Cool Rulers
July 13, 2018 11:04 AM   Subscribe

I need an interesting ruler that has some regular distance markings, but they don't have to be inches or centimeters. I know about triangular architect rulers. Max length is 18 inches and I'd like to stay under $30 including shipping. I have lots of quilting rulers in cool shapes, but I am really looking for a straight edge here that can measure in one dimension.
posted by soelo to Grab Bag (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

How about photo scales, used in archeology and elsewhere?
posted by eotvos at 11:16 AM on July 13

The "Rulers of the Ancient World" is a metrology/design/production project, based around producing a range of period correct rulers from various ancient empires.
posted by bdc34 at 11:48 AM on July 13 [2 favorites]

Centre-Finding Rule.

A couple of years back, the surplus stores in North America were inundated with a load of NOS precision scale rules from an Australian company that had gone bankrupt. These have lovely bamboo-block cores (to limit distortion from humidity). There may still be a few out there in places like American Science & Surplus. They have various architectural metric scales, and were $2-3 each.
posted by scruss at 12:14 PM on July 13 [2 favorites]

Rolling ruler
posted by Signy at 12:45 PM on July 13

I love the look of leather rulers that you wear on your wrist as a bracelet (example).
posted by rada at 12:57 PM on July 13

Folding carpenter's rule?

(Or a folding mason's ruler with brick course measurements!)
posted by elsietheeel at 1:05 PM on July 13

Adjustable triangular architect's scale -- has inches on one side, and you turn a dial to change the scale on the other side. Nice looking and nice to handle.
posted by wryly at 3:39 PM on July 13

I'm unsure what your purpose is, so this might not work, but one way to get (relatively) even but not specific distance markings is using elastic. You start with a piece of elastic that's shorter than the distance you're marking across when unstretched, and on it you mark a set of lines some standard, measurable distance apart -- every inch, for example. Then you grab the ends of the elastic and stretch it -- the marks all separate from each other by approximately the same amount.

It's not highly accurate, but depending on what you're doing, it could be accurate enough, and you can change the spread on the marks by changing the distance on the elastics. In sewing, you pin the ends of the elastic to the shirtfront you are marking buttonholes on and then mark the buttonholes with the shirting fabric pulled taut, but depending on what you're marking you could anchor the ends in some other way.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:24 AM on July 14

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