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The Click-Rule

A collection of tips and tutorials for all your miniature gaming hobby needs from painting to sculpting and more!

The Click-Rule

Postby iKarith » Sunday April 11th, 2021 9:23am

Hey everyone, I thought I'd share a bit of info about a tool blind folks use to measure and do woodworking and the like. I have one of these in imperial measure, and I've been searching high and low for one in metric. I knew it existed, and I knew they were as rare as hen's teeth in the wild because they're MADE IN AMERICA and we don't do that thar metric s**t in 'merica for … (no actually good) reasons. I mean, I'm as Team America as it gets, (Americaaaaaaa, ____ _____!) but the fact we're still using weird-ass US letter paper and measuring in inches and feet … I don't get it.

Anyhow, this is a click rule…

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I don't even know what this is…

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Right then.

A click rule is a hollow metal cylinder with a threaded rod inserted. It's a precision instrument, provided that your measurements have 1/16 inch precision! The threaded rod is held in place using a set screw which, when loosened, can slide freely the length of the outer cylinder.

As you move the screw in and out, the threaded rod will extend or retract out the end. For each 1/16 of an inch, you can feal and hear a small click! And that would be why it is called a click rule!

The imperial click rule has certain properties. First, notice that on one side, most of the threads on the all-thread rod have been ground flat. In fact this is intentional—for every seven threads that have been ground away, an eight stands unmodified. You loosen the screw, extend the threaded rod the length of what you're trying to measure and lock the screw in place. Then you count the number of threads. Three is an inch and a half and … a little more. Loosen the screw and retract it to the last thread. Click, click, click, click. Four. An inch and three quarters is your answer.

For anything up to six inches, that's all you need do. Need longer? Note the click rule has two metal bits, one at the front and one near the back. The distance from the leading edge of one to the leading edge of the other is precisely six inches. That makes the click rule measure anything from 1/16 inch to 12 inches in 1/16 inch increments. If it happens to be useful for an inside measurement, the two stops are both precisely a quarter inch thick. And the end of the threaded rod is tapped for 12 inch extensions. A click rule comes with three.

This devices serves as a square as well as a ruler. And a depth gauge. It's really handy for measuring distances and heights on table saws and it's useful for table and handheld routers. Yes, I've used all of the above using a roll of blue tape, an awl, and my click rule where you might use a ruler, a tape measure, a laser line, and a pencil. Measure twice, with your fingers, get your hands very definitely out of the fricken' way, and only THEN you turn on the power.

In fact, the training center I learned at insisted that people who use these tools learn to do this stuff blindfolded. Yeah, blindfolded. Because the tendency for someone with my level of vision is to want to get your face down in close to see what you're doing. That's really not advisable! :lol:

For the reasons I described above—setting power tools quickly and the fact it also works as a settable square—sighted woodworkers occasionally buy them. And if you're interested even though they're crazy expensive, you can get them from Community Advocates, Inc. which I swear has the most ridiculously "we are an everything-compliant website that looks like ass" website I've ever seen. Blind people do not need, nor do we want, websites like this one.

"But what if you're a deaf-blind midget who can only speak Catalan but reads only Mandarin Chinese?" This website has been designed by committee of chimpanzees and one buffalo to be as basically effective for you as for anyone else and look as bad as it possibly can while doing it. Seriously I'm not the world's best webmaster but c'mon it looks awful!

And via webform straight out of my HTML 3.2 Visual Quckstart Guide on a page I'm shocked has HTTPS my browser declared to be modern enough to trust, I put in my payment details for a $110 metric clickrule to join my imperial model. Ouch. But I'll use it, I've wanted it many times before, and I'll want it many times again. Theoretically I should have gone to some government agency to buy this thing for me—it's freakin' $110! … but I can't say I'd use it for employment or anything. It's for hobby work and quality of life so I don't have to approximate back and forth *sigh* Measures to the nearest mm here I come.

(Now if someone can tell me where to get a digital vernier caliper with either a white LED backlight or an LED display, I hate that my digital caliper isn't backlit!)

What does any of this have to do with crafting anything game related? Start with the ability to use the click rule to precisely position my square to make a perfectly square, straight cut a precise distance from the edgeof whatever I'm cutting. Important if you want to make tiles that fit together, say.
"So I guess when renaissance fairs open again, people are gonna go to them and be like, 'I say, I hath not seen thee since the plague!'"
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Re: The Click-Rule

Postby Kurgan » Sunday April 11th, 2021 12:47pm

Fascinating! Before this post I would have had no idea if you had asked me... and I wish you luck on your quest. Surely there is someone out there who knows...
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Re: The Click-Rule

Postby iKarith » Sunday April 11th, 2021 2:08pm

Kurgan wrote:Fascinating! Before this post I would have had no idea if you had asked me... and I wish you luck on your quest. Surely there is someone out there who knows...


My quest for a metric click rule? Once I discovered their (still awful) website, I ordered one yesterday. The caliper will have to wait. Printing REALLY has to wait. I'm over my hobby budget for the month. I'm still not working and today's a good example of why.

For the first 6-8 months on this chemo drug, you have good days and bad ones. Today's a bad one. Owww. I should have been awake another six hours or so but … ain't happening, neither is going to the pharmacy like I planned. I just took a pile of pills, some of them not OTC, and I'm going to bed at 11am. *sigh*

Beats the alternative.
"So I guess when renaissance fairs open again, people are gonna go to them and be like, 'I say, I hath not seen thee since the plague!'"
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Re: The Click-Rule

Postby Kurgan » Monday April 12th, 2021 12:22am

Sorry to hear about your suffering, I hope you can have fun doing hobby stuff to take your mind off and take care.
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