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Thread: Turning Calipers 6" or 8"?

  1. #1
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    Turning Calipers 6" or 8"?

    the Grizzly catalog showed up today and so far there's only one turning tool of interest (and within budget)... a set of three turning calipers either 6" or 8"... for $6 difference should I get the 8"?
    -Ned

  2. #2
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    In that case and IMHO...bigger is better as long as the stuff you turn dictates that size. Go for the 8.
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  3. #3
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    Is the larger one apt to bump into things with the woodworking that you do? Sometimes a smaller screwdriver or pair of pliers works much better than a large one. Just a thought.

    Enjoy,

    JimB
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
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  4. #4
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    Jim, I was going to say the same thing...get 'em both Ned!
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  5. #5
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    I would say it depends on your lathe and what you turn. If you have a 12" lathe then 6" would be the maximum needed and probably not that give the foot can't be measured. On the other hand if you have a 16"+ inch lathe or do deep hollow forms the 8" may be better.
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. Thomas Jefferson

  6. #6
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    I'd say it depends what you're turning and what you want to measure. I use calipers to mark a bowl bottom before I make a tenon, but for wall thickness, I just use my fingers, especially on anything 12" or less in diameter. My fingers can measure as accurately as I can cut. (In other words, neither is exact, but both are plenty good enough.) I've got a set of Sorby calipers for measuring the inside of hollow forms, but they're not nearly as useful (or accurate) as I had hoped they would be. (I rely on the laser on my hollowing rig instead.)

    In a nutshell, calipers aren't much help to me. A set of three would likely gather dust in my shop, with the exception of whichever one I used for marking tenons. (Mine have blunt rounded ends. I set them to the appropriate size for whatever chuck jaws I'm using, and then hold them carefully against the spinning wood to scribe a line. Then I cut my tenon to that line.)
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  7. #7
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    At the moment I only have a Delta Midi, so what, 10" maximum diameter? I will be getting my shopsmith up north by the time the snow melts, which will get me a little larger potential workpiece size. I truly don't know whether or not I even Need them, but I've seen them used on the web here and there so they've been on my 'someday' tool list. Thanks guys, I think I'll be watching for a 'deal' at woodcraft or what not later in the year.
    -Ned

  8. #8
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    I should add that if you're turning boxes or spindle stuff, calipers can indeed be very useful. I tend to think in terms of larger bowls and hollow forms, and forget there's a lot of other turned stuff out there.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  9. #9
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    I kinda agree with Vaughn, I have a set of calipers for measuring the wall thickness of a bowl, not sure where they are right now... I have a set of 6" that I use to measure length, diameter and such that I use regularly... but I really don't do much measuring ... I feel the wall thickness of a bowl with my fingers to determine it's thickness...I use a stick or tape measure to check the depth of a bowl or hollow form... I don't measure the tenon on the bottom of a bowl.... just turn it and measure by eye...looks close and if in doubt check it against the jaws of my chuck. Most of the measurements I to take are with a tape measure and lately with an old folding ruler that I keep in the cabinet drawer under the lathe.
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
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