Digital Calipers

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Not being an engineer my only exposure with vernier was using a sextant. Older sextants were vernier and I have to admit I found the reading to be hard. They had a small magnifer glass to read the vernier part of the scale. The sextants with a micrometer dial were much easier. These days my old eyes would even struggle with micrometer so a digital readout is the dogs bo&&ox. Nothing wrong with a cheap Aldi calliper for woodwork. My current one is more than 5 years old and if it goes to god then I'll just get another.
My father taught me at around 12 years old on how to use a sextant, we used to live on the River Hamble in a village called Warsash, it was a great life growing up there 50 years ago.... I've been back since moving to Spain in my early 30's and its not the same sadly but I still can sight and read a sextant even now....I can also sight the stars at night and navigate that way but I hade to admit I would be a bit rusty now as the GPS and a iPhone Astro APP is a lot quicker...
Many years ago the US stopped their Navy training on Sextants , not sure about our guys...I still think its a skill that should not ever be lost if your at Sea and how to learn to read a compass on Land, one thing I found was the Sea Scouts really worked for me.
I used a sextant every day for a few years at sea and was around when the first sat nav systems came along in the late 70tes/early 80tes. Made life so much easier as you dont have the few pages of calculation to do every sight. For a few years after I still got the sextant out now and then just to keep my hand in. I would be a bit rusty myself now as its a thing you need to keep doing to be good at it. Far as I know its still in the exams for most countries merchant fleets as you always can use a backup. That said progress is progress and if something makes life easier I can't see why anyone would not use it.
Most woodwork situations don't require the level of accuracy that digital calipers/verniers or whatever you wish to call them can give but in traditional trades such as organ building for instance, the tolerances when building the soundboards is often in thousandths of an inch due to the risk of escape of air so there are situations where woodwork can demand precision to engineering standards but such as organ building is pretty much unique and almost everything was always done by hand when I trained in it..

One thing that many people forget about modern digital calipers is that most are also capable of measuring the depth of recesses, rebates etc if within the tool's measuring capacity so there is more to them than just a set of measuring jaws.
As I've already said, I find mine most useful and for the initial outlay it was one of the best measuring devices I've ever owned.
Here’s how I use my calipers most of the time.

When making moulding planes you usually find yourself working in thousands of an inch because it’s more convenient to work out all the dimensions that way. Also CAD and Excel deal better with thou than fractions, as does the brain.

Originally I was looking for a digital marking gauge, but I thought … hang on - no need!

Always buy a 200mm one off eBay, and always less than £20. Accurate enough for woodworking, you'll get more deviation in the timber than the gauge. As for battery life, never an issue unless it's freezing cold and its been in a year or more. Those that are removing batteries everytime must have the cheapest of the cheap gauges, especially if they have plastic clips. The 200mm ones come in a case with a macro phillips screwdriver for battery cover removal and a strip of spare cells. I've had about 6 in the last 15 years but that's because I break the glass over the display then the dust gets in...... So buying expensive isn't always the best. I bet my 6 cost less than one mitutoyo.

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