An interesting low-tech gadget. It has two scales, one on each edge.
They are both labelled in inches, but the second scale is actually 50%
the size of the first one. To find the center of what you are
measuring, read the true scale, then find the corresponding number on
the other edge. That is the center.
I have a center-finding two-foot steel rule I got from Lee Valley that has
proven one of the most useful gadgets I've bought in years, I use it all the
time. Whoever invented this thing deserved a big raise.
Been around forever.
Find an old time drafting machine that still has the scales on it.
Engineering scales have full size along one edge, 1/2 size on the
Very helpful when doing layouts around centerlines.
A little tip to find the centerline of a large piece.
Eyeball the piece, then estimate total length.
Divide that estimate in half, the add 6".
Layout that value from the left and mark, then from right and mark.
Measure between the marks, divide in half, layout and mark from each
side and mark.
You now have the center.
Laying out twice is usually enough.
It's pretty easy to find centers if you're using a metric tape measure: just
measure the width and divide by two -- which is much easier using a whole
number of millimeters than when using fractional inches. (Quick -- what's half
of 55 13/16 inches?)
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