Sunday, July 05, 2009

Exotic Tape Measures

In the Summer 2009 issue of American Woodturner (p. 28), there was an article by John Giem titled "Transform Your Tape Measure." So, of course, I set out to do so. The two smaller examples in the photos below reflect my result using the techniques described in the article, which is quite clear and complete. The technique involves the initial turning of a jig on which to mount the three component parts of the "box" as you turn them. The author's technique incorporates the tape and spring from an easily obtainable, inexpensive metal 3' tape measure, which must be carefully removed from its carrier and held "poised" in its wound-up position until you are ready to insert it into your turned piece. This, as I learned on my first try, can be an adventure!

The third tape measure in the photos - the large one - involves an approach of my own devising, which incorporates the entirety (case and all) of a four foot tape measure with a cloth tape and a retraction button on the side. In essence, I "buried" the tape measure in the three-part wooden case (well, four parts if you count the button).

The small tape measure with the light-colored sides (the one that looks like a mini-burger) is turned from spalted birch (the 'buns'), and redheart (the 'burger'); it measures about 2" across an is 1" thick. It is finished with Watco Danish Oil - Natural, followed by buffed Renaissance Wax. The sides of the other small tape measure are turned from padauk, and the center ring from hard maple; it is just over 2" across and is only 3/4" thick. It is finished with buffed Renaissance Wax only. The large tape measure has padauk for one side, and purpleheart for the other, with hard maple for the center ring. Oh, the button - which is fully functional - is also purpleheart. It measures 2 3/4" across and is 1" thick. It is also finished with buffed Renaissance Wax.

1 comment:

David said...

Hi Doug,
I don't know how I missed it before, but I just spend a wonderful time looking at your woodworking (bravo!), and then looking at your favorite sites. See you in 2011 at the 50th reunion!
David Flaccus