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 Post subject: Precision rules
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:46 pm 
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Koa
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Happy New Year’s, folks!

I have some discretionary funds available after the holidays and one of the things I’m looking at is a longer precision rule. It seemed like a great idea, until I started thinking about what I would actually use it for. I’ve survived a couple of guitars so far without a 36” rule and I’m wondering if it would be of much use. The Starrett 36” 7R rule is a whopping $240.

What do you guys use for guitar building? Is an 18” rule just as useful, measuring to/from 12th? I’ve really just used the Saddlematic thus far. Thoughts?

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 Post subject: Re: Precision rules
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:00 pm 
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IMHO - It would not be worth the investment in a Starrett precision rule for me, as I either need the true precision measuring afforded by a caliper, or I'm taking more general measurements and marking with a .5mm mechanical pencil and don't get the benefit of the added accuracy of a steel rule.

The rules that I do use on every build are the Incra marking rules. I use both the 3" and 12" T-rule, the 18" marking rule and the centering rule.

It would be so cool if they made a 28 or 32" or 36" (bass) rule for luthiers.



These users thanked the author dpetrzelka for the post: Pmaj7 (Thu Jan 09, 2020 2:50 am)
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 Post subject: Re: Precision rules
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:12 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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At the suggestion of some of the people on this forum I checked out the "Blems" offered by PEC. Very nice rules with very small flaws and priced affordably. I bought a 2 ft rule with fractional inches and metric graduations. They offer a wide range of lengths and graduations.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Blem-Cosmetic- ... 1438.l2649


Edit: This discussion reminded me I was looking for an 18 inch rule for my combination square graduated in inch and metric scales - another blem bought


Last edited by Clay S. on Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Precision rules
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:28 pm 
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Get the iGaging 36" straightedge. It's graduated to 64ths, and only $65. Good for measuring length, marking lines, checking progress when planing long things, and the back edge makes a great knife guide for slicing veneers and such.

18" is all you need for marking fret positions and positioning the bridge. I always measure from the 12th fret despite having plenty of length to reach the nut. But the 36" is much nicer for drafting instrument designs on paper. I also use it when preparing sides. I plane the edges straight, and then saw off any excess width in 1/4" strips to be used as binding on future guitars (and re-plane after each strip, so the bindings all have one good edge). The straightedge is used for checking the straightness and marking where to saw.



These users thanked the author DennisK for the post: dpetrzelka (Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:32 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Precision rules
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:42 pm 
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PEC Blem, for sure. Starrett level quality, very reasonably priced, due to cosmetic issues.

I use both rigid combination square blades and flexible rules. They are useful for different things.

I also have and use Incra rules, but I find I use them less, now that I have a good collection of things like 4" and 6" squares, and different length blades for my combination square. Those are just so handy and reliable.



These users thanked the author doncaparker for the post: Pmaj7 (Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:08 am)
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 Post subject: Re: Precision rules
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:55 pm 
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doncaparker wrote:
PEC Blem, for sure. Starrett level quality, very reasonably priced, due to cosmetic issues.

I use both rigid combination square blades and flexible rules. They are useful for different things.

I also have and use Incra rules, but I find I use them less, now that I have a good collection of things like 4" and 6" squares, and different length blades for my combination square. Those are just so handy and reliable.


This is what I was going to recommend as well. Look them up on eBay. My 36" 5R rule was $30. I also have a 24" in regular 4R, and various squares. They're blems because some of the graduations are a bit lighter---although in reality, it's hardly noticeable.



These users thanked the author James Orr for the post: Pmaj7 (Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:08 am)
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 Post subject: Re: Precision rules
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:31 am 
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I haven't checked prices for years, but I think some of mine are Mitutoyo stuff.

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These users thanked the author Chris Pile for the post: matt jacobs (Thu Jan 09, 2020 2:53 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Precision rules
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:51 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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depends what you like
I have found that decent metal yard sticks work just fine.
I have many in the shop and some that I had cut to specific tasks. I have a 60 in scale that I use to calibrate the yardsticks.
I have found that with todays production controls even the harbor freight and home depot sticks are pretty darn good.

the most that I see is the trim may be long and you can even use a 6 inch scale to set them up.
As a machinist and tool maker , if your within a 1/10 of a mm you are plenty accurate for guitars.

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 Post subject: Re: Precision rules
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:08 am 
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Koa
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Clay S. wrote:
At the suggestion of some of the people on this forum I checked out the "Blems" offered by PEC. Very nice rules with very small flaws and priced affordably. I bought a 2 ft rule with fractional inches and metric graduations. They offer a wide range of lengths and graduations.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Blem-Cosmetic- ... 1438.l2649


Edit: This discussion reminded me I was looking for an 18 inch rule for my combination square graduated in inch and metric scales - another blem bought

I have one of these on recommendation of folks here. Great value and very nice


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


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 Post subject: Re: Precision rules
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:31 am 
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I have several of the blems - 4" squares and various rules - and they are just fine. I was looking for a 6 inch rule with 4Grad (1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64) and they did not have any showing on the site - I wrote him and he said thanks for telling him and he did have some, and the one I got was perfect.

Ed


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 Post subject: Re: Precision rules
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:52 am 
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First name: Don
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Going back to the original post, I find a long rule useful for two things: general drafting of a guitar plan, and bridge placement. I like being able to quickly draw a long center line for the whole guitar, and draw everything else around that line. For bridge placement, I use a long rule with one of those clamp-on stops, and that gets me a very precise way to make sure the bridge saddle is where it is supposed to be. Double/triple checking that placement via several methods is good security.



These users thanked the author doncaparker for the post: Pmaj7 (Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:28 am)
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 Post subject: Re: Precision rules
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 2:43 pm 
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Mahogany
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I have a couple of Mitutoyo rules (24" and 36") that are plenty accurate for me. They run about half the cost of Starret. I like having two long rules as I place them against each edge of the fingerboard to accurately place the bridges centered on the fingerboard projection at the precise distance from the 12th fret to allow for compensation. I get great intonation and consistent spacing between strings and fingerboard edge that way. The 36" one is a bit overkill, but having two accurate 24" rules is something I'm glad I have.


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 Post subject: Re: Precision rules
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:28 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Daniel Petrzelka wrote:
"It would be so cool if they made a 28 or 32" or 36" (bass) rule for luthiers."

So fat I've been getting by with a 24 inch rule, but I've thought about buying a 36 inch rule (or the 1 meter) and cutting it a little shorter. I'm not sure I could bring myself to do it.


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 Post subject: Re: Precision rules
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:24 pm 
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A 36" rule sure helped on a recent ABG build.


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 Post subject: Re: Precision rules
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:10 pm 
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I use a Westcott MR-36 Stainless Steel 36" scale that is cork backed and flexible. Very handy around finished wood and has a pre punched hole to hang it, so it stays up and out of the way. These are available on Amazon for a whopping $14.21, leaving the bulk of your discretionary funds in place. The lines are not as fine as a Starrett but they are clean and easy to read, with a loupe I can easily be within .005. With a Starrett rule under a scope I can easily repeat at .002. I have had mine for years and it has served me well.
It will not double as a straight edge as it is thin and flexible. If that is what you are looking for a piece of Starrett tool steel comes ground straighter than you will ever need.

T



These users thanked the author Tim L for the post: Pmaj7 (Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:51 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Precision rules
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:49 pm 
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Clay S. wrote:
Daniel Petrzelka wrote:
"It would be so cool if they made a 28 or 32" or 36" (bass) rule for luthiers."

So fat I've been getting by with a 24 inch rule, but I've thought about buying a 36 inch rule (or the 1 meter) and cutting it a little shorter. I'm not sure I could bring myself to do it.


Just grab one of the PEC’s or the rule Tim mentioned and do it. :)

I use my 24” almost exclusively. The 36” is perfect for setting bridge location or marking a bridge that’s already been glued for the saddle slot. Your multi-scales will thank you.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


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