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Golden Mean (Fibonacci) Gauges for the Future

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Project by CueballRosendaul posted 05-17-2016 02:30 PM 2085 views 21 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built one of these for myself a couple years ago, and it seems like I’m always reaching for it. Whether planning the dimensions of a box, a bowl, where to locate dividers or door handles, this gauge takes the guesswork out and gives you the answer without having to do the math.

I recently joined the Mid Michigan Woodworkers Guild and was happy to see three young teenagers who attended their first meeting at the same time as my first meeting. After the meeting, I was trying to figure out what little things we could do to encourage them and keep them interested and inspired in the craft. I decided to make these gauges and give them to the young members at the next meeting (tonight).

I used some plans that I downloaded from THIS LINK

The material is purple heart 1/4” thick and 3/8” wide. The brass rivets (Chicago Screws) I found on eBay for a great price. The posts were a bit long, but I sanded them down on my belt sander. Finish is a couple coats of Danish oil. I placed one of the boxes I recently made in the top right of the first photo to show that the dimensions match the gauge. In our etsy shop, the projects that match the golden ratio are always fast sellers.

I’ll try to remember to snap a picture of the youngsters with them at the meeting tonight.

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.





12 comments so far

View Andy's profile

Andy

205 posts in 220 days


#1 posted 05-17-2016 02:48 PM

I dont understand what these are used for.

-- Andy Smith https://www.etsy.com/shop/xrayhardwoods

View JADobson's profile

JADobson

651 posts in 1504 days


#2 posted 05-17-2016 02:50 PM



I dont understand what these are used for.

- Andy Smith

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_ratio

-- James

View CueballRosendaul's profile

CueballRosendaul

484 posts in 1533 days


#3 posted 05-17-2016 03:05 PM

Andy: the golden ratio is a proportion that is pleasing to the eye. If you’ve ever looked at a table that was just not “right” in its dimensions, or another one that was, it was probably because of the relationship of the length to width to height. That proportion shows up EVERYWHERE in nature, and we can use that ratio to help us decide dimensions for projects. For example, the box in the photo: I had some scrap pieces of cedar that were a little over 2” wide and wanted to make a box with them. How deep and wide the box should be was determined by using my gauge to measure the pieces of cedar with the small section of the gauge. I made the depth of the box equal to the second section of the gauge, and the overall width of the box was the overall length of the gauge from the two farthest points.

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.

View Andy's profile

Andy

205 posts in 220 days


#4 posted 05-17-2016 03:59 PM

I understand now. I had just never heard of it. Its kinda like the two thirds rule when deciding where to part off the lid of a box. I use that all the time. So subconsciously I knew about it. Haha.

-- Andy Smith https://www.etsy.com/shop/xrayhardwoods

View RussInMichigan's profile

RussInMichigan

583 posts in 2173 days


#5 posted 05-17-2016 05:18 PM

Matt,
Nice projects and should be good for the boys. I was also thinking of something to give them in encouragment, and I was also thinking of a marking tool.

Hope to see you there tonight, 5/17/2016.

View ugoboy's profile

ugoboy

99 posts in 2427 days


#6 posted 05-18-2016 12:01 AM

Love it! I built one not so long ago and it ended up being a DAILY TOP 3 Very easy to build and use. Thanks for your write up

-- ~ Guy Woodward, Pflugerville Texas

View Boxguy's profile

Boxguy

2107 posts in 1660 days


#7 posted 05-18-2016 01:33 AM

Matt, if you would, give us a link to the site to buy the brass pieces. That would be helpful. I went to the link site for the build. I don’t know about your computer screen and eyes, but on my screen with my eyes when I enlarged the tiny numbers in the link so they were large enough to read they were very fuzzy. Would you please give us the four dimensions from the holes to the tips for the four legs? Thanks for the posting. This looks like a great idea for building boxes.

-- Big Al in IN

View Roger's profile

Roger

19588 posts in 2197 days


#8 posted 05-18-2016 01:50 PM

Thnx for the link Matt

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. Kentuk55@yahoo.com

View CueballRosendaul's profile

CueballRosendaul

484 posts in 1533 days


#9 posted 05-18-2016 09:02 PM

Hopefully this will help:

Here is a link to a bulletin board site where some guy worked out easy math to calculate making these in any size. Scroll about halfway down the page: http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f27/my-fibonacci-caliper-42447/index2/

I also found some plans in inches and will try to upload a snapshot to the project pictures. Photobucket doesn’t seem to be working.

I simply printed the page from with the plans (link in the description above) at 125% (which printed on two pages that I taped together) and used them as templates including using a punch to mark the hole locations.

For the Chicago screws, I found them on ebay from a seller called cskwin2015. Here is a link to the actual auction listing which may expire at some point in the near future: LINK they ship on the slow boat from China, but the quality is excellent and the price is the best I’ve seen.

I ordered the 15mm and had to sand them down a bit, best to order the 12mm for use with 1/4” thick stock. I added a few drops of super glue to the threads during assembly to make sure they don’t work their way out.

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.

View CueballRosendaul's profile

CueballRosendaul

484 posts in 1533 days


#10 posted 05-18-2016 09:05 PM

Hopefully this will help:

Here is a link to a bulletin board site where some guy worked out easy math to calculate making these in any size. Scroll about halfway down the page: http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f27/my-fibonacci-caliper-42447/index2/

I also found some plans in inches and will try to upload a snapshot to the project pictures. Photobucket doesn’t seem to be working.

I simply printed the page from with the plans (link in the description above) at 125% (which printed on two pages that I taped together) and used them as templates including using a punch to mark the hole locations.

For the Chicago screws, I found them on ebay from a seller called cskwin2015. Here is a link to the actual auction listing which may expire at some point in the near future: LINK they ship on the slow boat from China, but the quality is excellent and the price is the best I’ve seen.

I ordered the 15mm and had to sand them down a bit, best to order the 12mm for use with 1/4” thick stock. I added a few drops of super glue to the threads during assembly to make sure they don’t work their way out.

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.

View Boxguy's profile

Boxguy

2107 posts in 1660 days


#11 posted 05-20-2016 09:15 AM

Matt, thanks for the added information. It was very helpful and I appreciate your taking the extra time to clarify. The link for inches is especially useful.

-- Big Al in IN

View CueballRosendaul's profile

CueballRosendaul

484 posts in 1533 days


#12 posted 05-20-2016 12:20 PM

Big Al: You’re right about these things being useful for box making. Nearly all my typical boxes get measured up with the gauge to determine a dimension for the box, where to cut the lid, where to locate hinges, etc. I build a lot of my stuff from smaller scrap pieces and cutoffs that I get from custom shops, so I’m often looking at a small piece of wood and trying to use as much of it as I can. When I’m building items for our Etsy store, I often need to plan for it to fit in a priority mail box as well.

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.

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