Golden Ratio Caliper

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monophoto

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A tool that may sometimes be useful, but certainly is a conversation piece, is a Golden Ratio Caliper. They can be purchased relatively inexpensively (they are commonly by makeup and tattoo artists), but it's fun and amazingly simple to make them. There are many instructions on the internet, but most seem to suffer from the same flaw: the instructions provide one set of dimensions, but don't talk about how to scale the up or down to meet personal needs.

The best instructions I have found is an old YouTube video by Capt. Eddie. The Captain described the process in terms of a single base dimension, and then described how all other dimensions relate to that base. As a result, it's a relatively simple matter to follow those instructions to make any size caliper you wish. I've translated the Captain's video into a drawing and a step-by-step procedure that can be reproduced on one page.

I made my caliper from a scrap of canary wood (pretty figure, and working it makes the shop smell really nice). I used brass-plated binding posts with nylon washers, and also put a thin shop-made washer into each of the four joints so that wood doesn't rub against wood. The thin washers are made from an LDPE lid from a coffee can.

Golden-ratio calipers may be useful in identifying the ideal point to separate the top and bottom of boxes, or for designing goblets or other turnings. Frankly, it's probably close enough to just 'eyeball' the design, and most turners acquire the ability to do that fairly quickly. But if you're a tool junkie, it's neat to be able to say that you have a Golden Ratio caliper (aka, a Phi Caliper) in your shop.
 

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monophoto

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Is captain Eddie still around? I used to enjoy his videos.

He had some very serious health issues a few years ago, and was hospitalized for several weeks, if not months. He still produces an occasional video, but I don't think he's able to turn anymore.
 

SteveG

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Another set here - you can download their plans free also from the video site.

https://youtu.be/f2rgG8DtlXo

Thanks Louie and Glenn. I have long been aware of the 'Golden Ratio', but have not consciously utilized it in my designs over the years. But today I was prompted to check out a few my past designs, only to discover that I had indeed settled on that ratio without realizing it, as I designed and built various projects. I often fabricate ruff prototypes of new designs, then modify until it is pleasing to my eye. It is true that this famous ratio is something that we find appealing in objects that we observe (and build).

I intend to make a set or two of these special calipers of different sizes so I can readily incorporate the 'Ratio' into future designs. :smile::smile:

This is a valuable thread. I subscribed IOT easily find again.
 

monophoto

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No trying to 'bump' this post, but I just realized that the drawing in the instruction document was corrupted. Corrected version attached.


By the way - am I the only person who thinks that it is not totally coincidence for a 'phi caliper' posting to appear on pi day?
 

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Vinglo

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Feb 25, 2019
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Blainville, Quebec, Canada
The Captain is still around and still turning regularly. He has a new YouTube channel because he lost the means to get back to the old one so he created a new one.
I deeply enjoy his videos and his sense of humour.
 
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