Walnut Fibonacci Gauge

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Project by Jim Jakosh posted 06-30-2011 01:59 AM 6541 views 24 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been reading about how to make a pleasing looking project by having the right proportions and the Fibonacci gauge lets you make that 1:1.618 ratio without calculating . I guess I didn’t quite know the specifics about building one even after reading all the notes on line. I made the first one( last picture) and it came out to a 1.53 ratio. So I decided to draw it out first and see what were the critical dimensions. I finally figured it out and took a picture of my drawing. Once you decide on the major arm lengths, you have to space the ones at that ratio of 1 to 1.618 and then it works perfect. I used a little algebra in doing so.
Here is what I deduced: For an 8” arm you need 8” =X +1.618X or 8=2.618X Then X=3.055 which is the distance between the holes. That is what you drill the 4 hole patterns. Then for the short arm, which is parallel to the left arm, I made the tip in line with the other 2 tips and the ratio worked out at all widths up to 14”

I made it out of walnut scraps from a current project and finished it with semi gloss Deft. I had some dead time waiting for glue to dry. I used 3/16 pop rivets and stopped before the head broke off and locked the parts together. I cut off the pin and knocked it out of the rivet. To prevent chafing of the finish, I used 4- 1/2” dia. plastic washers made from the side of a milk jug

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

16 comments so far

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5112 days

#1 posted 06-30-2011 02:09 AM

Very nice. Did you see David’s blog entry on these?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25940 posts in 4120 days

#2 posted 06-30-2011 02:22 AM

Hi Wayne. Yes I did. It was one of the blogs that inspired me to try to make one. The other one was Stevimarin and his video! He cracks me up. One other one on there gave me the idea about the pop rivets. I would rather have brass pivots but these work just fine. Have a good night!!!!........Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View SgtSnafu's profile


960 posts in 4286 days

#3 posted 06-30-2011 03:29 AM

Well done – It really turned out great, the routed out grooves is a very nice touch…

Thanks for sharing

-- Scotty - aka... SgtSnafu - Randleman NC

View llwynog's profile


288 posts in 3594 days

#4 posted 06-30-2011 09:01 AM

The grooves are really an nice accent. They give the gauge a somewhat cast-iron look.

-- Fabrice - "On est bien bĂȘte mais on sent bien quand on se fait mal" - my grandfather

View peteg's profile


4436 posts in 3838 days

#5 posted 06-30-2011 10:09 AM

Nice job Jim, you have turned this into a bit more than just a burried in the dust benchtop tool.
That “golden rule” just keeps poping up, thing is when you see examples applied to some of the old masters furniture pieces, & go back even further than that into ancient architecture it is on the button as a general rule in most cases where it has been applied.
iMost interesting post Jim :))

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View EMVarona's profile


437 posts in 3850 days

#6 posted 06-30-2011 12:07 PM

Very nice. Thanks for sharing.

-- Ed "Real happiness is one that you share."

View flintbone's profile


213 posts in 4171 days

#7 posted 06-30-2011 12:47 PM

Good job Jim.

-- If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. - Albert Einstein

View mafe's profile


12930 posts in 4104 days

#8 posted 06-30-2011 03:05 PM

Beautiful work there.
Have fun,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Mark Whitsitt's profile

Mark Whitsitt

86 posts in 3994 days

#9 posted 06-30-2011 10:07 PM


I love the recesses in the arms of the gauge! Very sharp looking!

I posted a generalized equation for figuring out the dimensions on this gauge. For a gauge with 8” long arms, I get a short arm dimension of 4.944” and a distance from the center of the top pivot to the mid-arm pivots of 3.056”. Not too far off of what you found empirically! Nice!


-- -- "there are many good reasons to use old hand tools, but moral superiority is NOT one of them..."

View jack1's profile


2160 posts in 5042 days

#10 posted 06-30-2011 10:30 PM

nice work!

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

View Grumpy's profile


26811 posts in 4866 days

#11 posted 06-30-2011 11:05 PM

Nice one Jim.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2845 posts in 4698 days

#12 posted 07-01-2011 03:48 AM

Nice one Jim, be a handy gauge for those who stick with the Golden Rule.

-- Bob C, Australia. Your best teacher is your last mistake.

View rance's profile


4277 posts in 4175 days

#13 posted 07-01-2011 04:12 AM

You’ve taken it to the next level with those slots. Very nice touch. I like the milk jug washers too.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View sedcokid's profile


2738 posts in 4613 days

#14 posted 07-02-2011 02:41 AM

Jim, What a beautiul yet functional gauge.

Oh, and Jim thanks again for the staining tip! Like I told you it worked Fabulous!!

Thanks for sharing

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25940 posts in 4120 days

#15 posted 07-07-2011 03:22 AM

Hi Chuck. Thanks for the nice comment. I’m glad the staining came out okay. We have yet to go to Chuck Andrews’ place to see his blacksmith shop. it may be Sept for that when it is cooler…..Jim

Hey Mark, we were about right on. I had figured the arm to be 5 1/32 but it actually came out a bit shorter like the dimension you have for lining up with the other 2 arms. Thanks for the equation!!......Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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