I was modeling a Gimson table in SketchUp using scaled drawings Stickley had published in The Craftsman as a reference and having problems determining dimensions for individual parts using the scale. Apparently my thumbnail marking position on a ruler was an unreliable method for transferring dimensions – even if I managed to move the ruler to the scale without my finger slipping, it still wasn’t precise enough to measure small parts. If only, I thought, there was a tool that could let me capture a set length, then show that length on the scale to determine a dimension.
Then, a moment of epiphany, or at least of a moment of “why didn’t this occur to me sooner:” dividers, of course! Dividers are useful in the shop; they can be used to, amongst other things, mark consistent lengths, lay out dovetails, and create proportions when designing. They can also easily transfer dimensions from drawing to scale. It was a simple matter to set the dividers on the model, then on the scale, using it to determine the actual dimensions of the part.
— Michael Crow
• Now available: Michael’s new book, “Building Classic Arts & Crafts Furniture” (Popular Woodworking), with 33 shop drawings for Charles Limbert pieces.