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Woodworking Measuring Tools: The Basics

Depending on what you're making, there are any number of tools you might require for a woodworking project. Some tools are suitable for general purpose use, and others are quite specialized in nature. Woodworking tools are generally categorized into cutting and shaping, assembly and finishing. The simplest of these are woodworking measuring tools, yet they are also entirely essential. Basically, they show you where to cut the wood so your finished dimensions will be accurate.

Rulers are one of the tools used in woodworking for the purpose of measuring. The common types of rulers are the wooden folding, the metal tape measure, and the wooden zigzag ruler. Tape measures are most useful in the process of measuring long pieces of wood. When purchasing a ruler, look for a durable, well made product with standard markings. It also requires a locking mechanism to keep it in place. Take care of the ruler and wipe it after every use. This is especially important if it's made of metal, which is susceptible to rusting.

Squares are used in woodworking to make angles. Like rulers, they also come in many types. Squares also have markings and are also used to check the true and square joints. Miter squares are used for 45 degree angles. The L-shaped try squares are utilized for 90 degree angles. For either 45 or 90 degree angles, you'd use a combination square. Wood squares are less expensive than metal and slightly less accurate but are sufficient for most woodworking projects.

Some other measuring tools are gauges, dividers and compasses. You'll also require an instrument for marking your measurements, and in many cases a sharp pencil is adequate. However, a marking knife is a favorite of many woodworkers because of its higher level of accuracy.

It's important to take good care of your woodworking tools. Clean them after each use and check them for rust or rot. Keep in mind that the end result relies on them.


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