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Forum topic by Jim Crockett (USN Retired) posted 1811 days ago 3459 views 4 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 2336 days


1811 days ago

How do you take inside measurements, say the inside of a box – from side to side?

I’ve used the two stick method quite often with good results. I recall seeing somewhere a plan for two arms with a center connector where you could clamp the two arms together with a thumbscrew after extending the arms to each edge. Does this ring any bells for anyone? I’ve done it with a binder clip and that doesn’t work too badly but would like to make something permanent that looks halfway decent.

Jim

-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".


18 replies so far

View GMman's profile

GMman

3902 posts in 2300 days


#1 posted 1811 days ago

I know what you mean; I use two sticks like you and a small spring clamp, 2 clamps if it is quite a long measure.

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 2336 days


#2 posted 1811 days ago

I would do a Google search on it but don’t have a clue what to search for – inside measurement whatchamacallit or thingamajig didn’t bring up anything pertinent:-))

Jim

-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

View VirgilJohnson's profile

VirgilJohnson

7 posts in 1829 days


#3 posted 1811 days ago

maybe story pole or story stick?

btw you might look up something called tick sticking – either FWW or FHB magazines
excellent for fitting odd shapes into odd places

Virgil

View lew's profile

lew

9954 posts in 2358 days


#4 posted 1811 days ago

Here is something that might work:

http://www.woodworkingtips.com/etips/2008/02/14/sn/

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View RedShirt013's profile

RedShirt013

219 posts in 2264 days


#5 posted 1811 days ago

Lee Valley seels some pre-made ones

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=3&p=32585&cat=1,43513

not exactly cheap however

-- Ed

View gizmodyne's profile

gizmodyne

1763 posts in 2693 days


#6 posted 1811 days ago

I use a wooden folding ruler. It has an extending section.

Very useful, but you can just put two sticks together with a spring clamp.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke." www.flickr.com/photos/gizmodyne

View RBWoodworker's profile

RBWoodworker

416 posts in 1955 days


#7 posted 1811 days ago

I really wish there was some sore of a gizmo..that you could set inside of the box.. kind of shaped like a tape measuer..that would shoot a laser beam from one side of the box to the other.. then show a digital readout of the two points measured and tell you exactly the measurement..kind of like a radar gun that police use but bounces back and reads the measurment instead of the speed

-- Randall Child http://www.racfurniture.com/

View cabinetmaster's profile

cabinetmaster

10874 posts in 2161 days


#8 posted 1811 days ago

That Veritas one would be real easy to make.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View David's profile

David

1970 posts in 2742 days


#9 posted 1811 days ago

Jim -

I think these are referred to as pinch sticks or bar gauges. I have a few of these in my shop and use them constantly. They are very easy to make and commercial versions are available. Hope the links / photos below help.

Two binder clips provides additional security and acutely tapered tips allows you to reach into corners.

Best Regards,
David
The Folding Rule Blog



Ideas from LJ Jig Guru Nikki:


Some additional pinch stick / bar gauge references:

Story boards, or story poles, are different than pinch sticks, pinch rods or gauge bars. A story stick, or story pole, is a single flat piece of wood that has important measurements marked for lay out purposes.

Some interesting story stick references:

-- http://foldingrule.blogspot.com

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

4993 posts in 2315 days


#10 posted 1811 days ago

Lee Valley has this thing a ma jig…Bar Gauge heads or http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p=32585&cat=1,43513

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 2336 days


#11 posted 1811 days ago

The Lee Valley connectors look real nice but at $14.50 per set, I think I’ll keep using a binder clip!

Still haven’t found the one I remember. Must be old age but all I vaguely recall is a piece of aluminum as the connector (perhaps a piece of channel) and a thumbscrew to tighten. Perhaps a light bulb will come on one of these days and I’ll recall where I saw it – probably about 3AM while I’m sleeping, that’s when such things usually happen!

Jim

-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 2336 days


#12 posted 1811 days ago

Just found an interesting article on building your own “Bar Gauge” in a book titled, “Tool-Making Projects for Joinery and Woodworking”, available in part at Google Books. In the book the gauge is called a Case-Squaring Stick.

-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

View Sam Yerardi's profile

Sam Yerardi

244 posts in 2498 days


#13 posted 1811 days ago

Another thing you could do is make a small sliding story pole. I’ll use a 1×3x12” for simplicity but you can use any size, perhaps even smaller and/or longer to accomodate your application:
1. Take a piece of 1×3x12” pine, poplar, or maple and cut a ‘T’ slot across it length-wise (with a router); this the female piece
2. Rip the same ‘T’ shape in a second piece of the same material such that it will slide inside of the other; this the male piece
2. Perpendicular to the face of the bottom of the ‘T’ (male) piece, drill a hole to accomodate a thumbscrew.

When you assemble the two pieces together, one slides inside the other, and use the thumbscrew to lock it down. It won’t rugged but it will serve it’s purpose.

-- Sam

View Sam Yerardi's profile

Sam Yerardi

244 posts in 2498 days


#14 posted 1811 days ago

Actually, mounting the screw from the opposite side (i.e., screw contacts the TOP face of the ‘T’) will work better.

-- Sam

View skidoo's profile

skidoo

11 posts in 1812 days


#15 posted 1811 days ago

I keep a roll of butcher paper handy.

Slice a an over-long piece with one edge being one of the straight edges. Press that against the corner or middle-line surface you want to measure, with a little folding upwards; slice it true, and secure with blue tape. Do the same on the other end. Measure the strip of paper.

The advantage of this is that it can be performed at almost any angle. The disadvantage is that it won’t “ride” over bumps and imperfections on the “bottom” surface, potentially giving you a long measurement.

I personally find the stick method (with the clips) works best in most situations. But if I need a pin-point measurement (especially at a weird angle), like for an inlay or something, the paper usually fills the bill.

-- Chips and beer.

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