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    • CommentAuthorrld
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2009
     
    I just bought a 3 piece caliper set which includes an outside, an inside and a divider caliper. I use them for measuring wood turnings.
    What is the divider caliper used for and how does it work?

    rld
    san diego
    •  
      CommentAuthorNick
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2009 edited
     
    The tool names "calipers," "dividers," and "compass" are all somewhat interchangeable. They are all tools with two legs hinged by a pivot so the legs can be spread apart or pushed together to make and transfer measurements. The legs of the inside and outside calipers are curved to be better suited for taking the corresponding measurements of a turning. A dividers or compass is an older design with straight legs. Divider legs are pointed at the ends for two reasons -- so they will measure accurately (or can be set accurately) and so they can scribe lines. In turning, dividers are mostly commonly used to mark parallel lines around the circumference of a cylinder. For example, if you wanted to turn a bead in a table leg 1/2" wide, set the dividers so the points are 1/2" apart. Round the stock so you have a smooth cylinder, then hold the points of the dividers against the rotating cylinder, scribing two lines marking the beginning and end of the bead. If the next shape on the turning is a 1"-wide cove, set the dividers to 1", line up one leg with the line that marks the end of the bead, and use the other leg to scribe a line that marks the end of the cove. Continue this way until you have divided (this isn't where the name comes from) the length of the cylinder into the shapes you want to turn.

    With all good wishes,
    Nick
      Divider calipers.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorNick
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2009 edited
     
    You can also use dividers for drafting, to divide distances and angles, as shown below. (This IS where the name came from.)

    With all good wishes,
    Nick

    PS There are also some nautical and cartographic uses for your new dividers, but perhaps Alec would explain those.
      Divided.jpg
    • CommentAuthorAijca
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