Watching Paul Bradburn the other day and he used an interesting little
creature which (I think) he referred to as a concertina gauge.
Basically it's a little doohickey that rests on a surface and can be
stretched so that each end is on a desired point on that surface. It
then automatically divides the distance between the two points into
equal sub-lengths and you can mark them off accordingly. This would be
handy for decoration among other things. I've done some searching in
the UK but I can't locate one. Any ideas?
foggytown (in email@example.com)
| Watching Paul Bradburn the other day and he used an interesting
| little creature which (I think) he referred to as a concertina
| gauge. Basically it's a little doohickey that rests on a surface
| and can be stretched so that each end is on a desired point on that
| surface. It then automatically divides the distance between the
| two points into equal sub-lengths and you can mark them off
| accordingly. This would be handy for decoration among other
| things. I've done some searching in the UK but I can't locate one.
| Any ideas?
Is this what you're looking for?
DeSoto, Iowa USA
Old carpenter's trick is to use a rule angled across the board.
Determine how many divisions you want (2,3,4...). Place one end of
rule at side of board, and angle ruler across so that that number of
divisions is at the other edge.
An example is easier - I have a 6" board and want 8 divisions. I put
the zero mark on the ruler at one edge of the board, angle the ruler
across so the 8" ruler mark is at the other edge. Then mark the board
where the 1", 2", 3" etc. ruler marks are.
Harder to explain than to do.
That old "trick" is indeed neat, but here's something that takes parallax,
and the math, out of another measuring problem ... very useful when you need
to figure out the number of slats/spindles/boards/posts/etc of known size
that need to be evenly spaced between two points/edges/aprons/legs/etc,
which is something I keep running across when making furniture..
The older you get the more the PITA having to rebuild the wheel every time,
hence the simple equation formulated into an Excel spreadsheet so I don't
have to fiddle around remembering how I did it the last time ... of course,
you have to have a computer or calculator handy (it works just fine with my
Construction Master IV, when I get lucky with the keystroke sequence):
Ahh ... but suddenly the 'elegance' of the trick starts disappearing ... and
try that on a 5" x 5" square workpiece where you want 4 divisions. ;)
Admittedly, in many instances, you can double the width and go in 2"
increments instead of 1" (providing the piece is long enough for the
diagonal to fit on), but then the "old carpenters trick" starts to lose, as
above, its elegant simplicity.
Not ragging on you ... but every tool/trick has it's limitations. ;)
The devil is always in the details and while most problems have a
"common sense" solution, that solution is usually wrong in that it
ignores some extraneous factors that are, in fact, critical.
Common Sense is the least common of human attributes.
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