Walnut Fibonacci Gauge

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Project by Jim Jakosh posted 1150 days ago 3085 views 19 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been reading about how to make a pleasing looking project by having the right proportions and the Fibonacci gauge lets you make that 1:1.618 ratio without calculating . I guess I didn’t quite know the specifics about building one even after reading all the notes on line. I made the first one( last picture) and it came out to a 1.53 ratio. So I decided to draw it out first and see what were the critical dimensions. I finally figured it out and took a picture of my drawing. Once you decide on the major arm lengths, you have to space the ones at that ratio of 1 to 1.618 and then it works perfect. I used a little algebra in doing so.
Here is what I deduced: For an 8” arm you need 8” =X +1.618X or 8=2.618X Then X=3.055 which is the distance between the holes. That is what you drill the 4 hole patterns. Then for the short arm, which is parallel to the left arm, I made the tip in line with the other 2 tips and the ratio worked out at all widths up to 14”

I made it out of walnut scraps from a current project and finished it with semi gloss Deft. I had some dead time waiting for glue to dry. I used 3/16 pop rivets and stopped before the head broke off and locked the parts together. I cut off the pin and knocked it out of the rivet. To prevent chafing of the finish, I used 4- 1/2” dia. plastic washers made from the side of a milk jug

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

16 comments so far

View WayneC's profile


12260 posts in 2724 days

#1 posted 1150 days ago

Very nice. Did you see David’s blog entry on these?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11299 posts in 1733 days

#2 posted 1150 days ago

Hi Wayne. Yes I did. It was one of the blogs that inspired me to try to make one. The other one was Stevimarin and his video! He cracks me up. One other one on there gave me the idea about the pop rivets. I would rather have brass pivots but these work just fine. Have a good night!!!!........Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View SgtSnafu's profile


957 posts in 1899 days

#3 posted 1150 days ago

Well done – It really turned out great, the routed out grooves is a very nice touch…

Thanks for sharing

-- Scotty - aka... SgtSnafu - Randleman NC

View llwynog's profile


283 posts in 1206 days

#4 posted 1150 days ago

The grooves are really an nice accent. They give the gauge a somewhat cast-iron look.

-- Fabrice - "On est bien bête mais on sent bien quand on se fait mal" - my grandfather

View peteg's profile


2857 posts in 1450 days

#5 posted 1150 days ago

Nice job Jim, you have turned this into a bit more than just a burried in the dust benchtop tool.
That “golden rule” just keeps poping up, thing is when you see examples applied to some of the old masters furniture pieces, & go back even further than that into ancient architecture it is on the button as a general rule in most cases where it has been applied.
iMost interesting post Jim :))

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View EMVarona's profile


436 posts in 1463 days

#6 posted 1150 days ago

Very nice. Thanks for sharing.

-- Ed "Real happiness is one that you share."

View flintbone's profile


181 posts in 1784 days

#7 posted 1150 days ago

Good job Jim.

-- If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. - Albert Einstein

View mafe's profile


9486 posts in 1716 days

#8 posted 1150 days ago

Beautiful work there.
Have fun,

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Mark Whitsitt's profile

Mark Whitsitt

86 posts in 1606 days

#9 posted 1149 days ago


I love the recesses in the arms of the gauge! Very sharp looking!

I posted a generalized equation for figuring out the dimensions on this gauge. For a gauge with 8” long arms, I get a short arm dimension of 4.944” and a distance from the center of the top pivot to the mid-arm pivots of 3.056”. Not too far off of what you found empirically! Nice!


-- -- "there are many good reasons to use old hand tools, but moral superiority is NOT one of them..."

View jack1's profile


1912 posts in 2654 days

#10 posted 1149 days ago

nice work!

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View Grumpy's profile


19379 posts in 2478 days

#11 posted 1149 days ago

Nice one Jim.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

1529 posts in 2311 days

#12 posted 1149 days ago

Nice one Jim, be a handy gauge for those who stick with the Golden Rule.

-- Bob C, Australia. I love sharing as long as it is not my tools

View rance's profile


4129 posts in 1788 days

#13 posted 1149 days ago

You’ve taken it to the next level with those slots. Very nice touch. I like the milk jug washers too.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View sedcokid's profile


2667 posts in 2226 days

#14 posted 1148 days ago

Jim, What a beautiul yet functional gauge.

Oh, and Jim thanks again for the staining tip! Like I told you it worked Fabulous!!

Thanks for sharing

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11299 posts in 1733 days

#15 posted 1143 days ago

Hi Chuck. Thanks for the nice comment. I’m glad the staining came out okay. We have yet to go to Chuck Andrews’ place to see his blacksmith shop. it may be Sept for that when it is cooler…..Jim

Hey Mark, we were about right on. I had figured the arm to be 5 1/32 but it actually came out a bit shorter like the dimension you have for lining up with the other 2 arms. Thanks for the equation!!......Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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