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Digital protractor: which type is good for guitar applications?

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by Donelson, Apr 4, 2019.

  1. Donelson

    Donelson Tele-Afflicted

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    I am looking to get a digital protractor to measure angles on guitars. For various things, string break, neck pitch, etc. I am sure some on this forum use these products. There are various kinds, from $15 to way more $$. I am wondering, which type is most useful?
     
  2. TimTam

    TimTam Tele-Holic

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    To me it's mostly of a question of the form factor, and whether you need to measure horizontal angles or not. I like the matchbox-style ones for any angle in a near-vertical plane. The cheap ones on ebay are fine IME. Just get one that only needs one battery, not 2 or 3. You zero it on one surface and then it displays the relative angle of the other surface you put it on. They rely on gravity to get an angle, so near-vertical plane angles only.
    The digital versions of old-style steel two-arm protractors are more difficult to get into small spaces. But can measure in any plane.
     
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  3. Donelson

    Donelson Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks for replying TimTam. I will admit that I find this topic to be confusing. Early-mid 70's I was a good math student in HS, even took calculus. I am sure that at age 15 I knew and could explain the difference between a vertical and horizontal angle. Alas most all that type knowledge is defunct now decades later.
    I think I will take the plunge with one of the inexpensive box-style units & see if is useful.
     
  4. aerhed

    aerhed Friend of Leo's

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    Vertical/horizontal. He means up/down or left/right. BTW, your phone will work as good as the cheap ones.
     
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  5. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

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    I've got quite a few different specialized tools for finding and reading angles including both a digital small box type and a small old-fashioned direct reading one (made by General) which I suppose ya could call an "analog" type.

    The old-fashioned one is little more than a small steel rectangle with degrees engraved into it and a small arm that pivots and allows ya to read the angle.

    I'm all for using the best tool for the job whenever I can. No matter how much I know (or more accurately, how much I think I know ;)), having the right tool and understanding how to use it gives me an advantage.

    For a relatively small project (small in size) like a guitar, I find the old analog type much easier to use. Both planes (or axis or whatever the correct term is :)) are right in front of ya and clearly defined. No guess work or estimation.
    Whereas with the digital box type all ya have is a number.

    I do like the little digital box though, and after I learned to trust it (within it's limits) I've used it quite a bit especially on larger metal fabrications.

    There are all kinds of different ways of calculating angles, including rise and run, which I'm finding helpful in establishing the angular relationship that positions the nut height correctly in relation to the saddle height.

    When ya break it all down, it's predominately straight lines connected by angles :).



    Best Regards,
    Geo.
     
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  6. Donelson

    Donelson Tele-Afflicted

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    So far this is the one I have looked at that seems like what I might get. At Home Depot, 5 min. drive from here, $16. If no good for measuring guitar angles, probably would come in handy for something else. Looks like the same battery that goes i my digital caliper; I have a stash of those.

    P.S. When I first joined this forum in 2011, attaching a picture was or seemed to me to be, a huge hassle, with poor small pictures showing up unless you used some picture website. Now, it is utterly easy, works great! Thanks TDPRI!!!

    upload_2019-4-8_0-57-27.png
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
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  7. GotTheSilver

    GotTheSilver Tele-Meister

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    I use one of these, the digital box type. In terms of form factor, it works fine for guitar building. I have noticed that all digital angle finders seem to list precision of +/- 0.3 degrees. I personally wish they were more precise than this, although when I posted about this previously many people seemed to feel this was perfectly acceptable. Maybe I am just anal. :)

    https://www.woodcraft.com/products/wixey-wr300-type-2-digital-angle-gauge
     
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