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The Woodpeckers SERX-24 is a very well made, very reasonably priced tool that will have a measurable impact on your woodworking.
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Woodpeckers SERX, 24” Straight Edge Ruler

High-end accuracy, shop-friendly price

Text & photos by Tom Hintz

Posted – 8-20-2004

If you strive for accuracy in woodworking, you appreciate high accuracy measuring tools. The Woodpeckers SERX, 24” Straight Edge Ruler will certainly pique your interest. Designed and manufactured in Woodpeckers state of the art, CNC (computer numerically controlled) laden shop, the SERX exudes precision. The nearly non-existent manufacturing tolerances Woodpeckers self-imposes on crafting the SERX are nothing short of remarkable - especially at this price point.
Making the quality and price even more remarkable is that Woodpeckers does all this in their North Royalton, Ohio shops. It could be made cheaper in the Pacific Rim but then Woodpeckers owner Richard Hummel, couldn’t personally oversee the process to insure consistent perfection.

Materials & Base Machining

An extra but helpful machining operation is cutting a groove along the bottom edge of the SERX that essentially creates a pair of "legs" that make it very stable when stood on a flat surface. That leaves your hands free to measure any irregularities discovered.
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The SERX is crafted to its final 2 ½”-wide by ¼”-thick dimensions from slab of high-end aluminum using Woodpeckers super-accurate CNC centers. Both long edges are precision milled to be perfectly parallel to one another and accurate to +/- 0.005” over the full length of the 48”-long model. Just to be sure, those edges are checked on a certified granite surface plate.
While they have the fancy machinery fired up, Woodpeckers adds a groove along the bottom edge that essentially forms a pair of small but effective legs that helps the SERX stand firmly on a flat surface. Sets of grooves are machined in the face of the SERX near the top and bottom edges to make handling this precision tool more secure.
The overall finish of the SERX, before and after anodizing, is first rate. The edges are crisp but not sharp and all surfaces are silky smooth. Though not absolutely necessary for accuracy, this kind of attention to detail is commonplace at Woodpeckers.

Numeric Scale

Angling the numerals downward brings them very close to the surface being measured or marked. That eliminates the effects of parallax and the errors that can cause.
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Woodpeckers mills the scale edge at a 30-degree angle so the markings run almost down to the material the SERX is laid on. Getting the markings that close to the material virtually eliminates errors caused by the distortion of parallax and allows making very precise layout marks.
The 1/16” resolution scale is engraved into the aluminum, insuring it will never wear off. To make those engravings more easily visible they are back-filled with red lacquer that is both bright and durable.
Even the numeric scale is engraved on CNC equipment that holds accuracy of these numbers/markings to a remarkable +/- 0.010” over the full length of the 48” version. For those of you with a dividing complex, that works out to +/- 0.0002” (or less) of error per inch.

Protective Case

If the thought of tossing such a high-precision tool into a drawer gives you a hollow feeling in the gut, never fear. Woodpeckers packs each SERX in a CNC machined MDF plaque that both protects and displays it. Pre-drilled holes allow hanging the plaque on a wall, retaining the SERX with a sliding catch. They even throw in a little laser lettering on the case.

In The Shop

Early in my woodworking life I realized that what looks flat usually isn’t. Knowing how and where something is uneven is the only way to correct the problem. The SERX is perfect for those kinds of checks and many others in any woodworking shop or even around the home.

Whether doing layouts or checking surfaces to see if they are flat, the SERX is easy to use and remarkably accurate. I find new uses for it all the time now that I know it is in the shop.
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The more I use the SERX, the more I find uses for it. Being able to quickly see if a project assembly is really flat or where it needs massaging makes projects turn out better. For machine setup or checking, the SERX is invaluable. Want to know if your table saw wings are aligned perfectly? Or, need a dead-on accurate visual gauge when installing them? The SERX is the right tool.

For many other checks, setups and adjustments on machinery the SERX is just as valuable. The accuracy of Woodpeckers manufacturing instills confidence that whatever error I see when checking a surface is in the surface, not the SERX. That lets me get on with needed adjustments or repairs rather than double checking the findings.

The super-precise numeric scale and its slanted position makes the SERX simple to use for layouts whether connecting points or extending lines. I also find myself using the SERX more and more for checking cut lengths and project piece dimensions because it is so easy to read even with my 50-something eyes.

Conclusions

If accuracy is important in your shop, the Woodpeckers SERX should be part of your tool arsenal. The prices of $44.95 for the 24”, (SERX-24) and $89.95 for the 48”, (SERX-48) (8-17-2006) make it easy to have the most accurate straight edge rule on the market in your shop.

In addition, both SERX models come with the wall-mountable protective display case that lets everyone that comes in you shop know that when it comes to accuracy, you aren’t just fooling around!

See or buy the SERX on the Woodpeckers site - Click Here!

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