Turning Archive 2007

New Tool:Tompkins Bowl Gauge *PIC*

keith tompkins
>As some contributors on the site know, I've been working on a new, completely different line of woodturning measuring gauges. Here's a photo of my production model bowl gauge. I have designed a whole series, including a platter gauge, deep vessel gauge, and spindle-turning gauge.

I started making these a few years back; my spiral forms and rose pieces could not be measured accurately with conventional calipers, so I was forced to invent my own measuring tools as well. I've created several different variations for specialized usages; my original tool frames were made of baltic birch plywood, the production pieces are cast urethane resin. My wife chose the name "Gage'T", an abbreviation for "Gauge it".

The majority of production was done in-house, in colaboration with Giles Gilson. We worked together to refine the design, sculpt a master, and create molds for casting the frames. I may post a few photos of the process. If you think turning is an expensive hobby...try becoming an inventor!

The brass balls on the gauge ride against the walls of the bowl being measured, a floating calibrated pin rides the exterior of the form, giving an exact measurement...even across the bottom.

I'm not posting any ordering info to avoid a conflict....I've spoken with Ellis, and plan on advertising my tools here on WC. I will, however, be demonstrating the gauge in Portland.

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