LumberJocks

I need an accurate ruler

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by Craftsman on the lake posted 04-15-2017 12:58 PM 742 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2669 posts in 3075 days


04-15-2017 12:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: ruler question measuring

If you’ve looked at some of my posts lately, I’ve got a new sawstop. On that saw, and the first time for me, is what seems like a super accurate fence ruler. In the past I always cut things longer and sneaked up on a fit with multiple cuts. Because of this, I’ve always used a standard tape measure. Nothing too accurate needed.

Well, now that I have a saw that cuts accurately, I’d like a more accurate measuring device. Lots of 6-12” rules out there but I’d like something that’s at least 18” as much of my work is up to and within that range. Anything longer and I’ll manage. Anyone know of an accurate rule that will fill my needs. Do you have and use one that you’re satisfied with?

Thanks.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.


24 replies so far

View JRsgarage's profile (online now)

JRsgarage

139 posts in 146 days


#1 posted 04-15-2017 01:10 PM

i use an incra 12” which is pretty accurate and i think they make a 18” version. there is flex to them so not sure how stable the 18” will be… also, i think woodpecker offers some nice ones as well. congrats on the saw.

-- Two is One, One is None

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

1076 posts in 577 days


#2 posted 04-15-2017 01:11 PM

It’s only my opinion, but you probably already have accurate rulers. As far as sneaking up on a dimension, you’ll still probably have to do that even with a SS ;) Wood moves. I cut a few pieces of walnut the other day that’s been in my shop for a year. It was pre-dimensioned lumber. It’s generally a pretty stable wood. I made a few rips and then crosscut them on my sled using a stop. Even after a few minutes, they were perceptibly different in length. Now I’m talking mils, but I guess my point is, you’re probably good with what you have. Maybe buy a 24” rule. I keep that and a 6” by the saw. They’re Mostly accurate :)

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8939 posts in 3065 days


#3 posted 04-15-2017 01:15 PM

Trying to match any measuring device to another, I.e. the saw’s fence ruler, is an exercise in futility…IMO.
That being said, Garret Wade has some decent rules at 18”.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

1189 posts in 859 days


#4 posted 04-15-2017 01:22 PM

Most any steel rule today will be accurate, for me the issue is “readable”. Nice crisp markings on a non-shiney background.

Awhile back, Rockler had “iGauge” 6” rulers on sale for $0.99 each. I picked up a bunch since I’m always loosing them when building a project. Even though these are imports, they are thick with crisp, clear markings on a satin steel body. I think they are excellent, now I only wish I had a 12” and 18”.

View tyvekboy's profile

tyvekboy

1564 posts in 2650 days


#5 posted 04-15-2017 01:28 PM

I have several steel rulers that I use in the shop. My 18” and 6” stainless steel rulers are my favorites. I use my 18” rulers to check my tape measures for accuracy. It’s a pretty stiff one. I think you can go to a craft store and find them. I think I got my rules at ROCKLER when they had a special sale.

Looked on Amazon and found this set of 3 stainless rulers that you might like.

Good luck.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View RichTaylor's profile

RichTaylor

800 posts in 226 days


#6 posted 04-15-2017 01:33 PM

PEC Tools makes rigid no-glare rules that are comparable to Starrett for less money. Another thing that’s handy is the long dial calipers by Anytime Tools. I recently had a need for the 12” version and bought it. They make a 24” as well.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8939 posts in 3065 days


#7 posted 04-15-2017 01:40 PM



I have several steel rulers that I use in the shop. My 18” and 6” stainless steel rulers are my favorites. I use my 18” rulers to check my tape measures for accuracy. It s a pretty stiff one. I think you can go to a craft store and find them. I think I got my rules at ROCKLER when they had a special sale.

Looked on Amazon and found this set of 3 stainless rulers that you might like.

Good luck.

- tyvekboy


Those look to be the same ones I referenced from Garret Wade…and a whole lot cheaper, too.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2478 posts in 1118 days


#8 posted 04-15-2017 01:46 PM

My advice is keep doing what you did rather than aiming for off the saw cuts (which often lead to exasperation).

I find marking from reality rather than measuring gives me better results.

I don’t like using tapes, if I do use the same one throughout.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

2635 posts in 775 days


#9 posted 04-15-2017 01:49 PM

PEC, Starrett, Brown and Sharpe, Mitutoyo, Incra… come to mind immediately. New or vintage should be good. As mentioned, readability and graduations desired are top considerations.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1386 posts in 2704 days


#10 posted 04-15-2017 01:58 PM

I’ve got a bunch and I’m going to go rouge here. I’ve got all brands and if its a tape, it just don’t matter, as long as you use the same one all the time.

Let me explain my reasoning. No matter the measuring device there is only accuracy to a finite degree and we talking wood here.

At the end of the day if you use the same tape measure all the time and know its relation to the saw tape you are good.

I have a great little small starrett and a cheaper craftsman. To be honest it just don’t matter. I make sure which ever one I start with is the one I use for all measurements.

I measure with the sawstop tape and check with my tape, just to make sure. My version of measure twice cut once.

If accuracy is that critical down to the thou I use my Incra 1000HD or 5000 sled for that level. Its more critical in my opinion to be consistent.

Thats my 2 cents worth and that and a buck fifty will get you a cup of coffee. Cheers!

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7447 posts in 2551 days


#11 posted 04-15-2017 02:54 PM



I ve got a bunch and I m going to go rouge here. I ve got all brands and if its a tape, it just don t matter, as long as you use the same one all the time.
.....[snip].....
Thats my 2 cents worth and that and a buck fifty will get you a cup of coffee. Cheers!
- bonesbr549

BINGO! I think we have a winner here!

Albeit, I will use different length rulers depending on what is to be measured. HOWEVER, I tend to stay with a particular ruler on a per-determined length/width. Just out of habit, but it works for me.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Andre's profile

Andre

1243 posts in 1443 days


#12 posted 04-15-2017 03:30 PM

I find a story stick to be my favorite measuring tool!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

1076 posts in 577 days


#13 posted 04-15-2017 03:33 PM

Definitely use the same measuring device for all your cuts. If there’s an error, it’s the same error. But like rew2156 said, cut to fit. If I use a tape it’s for rough length. If I use a ruler, I use it more as a story stick of sorts. I’ll mark on the ruler where the “general length or width needs to be. Then transfer that mark. In order to get the best fit, for me, I’ll go large by a smidgen (technical term) then use block plane or another method to get the fit to where I’m happy. If we were machining metal, it would be a different story all together. But even then, it depends on what type of work. Iron workers use grinders a lot :)

Just wanted to add, the rule on the TS I use for rough dimensions too. It’s a reasonably good guide and I have it set well, but even that has a “user error”.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

View JayCee123's profile

JayCee123

196 posts in 402 days


#14 posted 04-15-2017 04:00 PM

+1 for Bones
I use Incra rulers, Incra TS fence, Incra miter gage for my cuts but final dimensioning is done with my finger tips.

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

9270 posts in 2017 days


#15 posted 04-15-2017 04:09 PM

I recently bought a Fowler flexible ruler, 3/4” wide, black finish with white lettering, 24” long, made in America. I love it. I wasn’t sure about flexible vs rigid but it is my go-to rule now. I paid a lot less for mine but if you catch them on sale, I recommend them.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B5JY2G8/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

showing 1 through 15 of 24 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com