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As Jim Tolpin’s article on sectors from the June 2011 issue is getting into the hands of readers, we have had a few questions about the tool.

One question is, of course: “Where can I buy one?”

I don’t recommend you try to purchase a real sector. They are small affairs that were intended more for calculations on the drafting board – not in the shop. You can easily make your own from two sticks and a hinge, which is what I did last week here on the blog.

Or you can put one of the millions of substandard folding rules back into service as a sector.

This morning I took a modern folding rule that had assorted problems (warpage, poor wood selection, coarse markings) and turned it into a sector that folds up and stores compactly.

You can find plenty of folding rules in poor shape at flea markets and on eBay. I see them go for as little as 50 cents. Then it takes about 15 minutes of sanding and knife work to create a simple sector.

— Christopher Schwarz

You can read the full article in the June 2011 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine.

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Showing 15 comments
  • mgreene93

    Did anyone ever find a cheap ruler to use for this project? I can find some old Stanley’s on ebay, but nothing like the one that Chris used.

  • rincewind03060

    I would expect the pivot point for the sector to be the center of the hinge pin and that would be the starting point for the 13 divisions. The drawings in the article show the first increment marked from the outside edge of the hinge pin. Am I missing something?

  • StratMan9000

    2 questions: 1. What size pencil lead is that? 2. What model pencil is that?
    I’m guessing it’s a 0.3mm?

  • Miller

    So……., would one use a sector to create the subdivisions on the sector one was trying to create, and if so, where did the original sector come from? well?

  • David Cockey

    The price of crappy folding rules will be up 100% on eBay by middnight tonight.

  • stjones

    Oh, geez. There go the cheap folding rules.

  • Al Navas

    Cool! Off to find my crappiest folding rule, and my ROS 😉

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