M1 Caliber takes the tape measure and pencil out of sawing
Ordinarily, when you're cutting lengths of a material, you measure each piece with a tape measure then mark the cut point with a pencil before sawing. With the new M1 Caliber tool, however, neither of those tasks are necessary.
Created by Boston-based Reekon Tools, the device is simply clamped onto an existing saw fence – or for that matter, onto any flat surface less than 7 mm thick. Users then start by lining up the end of the piece of lumber, pipe or other building material with the saw blade, and zeroing the M1's backlit LCD numerical display.
As the material is subsequently pushed along the saw fence toward the blade, it slides beneath the M1's spring-arm-mounted friction wheel, causing it to rotate. Those rotations are translated into precise measurements, which are displayed in either metric or imperial units. After each cut is made, the user just re-zeros the counter and pushes through the next piece.
The device reportedly offers better accuracy and higher resolution than a tape measure, plus it can be set to compensate for the thickness of different saw blades. Additionally, along with plain ol' straight cuts, it can measure for angled and beveled cuts. It's claimed to be compatible with most miter, band and chop saws.
Should you be interested, the M1 Caliber is presently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of US$89 will get you one, when and if they reach production. The planned retail price is $149.99.
It's demonstrated in the following video.
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We do a lot of cutting (Aluminum mostly) with a chop saw in our shop. I was able to speed the process up by mounting a bar with a bunch of holes drilled every 1/2 inch. We are at about +/- .005 using this method but I see this as a real boon when something needs to be cut to a non standard size eg .787.
I am going to get one. I can't build one for that price.