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  1. In my shop there is a seldom opened drawer full of tapes, rules, dial indicators and calipers of all kinds. Some instruments are metric, some are imperial, some have readouts in thousandths, some are, through use, are missing marks and numbers. Their common weakness is that they all rely on numbers. Numbers that often require conversion. So, in the drawer are also conversion charts, Imperial to metric and decimal to fractions and, calculators for those in between numbers. In recent years I have grown increasingly weary and frustrated with these tools and their cumbersome and often inaccurate implementation. Some of which, I'm sure, results from operator error. I found a better way. Direct measurement. No need for numbered measurement tools. The direct measurement set up tools I've found most efficacious are: Adjustable and/or job specific, one time use, story sticks. Four 1-2-3 blocks. Keyway stock, 1/8" thru 1" in 1/16" increments. The 8" length ones fit nicely between the teeth of a 10" blade. Open end wrenches. Feeler gauges. A good, large set of drill bits. Both metric and Imperial. A good, large set of long hex wrenches. Both metric and Imperial (unlike drill bits, they don't roll) Using these tools, in combination or alone, has vastly improved the accuracy of my cutting tool setups, decreased the time involved, saved a bunch of calculator batteries and, eliminated many math induced headaches and feelings of inadequacy...in the shop, at least. I hope this has provided some food for thought. As always, comments, derisive, humorous and/or otherwise, are encouraged.
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