Your favorite rule (the measuring kind)

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Forum topic by WoodWorkWarrior posted 09-25-2012 03:14 PM 1966 views 0 times favorited 53 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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46 posts in 1116 days

09-25-2012 03:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: rule incra measure

Just curious to see what LJ users find to be their most useful rule. I tend to use my Incra 12” T-rule all the time. Having the built in square and being able to slide the rule along the edge of board giving nice straight parallel lines are why I use it the most.

-- Jason

53 replies so far

View lumberjoe's profile


2883 posts in 1292 days

#1 posted 09-25-2012 03:20 PM

1 – my 12” Starrett combination square.
2 – An Empire 12” rule from the combination square my son unscrewed too far and lost the spring and locking hardware.

For larger stuff, one of the dozen or so 30’ stanley powerlocks does the trick

-- Unplugged Woodworkers -

View Loren's profile


7967 posts in 2691 days

#2 posted 09-25-2012 03:30 PM

I’m going over to metric, but for many years I’ve usually
had a little Imperial 4” double square I use a lot for laying
out joints, drill holes, depth gauging, and so forth.

The Veritas sliding square is another fave.


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46 posts in 1116 days

#3 posted 09-25-2012 03:52 PM

Ahhh metric. I wish we (the US) would switch over. I use metric at work for everything…except dimensions of physical parts (for everything, I mean for satellite trajectories, stellar distances, photon travel…fun stuff like that).

-- Jason

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Mainiac Matt

5318 posts in 1372 days

#4 posted 09-25-2012 03:55 PM

36” Starrett with 4R graduations….

Paid a few extra bucks for a NIST certified edition…. so I can be sure to win all fo the “your rule is off” measuring arguments at work :^)

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View lumberjoe's profile


2883 posts in 1292 days

#5 posted 09-25-2012 03:56 PM

If it’s the one my father has (he’s a machinist) it costs more than my table saw and every blade I have.

Edit, and yes you will won that argument every time. It’s guaranteed accurate to one then thousandth or something ridiculous.

-- Unplugged Woodworkers -

View jmos's profile


682 posts in 1413 days

#6 posted 09-25-2012 04:04 PM

I keep 2 in my shop apron, a 6” Starrett flat steel ruler and a 4” Starrett double square. Both are great.

If I need to go bigger I’ll grab my 12” Starrett combo square or my 36” T-Square (Pinnacle I think).

Over that is my tape measure.

-- John

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2022 posts in 1413 days

#7 posted 09-25-2012 04:37 PM

6” Empire combination square.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Brett's profile


656 posts in 1726 days

#8 posted 09-25-2012 04:45 PM

I know many of the advantages for using the metric system in arenas such as science, but being able to divide a foot by halves, thirds, fourths, and sixths, and being able to divide an inch in halves, quarters, eighths, sixteens, etc. sure seems to make woodworking a little easier.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View IsaacH's profile


128 posts in 1140 days

#9 posted 09-25-2012 04:58 PM

When I was in construction I was an avid fan of the Stanley FatMax or a Lufkin Folding Rule.
Around the wood shop I use what ever I find, but I usually buy either Stanley of Lufkin. I dont want to burst any bubbles, but at less than 10 feet, your not really going to find more than a 1/64th out of calibration in any decent tape measure.

-- Isaac- Decatur, GA - "Your woodworking....NOT machining parts for NASA!!!"

View Tennessee's profile


1897 posts in 1558 days

#10 posted 09-25-2012 05:00 PM

6” Starrett flat rule, using mostly the metric side. Got a couple of them since I tend to leave them lying where i don’t look…or my wife finds them in the rear pocket of my jeans in the washer.

-- Paul, Tennessee,

View WoodWorkWarrior's profile


46 posts in 1116 days

#11 posted 09-25-2012 05:24 PM

Brett, I agree that dividing by 2’s does make things easy for woodwork. At work we use decimal inches, ex. 1.375in. Sometimes I use that feature on my Incra for intricate parts (Incra has .001” holes). When dividing odd stackups, decimals are easier than fractions – and even though they aren’t “exact” like a fraction, they are close enough for woodworking.

Lotta folks like Starrett, I need to check them out.

-- Jason

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Mainiac Matt

5318 posts in 1372 days

#12 posted 09-25-2012 05:33 PM

IIRC it cost about $100 and an extra $100 for the NIST cert. letter.

I felt we needed the NIST cert. as we use the rule to calibrate tape measures.

My biggest beaf with steel rules is that so many of them do not have the ends accurately ground so you can reference off of it.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View oldnovice's profile (online now)


4472 posts in 2411 days

#13 posted 09-25-2012 05:43 PM

Starrett 12” combo square … have three heads, square, 45° centering, and angle!

After that, a metric/American calipers that my uncle in Germany gave me about 40 years ago.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View nwbusa's profile


1017 posts in 1330 days

#14 posted 09-25-2012 05:48 PM

My Starrett combo square and double square get a lot of use. I also have a set of steel cabinetmaker’s rules I bought from Lee Valley, and I use the 18” & 24” versions frequently.

-- John, BC, Canada

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 1330 days

#15 posted 09-25-2012 06:37 PM

I started using metric measurement a LOT when I embarked on my Blum Tandembox drawers for the kitchen. I have to admit that when I’m doing ANYTHING now that doesn’t have to directly reference off of something already in inches, I go metric.I have a metric rule (that also has inches on it) and a metric tape measure (that also has inches on it) and they’ve become my favorite measuring tools. Unfortunately, the rule is 36 inches and the tape measure is for longer stuff as well. I would love to find some nice metric measuring rules in shorter lengths.

I don’t buy into the “dividing inches is easier” thing. Anything you’ve always done is easier than doing something new. MIXING metric with inches gets confusing for me. But starting a new project from scratch, I prefer to use metric.

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