Using a Divider Caliper
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Using a Divider Caliper

How use a divider caliper

If you watch a movie about pirates, then you probably have seen the navigator hunched over a map plotting the coarse with a divider caliper. A divider caliper transfers a measurement from one object, or point, to another. In the case of the pirate, he is using the divider caliper to measure the distance between points on a map.

Divider calipers have many uses in the modern world. They are used in metal shops to scribe arcs and circles on sheet metal. Doctors could use them to measure an EKG’s lines and the distances between peeks and valleys. Divider calipers are still used to measure points on a map.

Divider calipers have two legs that connect together at one end with a spring-like metal band. The band will have a handle on its top center. Each leg has a sharp point on its end. A threaded rod connects to one of the divider caliper’s legs. This rod penetrates the other rod. A nut on the rod keeps the legs at a set distance. They are made in several different sizes. Smaller divider calipers are used in laboratory and classroom settings and large ones are used in industrial settings. Some divider calipers have legs longer than twelve inches.

Divider calipers are simple devices to use. To gather the length of an object, place the point of the divider caliper’s leg with the threaded rod attached on one end of an object. Turn the adjustment screw until the point touches the other end of the object. Place the points on a measuring scale and read the measurement. In most cases this will be a line’s length or from the center of an arc to its edge.

To transfer a set measurement from a scale to an object: Hold the caliper’s handle. Place the pointed end of the caliper’s leg with the threaded rod attached to it on one end of a measuring scale and turn the adjustment nut until the other pointed end of the divider caliper rests on the desired measurement. Move the caliper from the measurement scale and place the legs of the divider caliper onto the object. Place one point on the objects starting point and walk the divider caliper across the object.

A divider caliper is used in many metal shops to scribe arcs and circles. In this case the divider caliper is set at the arc’s radius measurement. Then one point is placed on the arc, or circles, center point. Then use the other point to scratch a line.


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