Who makes a good layout protractor?
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  1. #1
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    Default Who makes a good layout protractor?

    I've been using a Starrett, but I'd like something less delicate for use around the welders and torches. Does anyone make something similar that wouldn't make my eyes water if I struck an arc on it by accident?

    A little thicker blade wouldn't hurt as it's often used as a guide for the plasma torch. Bonus points if it's aluminum.

    I've looked at Empire, trig jig, and trick tools.

    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cole2534 View Post
    I've been using a Starrett, but I'd like something less delicate for use around the welders and torches. Does anyone make something similar that wouldn't make my eyes water if I struck an arc on it by accident?

    A little thicker blade wouldn't hurt as it's often used as a guide for the plasma torch. Bonus points if it's aluminum.

    I've looked at Empire, trig jig, and trick tools.

    Thanks!
    Strike an arc on a Starrett?

    If/as/when you choose to put a layout tool in harm's way like that?

    Time for some jigs and fixtures 101 tasking.

    Go lay-hands on some aluminium you like in the thickness you like, and make up a batch of several "expendables" to suit the shop-floor need. Might want to consider FR4 or carbon fiber so it ain't as easy to strike an arc on it to begin with?

    No need of a dividing / ruling "engine". OK to cheat and use store-bought "degree wheels" or cut-ups from them as attached parts.

    Even easier, yah cut the same angles often. Make fixed, "dedicated" ones, prominently mark - even colour-code those - and reduce risk of error as a beneficial byproduct.

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    Have you looked at Flange Wizard's stuff?

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    Design something and have the parts laser cut out.

    Work with the laser shop, they can do etching as well for the graduations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post
    Strike an arc on a Starrett?

    If/as/when you choose to put a layout tool in harm's way like that?
    Because, as I said in the directly following sentence, it gets used as a torch guide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Design something and have the parts laser cut out.

    Work with the laser shop, they can do etching as well for the graduations.
    Make the arm from 8020 or something, that would allow stops and other features.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbent View Post
    Have you looked at Flange Wizard's stuff?
    Close but no cigar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Make the arm from 8020 or something, that would allow stops and other features.
    I was about halfway down this route already, but stopped and asked.

    Thanks guys!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cole2534 View Post
    Because, as I said in the directly following sentence, it gets used as a torch guide.
    "We've always done it that way" doesn't make it the best, let alone most economically efficient, way to guide a torch.

    But your rationalization for doing it is probably even LESS likely to depart the line than the Starrett protractor is!


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    Yup, I won't even touch "the best protractor" because the best one in your shop is the ones the people in your shop need & want.

    Make some mockups get some input.

    and remember that in your shop, this tool is a consumable.

    But it's o.k., bang these things out, and always have some spares on hand (maybe the aluminum arm will need more replacing)

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    Torch as in O/A or plasma? If you are using an O/A, can you switch to plasma? Its cheaper, and with a Hypertherm with a drag tip, a piece of sheared sheet metal makes a dandy template. When you ding both edges, throw it out and get another. For one or a couple of usages, a welders wrap a round cut to shape will work fine. I could easily see a couple of pieces riveted together and set with your Starrett, away from the fire.

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    bridge city tools 6 in one? kind of pricey, but has nice features like the stepped edge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbent View Post
    Hypertherm with a drag tip, a piece of sheared sheet metal makes a dandy template.
    That's what I'm using! Mainly to miter joints since my bandsaw is square cut only.

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    A thought would be to make a friction gage (wing nut, etc) you set with the Starrett.

    Then go at it using the shop made gage.


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