file.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9947 posts in 1285 days


#10 posted 12-20-2012 12:10 AM

Yep, triangle works!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View Don W's profile

Don W

15060 posts in 1234 days


#11 posted 12-20-2012 12:39 AM

this is what I could find. One basswood Stanley with some brass trim, a lufkin 32” and two no names.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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