Golden Section Gauge / Fibonacci Gauge

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Project by FJPetruso posted 09-25-2010 11:26 PM 14772 views 31 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I make many of my projects from purchased or down-loaded plans. But I also like to design my own projects too. So I’ve been paying special attention to articles & publications on designing furniture. The Golden Section is used extensively in designing furniture & the Fibonacci Gauge is a divider or gauge for quickly & easily determining the most appealing design for a project with a ratio of 1 : 1.618. Naturally I looked up a plan for the Fibonacci gauge & found one at & decided to make one. See the third photo.

My last projects left me with many small pieces of Cherry that were perfect for this job. The dimensions given for the longest legs of the gauge were 340mm from point to “pivot”, so you have to add about 10mm in length to each of the pieces when laying out the project. I started with a 3/4” thick piece of cherry & ripped it down to 3/4” X 3/16” strips & planned to plane the strips down to 1/8” thick. I know that you can make a sled to use on your planer to plane thin wood without having a problem with “snipe”.... But I found it easier to make my strips extra long & cut the snipe off of the ends. After that I used my taper jig for my table saw & ripped the strips down to a pleasing angle & rounded the top ends. The photo from the plans show the pieces being made as straight not tapered & the assembled gauge has tapered legs. Next I shaped one of the points on the divider & used that as a pattern for the other two points & cut them out…, a little bit over-sized. I then clamped the three pieces together & sanded and shaped them together on my 1” belt sander. (Even though the middle leg is shorter, I found it easier to make the three legs together & cut off the top of the middle leg after drilling the pivot holes.) It also seems to make construction more accurate by matching up & clamping the “like” pieces together & drilling the pivot holes together. Now I sanded & finished the wood with Danish Oil. Being a mechanic, I have lots of machine screws stored up so it was quick & easy to use 1/2” long #8 screws & peen the thread over a bit after tightening the pieces down to they open & close with a slight drag & hold the position that the gauge is opened to

Like other “Lumberjocks” that have made the Fibonacci gauge, I found the gauge extremely accurate.

-- Frank, Florissant, Missouri "The New Show-Me Woodshop"

5 comments so far

View RonPeters's profile


713 posts in 3115 days

#1 posted 09-26-2010 05:25 AM

Very nice. Thanks for the dimensions!!!

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3349 days

#2 posted 09-26-2010 05:22 PM

niice fibonacci
and thank´s for the link

take care

View whitewulf's profile


455 posts in 3171 days

#3 posted 07-21-2012 08:00 PM


-- "ButI'mMuchBetterNow"

View A.Scott's profile


230 posts in 2210 days

#4 posted 05-24-2013 01:19 PM

Does the thickness or width matter when making a fibonacci gauge?

View FJPetruso's profile


326 posts in 3944 days

#5 posted 05-27-2013 01:06 AM

The thickness & width isn’t critical. I think that the most critical thing is the center to center dimensions of the pivot points & from the pivots to the tips of the pointers. Also the pivots holes & points must be centered on the same line.

-- Frank, Florissant, Missouri "The New Show-Me Woodshop"

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