“Measure twice cut once” I always hated this saying, and despite the fact that I forced myself to adhere to it, it STILL cut boards to the wrong length. It used to aggravate me that no one made a tape measure for right-handed woodworkers. Imagine this for a minute, you have a board that is 30 inches long and you need to cut 15-5/16” off it. You pick up your pencil with your right hand and your measuring tape with the left and lay it out on the wood. All the numbers are up-side down. Can you think of any other single thing we do that is more ripe for making mistakes than reading numbers up-side-down?
Oh sure, we can all read numbers up-side down, unfortunately we often read them wrong don't we, that's why we measure twice and cut once, and hope that our brains and eyes were coordinated in seeing the numbers correctly. Well there is HOPE, finally some tape measure companies have realized that seeing the numbers the right way up might be of help to us woodworkers. Infact, some have even made tapes that are for both left and right hand people because they have numbers you can read EACH WAY.
I love these new tapes, I am making less mistakes and am far less frustrated reading numbers. It's not the whole numbers that go me, it's the fractions and sadly, that's where most of the mistakes happen.
Now if someone could do the same for protractors … oooOO they did, click MORE to see what they did.
The world of woodworking is filled with the world of angles and the angles ALL need to be dead accurate because they are usually compounded by multiples. Take for example a simple picture frame. 4 – 90 degree angles which means 8 – 45 degree cuts. If you happened to be out by only 1 degree on each angle (which isn't that much) on the 8 angles this means you would be out by 8 degrees overall which would produce a LARGE gap in on joint.
The only to make sure your angles are right on is to set up your tools so they are dead accurate when they cut, that is where the digital protractor can help. Need to cut some 13.5 degree angles on your table saw, no problem, use your digital protractor to set the saw blade at the right angle and presto, perfect antles.
These little tools are very accurate and quick and easy to use. The work on multitudes of tools and are great for checking angles or plans and drawings, checking angles on walls and ceilings and setting up your tools to make perfect cuts. This is definetly something you need to add to your tool bag.
Copyright Colin Knecht