I recently bought a lovely bit of gear that’s made my life much easier. A BIG ruler. Big in every sense. One point two metres long and made from a massive extrusion of aluminium. It’s fantastic to hold in the hand, it feels like something you’d build bridges out of.
So why do I need such a big ruler? It’s for cutting full size boards down to size – mount board, backing board, MDF framing board. Up until now I’d been using a 60cm ruler for this but a full size board is typically about 90cm on the short side. Cutting was fraught and edges wavy. Making my own frames meant I also needed to start cutting 2mm MDF board and this wasn’t going to work with my little hobby ruler. You can see the two next to each other for comparison below, with the cutting head that fits onto both.
The big ruler has a reinforced edge for cutting with a craft knife, plus a slotted edge on the other side which takes the cutting head from my mounting machine. It has a wave-shaped piece on top that makes it really secure to hold. It’s my new favourite toy. It’s one of these .
The other very handy thing you can see in these pictures is a plank of wood with a slot cut in it (by my next door neighbour with her router). The two pieces of gear together make a rudimentary but very effective cutting machine. Total price about £60. For a commercial machine of this sort and size you’d pay upwards of £600, though of course with far more features, but I’m delighted with this set up.
Finally you can see the big table I’m cutting on. This was home-made by my own hands and is big enough to hold, and store on shelves underneath, full size boards. All in all a step up in professionalism, productivity and quality for what I’m making and it makes my life much easier.