Stanley Framing Square
Stanley's black finish square
As the samurai sword is more than a weapon, the framing square is more than a tool. In the hands of a master carpenter it is a scepter of authority, a link with the ancients, the fusion of principle and action. At less than $20 I'd call it a bargain.
Most of the tables engraved on a framing square have been rendered obsolete by circular saws and pocket calculators, but there's one feature of my square that I use quite often: the twelfths scale. One of the outside edges has inches divided into twelfths rather than eighths or sixteenths. This makes it easy to produce and read 1/12 scale drawings. Trigonometry can be fun, but some of us prefer pictures to cosines.
Framing squares with a twelfths scale have become hard to find. Stanley (www.stanleytools.com) still makes an aluminum version with a black finish (#45-011) and a steel version (#45-910) for less than $20.