Tools of the trade that we all forget about which are the high tech tools for the woodworker. Here is a good article about precision tools for woodworkers https://www.popularwoodworking.com
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How much accuracy you need depends on the kind of woodworking that you do. Remember that for hundreds of years, woodworkers got away with few or no measuring tools, yet still produced amazingly accurate work. How? It’s because they relied on other tools like story sticks, set up pieces, and patterns and used them repeatedly and wisely. Using standards or story sticks is still a great method for producing accurate work and avoiding mistakes. But, some kind of measurement is where all modern projects start. The secret of accuracy is starting with high precision and sticking with it all the way through.
With a focus on hand tools, the measuring tools you need can be minimal, but there’s still a need for precision. A high-quality combination square, such as a 12” Starrett will cost from $100 -$130 depending on finish choices, is a lifetime tool and an investment in quality woodworking. Besides being accurate, it’s a rugged tool that will last. A tool of this caliber is not just a ruler and adjustable square, it’s also your shop standard for testing all your other measuring tools and setting up your fixed power tools. I bought mine in 1997 and it’s still going strong. I use the smaller version —the Starrett 6” combination square all day long and keep it handy in my shop apron. Some woodworkers prefer the smaller 4” Starrett double square. PEC Tools is a good lower cost alternative for combination squares.
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