How do I line up views and transformations for objects that are a little off kilter?

I'd like to be able to have the global directions, ((views (top, right, left) as well as transformations (location, scale)), match the orientation of a selected object or face.

As a simple example:

I have this cube that is rotated.

I know how to make the orientation local, but that seems to be only useful when using the handles to make adjustments. When I use G,S,R,E, ...they follow the global plane.

Now, I'd like to line up another object.

Yes, there are addons and scripts to do that, but I'd like to do it on the fly, by switching orthographic views, relative to the rotation of my original object.

This is as close as I can get with my Navigator mouse. I think I just found that Shift-numpad is the answer, but I've had varying results.

If I use G,S,R to transform that cylinder, the transformations always revert to the default global axis. Is there something that I'm missing?

I guess I've asked two questions in one mess. Sorry if I didn't know the right terminology to google a simple answer. I tried many times.

Another example of my issue. I'm working on this twisted object, with the new faces set to normal orientation. The transform arrows are going in the direction I need, but if I use the regular (G,S,R) controls, it still reverts to global directions. I can view the selected faces properly now, by holding Shift-numpad.

Now that I'm in the right view, relative to the selected faces, I would like to be able to flatten them by keying S,Z,0. I think I understand why this doesn't work, but I'm hoping for a workaround. (This image is after I scaled all of the faces to zero)

• – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Jul 25 '17 at 4:44
• Thanks. The subject of the first link, I kind of found out about, but that one has more info. The second link has good information, but it still doesn't answer the transform question. I tried all of the answers, but as soon as I pressed (eg. G,Y) everything followed the global axis. Ideally, I'd like to be able to select an object, or a face, and be able to transform in the direction it's facing by using the shortcut keys, instead of the handles. – TinySharks Jul 25 '17 at 5:07
• For local axis you have to double press the axis letter, as in G > Y > Y. Also see blender.stackexchange.com/questions/52049/… for creating custom orientations – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Jul 25 '17 at 5:17