Ruler Stops - Methods and Tips for Use
By John de Marchi

My original design and concept was for a pair of “Ruler Stops” to replace the cumbersome combination heads found on combination squares. Most of the time, during use, the 45-degree portion is not needed, as is the built-in level, nor the square head. Often, linear measurements are required, and the large combination head is in the way.

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With the ruler stop you can quickly and accurately move it along the ruler and lock it in place. Since the product is offered in pairs, you can easily set up two measurements at the same time on one ruler. For example, if you are doing a layout on one or many parts, and you need to locate a point 3 inches in from one edge and 1 inch from the adjoining edge, it is easily done with the ruler stops . Set one ruler stop at the 1-inch mark, (so that one inch marking projects beyond the end of the stop ) and at the other end of the ruler, set the ruler stop to the 3-inch mark. Place the ruler stop against the edge so the ruler lies flat, and make a suitable mark at the end of the ruler, repeat at the adjoining edge with the other end of the ruler. Where the marks intersect is the location of the desired spot. One advantage of using the ruler stop is that it often provides more surface area of support than a conventional combination head, so the ruler stop rest more firmly on the work making for more accurate measuring.   


1. Parallel Measurement - When marking out lines parallel to an edge, the ruler stop will make this task easy and accurate. Simply set the ruler stop to the desired measurement, and then make a mark at the end of the ruler. Make marks at appropriate intervals along the length of the material, then using a straight edge connect the marks for an accurate, parallel line.


2. Depth Measurement - The ruler stop is also excellent for measuring the depth of slots, offsets or the depths of drawers and any other such similar task. Place the ruler stop firmly on the edge and let the ruler touch the bottom of the slot, grove, or other similar shape, tighten the lock screw and read the actual measurement.


3. Material Thickness - The ruler stop can be used to quickly and accurately measure the thickness of material. Set the first stop to the 1-inch mark and lock it in place. Place this stop on one side of the stock and then slide the other stop towards the material. When it is firmly in contact, lock the stop in place. Remove the stock and read the measurement less/minus one inch. For example, if the second stop has a reading of 3 ½ inches the actual measurement is 2 ½ inches as the first stop is set at 1 inch.


4. Height Gauge - The ruler stop can be used as a height gauge to measure or locate the points on any surface within the range of the ruler. For example, set the first stop flush with the end of the ruler, the second stop can be moved up and down the ruler until either the top or bottom surface of the stop is aligned with the surface to be measured, then a direct measurement can be read.


5. Inside Measurements - The ruler stop can easily be used for inside measurements such as inside drawers or most any opening more than 2 inches. Place the first stop flush with the end of the ruler and slide the other stop until the other side of the opening is contacted. Read the measurement directly from the appropriate side of the stop .


Copyright © 2003 by John de Marchi