Roofing Protractor - Review
Roof framing is tough. Building anything beyond even the most basic of shed roofs can get very complicated very fast. There are quite a few measuring tools available to help out the roofer. The newest of which comes out of Australia and is the invention of a fellow named Derek Pater. It is called the Roofing Protractor and Pater was kind enough to send us one, all the way from another continent, so we could take a look at it.
We're not going to get too much into the functionality of the Roofing Protractor (there's a video below of the inventor using the tool and explaining it better than we ever could), but we will say that although it takes some getting used to, it makes rafter layout pretty easy. For our test, we mapped out a small roof design and used the Protractor to cut the angles on a few of the rafters.
We quickly found that the best thing about the Roofing Protractor is how 'all-in-one' it is. It helps mark out angles for end cuts, jack rafters, and most interestingly, bird's mouth cuts. Once we got used to the manual (you have to keep referring to these charts in the back), it didn't take us long before we were well on our way to having a few rafters ready to be installed in our imaginary roof.
We also feel that it's worth noting the size of this tool. The thing is pretty large and somewhat awkward, particularly for storing and transporting. For it's functionality, we're not really sure how it could be much smaller, but just so you know, the thing is big.
There are two versions of the tool; a plastic one and a metal one. We tested out the plastic one and if you're thinking of bringing it to a jobsite, we'd probably recommend the metal one. One good fall from some staging and this guy's probably not looking so good. Which isn't to say that it's fragile, it's just not going to withstand the kind of beating that we administer to our tools on a daily basis, which we would assume the metal version would.
The plastic version of the Roofing Protractor costs just over $30 (the metal one is not yet available) and if you're an ambitious DIYer, who is thinking about putting up a woodshed or a garage or something this summer, we think the Roofing Protractor would make things a lot easier for you. Contractors, if you're interested, we'd suggest waiting for the metal version.
At INVO Products (as of the time of writing, the Protractor is not yet on the site, but it will be soon).
Here is the vid of Derek Pater explaining his invention:
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Posted by Doug Mahoney at February 17, 2009 5:20 AM