Wise Buys: Precision Steel Rules
If you're like me, you have a tough time justifying the purchase of a rule devoted solely to finding the center of a board. Hartville has the perfect compromise: A centering rule that's also an exemplary standard rule. I tried out five centering rules, and this one proved good enough to hold its own in the standard bench rule category. Hartville devotes only one of its four scales to centering, with markings in 10-mm increments. (It doesn't matter that it's metric; you only need symmetrical markings to find a centerpoint.) Just position the rule so matching increments rest on the endpoints, and mark the center at zero.
In addition to this feature, the Hartville rule has standard scales in 1/8", 1/16", and 1/32" increments. The etched markings are graduated in length for quick reference. It also has 1/32" end scales for machinery setup. The no-glare finish allows me to write on it with a pencil to mark a dimension when I need to make repeated measurements, and then wipe it off when I'm done. Because the tempered rule measures .042" thick, I can count on it to remain straight.
-- Tested by Jan Svec, Contributing Craftsman
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