A Batch of Studley Calipers for Lost Art Press

A while back Christopher Schwarz asked if I could make a batch of the Studley Calipers for Lost Art Press, it took me a while to get going on it with all the commotion at work but I finished them up this week.

Machined Caliper Blank

Machined Caliper Blank

I blogged about this before, I started with a picture and scaled it in SolidWorks, then essentially used that image as a guide to model the shape of the reproduction.  Visually it appears to be identical to the original, but of course I’ve never held the original in my hand.  Now if someone could just ship the whole Studley chest to me…  The original appeared to be stamped steel that was chrome or nickel plated, I made these in brass.

Machining the body of the caliper is pretty straightforward.  The real work was in the details.  Once the parts were machined they had to be cut free from the blank, the little retaining tabs sanded flush, the holes de-burred and re-tapped, and the faces hand sanded with 600, 1000 and 1500 grit sandpaper to make sure they look nice.  Then the real fussy work started.

Because of the small size of these, off-the shelf hardware is too big.  The pivots are small binding posts with #8-32 threads.  Both sides of the pivot and the base of the thumbscrew needed to be machined for clearance.  And of course clamping tiny brass screws in a collet tends to distort the threads, so I had to run a die over all the threads to clean them up.  Luckily Kolya was a willing participant.

Once all of the fasteners were machined, re-threaded and everything cleaned we turned up the music in the shop and assembled them.    If you want one the only way to get one is to attend the Handworks conference in Amana, Iowa on May 24-25 and buy one from Lost Art Press.  I’m planning to attend, hope to see you there!

Studley Caliper

Studley Caliper

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5 thoughts on “A Batch of Studley Calipers for Lost Art Press

  1. I so wish I could go!

    Nice work on this.

  2. OK .. silly me. I didn’t realize YOU were the guy behind these calipers. That’s so cool!!

    I’m going and am looking forward to getting my hands on one of these. I’m really looking forward to hanging out and having a fun time with all. Yippee! Are you bringing your shop apprentice (Kolya)?

  3. I’m not bringing Kolya — I can’t afford him. I had to buy him a Lie-Nielsen plane at WIA. If I use he he says “please ask me before you use my plane”, I can’t imagine where he gets that…

  4. That’s awesome! I had no clue you were the master craftsman behind this project. Great looking calipers. I now have one more reason to be envious of those that get to go to Iowa.
    Any chance you’ll ever make a batch of these for sale to us poor saps that can’t get to the land of the corn?

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