Considering there are many woodworking measuring tools, we should note that not all measuring tools are equated with numerical values. Some common measuring tools that woodworkers use are also suitable for you.
The Tape Measure
This is still the most important measuring tool no matter how you look at it. The retractable tape that is clearly divided into feet, inches and fractions of inches is indispensable in the task of measuring and sizing up your wood stock and making measurements for your woodworking project. The easy retractable nature of the tape has made this simple tool the standard of almost every worker who ever set foot on a construction site or in a woodworker’s shop.
The Bevel Gauge
The bevel gauge is used for duplicating angles or for checking to see if two angled wood joints are equal in value. Since no scale is inscribed on this tool, it is used to check the accuracy of your angled joints. The bevel gauge consists of a wooden handle and movable metal guide, which can be loosened and tightened to find the correct angle.
Framing carpenters use a large framing square for calculating angled cuts on rafters, but woodworkers can get by with a much smaller rigid square that gets used primarily for determining right angles. Even though this tool has a scale of numbers printed along one edge, its main purpose is to see if a corner is square. This can be done by simply sliding the small tool into the inside or outside of a corner. If the square fits around the wood joint without any visible gaps between the tool and the wood, then the woodworker will know that particular joint is square.
The Combination Square
Also called the machinist’s square, this tool is very similar to the try square except for the fact that the two parts of the square can slide, so the tool becomes a mini-version of a T-square. The long part of this tool is usually a foot in length and has measurements calibrated in fractions of inches. This tool is very handy for making perpendicular lines from the edge of a piece of wood.
- This handy tool that resembles the math compass that you used in geometry class can actually be used in two ways by the woodworker. It can be used to measure inside distances or gaps. There are no numerical markings on the caliper, but it can be placed in an opening, adjusted to the width of the opening and then held next to a ruler for a very accurate measurement. The caliper can also be used as a scribe to mark distances from the edge of a board and to duplicate irregularly shaped cuts
- The level can be a frustrating tool — not because it’s difficult to work with, but because it essentially measures imperfections. Nothing is as demoralizing as assembling a table to discover a slight slant or realizing the kitchen cabinets you’ve installed are uneven after you’ve fastened them. Diligently check work with a level, and hiccups will be resolved before they become major issues.