Fibonacci Gauge The simple way

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Project by Karson posted 12-11-2009 05:49 AM 8694 views 25 times favorited 34 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So others people on LumberJocks have posted a Fibonacci Gauge that they built.So I thought I’d build one also.

This one is my first trial run.

Wood Magazine had a one page article on making one of these gauges. Issue 173 November 2006. Their gauge was 6 3/4” on the longest leg. I wanted to make one bigger.

So I developed an Excel Spreadsheet that will calculate the length of all of the parts. You give it three numbers and it will calculate 20 different gauges, starting at the numbers you give it and then getting bigger by a ratio of one of the numbers that you give it

The three numbers are the distance between the holes. The distance from the end to the first hole, and the multiplier between rows. So it could be something like 1/2” from end to first hole, 10” between holes, 1” more to the next row. So it would calculate 20 rows, starting at 10 inches and ending at 30 inches.

There are also three different sheets to the spreadsheets. Inches, Millimeters and Centimeters.

I opted to make my first gauge using Centimeters as my trial. I found some 1/4” wood in the shop that was about 1 1/2” wide and 48” long. So I started to look at the range of numbers that I could use that would give me the longest leg of about 120 CM. So by trying different starting point and different numbers between the rows of the sheet I ended up with Start at 40 CM, and increment by 1/10 of a Cm or 1MM and have 1CM from the end of the stick to the first hole.

The row that contained the 42 CM between the holes gave an easy draw for the legs.

The Part C was 44 CM the Part B was 68.957Cm and the Part A was 110.957CM. So it was fairly easy to draw the hole positions and the cut length of the parts.

The first hole was drilled 1 CM from the end and I drilled all 4 pieces at the same time. I then put a 1/4” bolt in the hole to keep the 4 pieces aligned while I drilled the second hole. It was 42CM away from the first hole Center to center.
I then cut the pieces to length on the chop saw using my measurements from the spreadsheet. I sanded the point on the appropriate pieces using a disk sander and rounded the end over also on the disk sander.

When I went to put the pieces together using the binding posts that I had purchased I found that I had misremembered. I thought the binding posts were 1/4” in dia. but in fact they were 13/64” in dia. So the binding posts are a little loose.

But like I said this was my first trial run, partially to prove out the spreadsheet and do develop a way to make them easily.

The next ones will be easier and more accurate (Not sloppy)

These binding posts are a pound in version. I also purchased some brass ones that have screw threads so they will be classier. And probably some fancy wood.

Picture one is the assembled gauge.
Picture 2 is the 4’ ruler with the wood.
Picture 3 is the binding post package This one is for total wood thickness of 3/8”.
Picture 4 is the individual pieces with the pound-in serrations
Picture 5 is the stack of wood on the drill press with the bolt in the end and the second hole drilled.

The holes in all 4 pieces are the same distance apart so they can be drilled at the same time.

The spreadsheet is available to anyone that wants one. Send me you real e-mail address so that I can send it to you.

I developed it for Microsoft Excel but there are clone programs out there that will work with Excel spreadsheets.

I’ve hears people ask on other posts where to find the binding posts.

I got mine at Grainger’s There are a wholesale house and do sell retail.

The aluminum ones are 3/8” of wood and 50 sets for around 13.00 the brass ones are 25 sets in a package and also around 13.00 a package.

If you are unable to find any anywhere and there is enough interest I can probably get some and sell them for cost plus postage.

My local Ace hardware had the Aluminum ones that had screws and they were around 80 cents a piece. The had a couple of different lengths in the small size, but thy also had them in 1” in length.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

34 comments so far

View lew's profile


13442 posts in 5040 days

#1 posted 12-11-2009 06:36 AM

Cool project, Karson!!

Let me know about the stuff Ed told you.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View LesB's profile


3138 posts in 4728 days

#2 posted 12-11-2009 08:05 AM

You have way too much time on your hands. You should get a hobby. (-;
I made a couple too now I have to figure out how to use them.

I though my shop was messy but at least I can find the top of my table saw. LOL!

-- Les B, Oregon

View jack1's profile


2167 posts in 5312 days

#3 posted 12-11-2009 08:11 AM

Cool. Have you ever read about Fibonacci or messed around with the triangle named after him? Pretty neat stuff and also pretty neat that we woodworkers use something developed through this old mathematicians work…

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View Jeison's profile


968 posts in 4392 days

#4 posted 12-11-2009 08:58 AM

Rookie question…so just what does one DO with a fibonacci guage? I did a quick search and found plenty of articles on how to build them or places selling them, but nothing that really told me what exactly it DOES. Well, I understand it has to do with setting the distances between points according to certain ratios, but what sorts of projects make that necessary or useful? Really curious to know (and love adding to my meager skill set lol!)

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

View PG_Zac's profile


371 posts in 4673 days

#5 posted 12-11-2009 09:18 AM

Cool Karson – thanks.

My address will be in your LJ’s mailbox soon.

-- I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.

View degoose's profile


7285 posts in 4639 days

#6 posted 12-11-2009 11:55 AM

Jei’son very good question.. hope this helps….

-- Be safe.

View Jeison's profile


968 posts in 4392 days

#7 posted 12-11-2009 12:19 PM

Oooooohhhh, cool, learn something new everyday! (...despite my best efforts…hehe)
Thanx! You sir get a cookie :)

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

557 posts in 4801 days

#8 posted 12-11-2009 01:42 PM

Brilliant Karson! Any chance of getting a copy of that Excel spreadsheet?

-- jstegall

View Taigert's profile


593 posts in 5125 days

#9 posted 12-11-2009 01:48 PM

Thanks for posting this subject, the “Golden Ratio” is something that has facinated me for years now. It makes one wonder if our creator sat down at a drafting board and his Fibonacci Gauge and designed everything in nature.
Thanks for the Youtube link.

-- Taigert - Milan, IN

View cabinetmaster's profile


10873 posts in 4843 days

#10 posted 12-11-2009 01:53 PM

Thanks Karson and Larry. I never knew how to use one and now that I do, I want one too.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 4646 days

#11 posted 12-11-2009 02:21 PM

Now that Gentlemen…. is real cool.

View PurpLev's profile


8652 posts in 4933 days

#12 posted 12-11-2009 02:42 PM

Thanks for the post Karson, everytime I see one of those I say “gotta make one of those” but I never get to it :)

added this page for future reference. thanks again

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View ryno101's profile


388 posts in 4949 days

#13 posted 12-11-2009 02:46 PM

That’s brilliant.. I’ve been fascinated by the Fibonacci sequence and the golden mean for years as well, it’s amazing when you look around how many times it comes up in nature. Sunflowers, plant growth patterns, and as pointed out, our own bodies.

I’ll certainly be making one of these!

-- Ryno

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5531 days

#14 posted 12-11-2009 03:24 PM

Good project Karson, I was never to clear about their use either, even though I own 2 of the darn things. Thanks Larry for the post, that made it very clear.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5167 days

#15 posted 12-11-2009 03:57 PM

Cool. Thanks Karson. Bookmarked.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

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