Name that crazy wooden ruler thingy!
April 7, 2014 6:11 PM   Subscribe

What is this thing?

My cousin bought it an an auction and he's stymied.
posted by padraigin to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's a protractor, and an inclinometer.
posted by pompomtom at 6:19 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Can you tell me how it's used?
posted by padraigin at 6:23 PM on April 7, 2014

I think put together and with the slit, they're a bevel/miter gauge for joinery, but I admit I'm guessing.
posted by gingerest at 6:30 PM on April 7, 2014

I presume you line up the hinged arm to the angle you want to measure. You can then read the angle on the curved edge and the rise:run on the vertical bar and the arm.

Alternatively, you set a desired angle by swinging the arm appropriately, holding it still with the screw, and then use the arm and the base as a guide (for carpentry I'd guess...).
posted by pompomtom at 6:39 PM on April 7, 2014

On first glance it is apparently missing some parts, the mechanism at the upper left doesn't engage anything and the slot seems useless without something else. It may have at one point been a protractor but protractors have a very specific pivot point which is lacking in this assembly.

If you only need the angle then the scale on the right side is superfluous. I worked construction and this resembles nothing so much as a framing square.

Perhaps someone with "CSI" skills can enhance the logo at the bottom - all I can see is "Chicago".
posted by vapidave at 6:46 PM on April 7, 2014

Pompomtom has it; it's a protractor and an inclined plane.

Googling "inclined plane with protractor" will get you a bazillion hits, like this one, selling them as equipment for high school physics classrooms. Here's video of someone using the apparatus during an experiment, and you can google "inclined plane problems" for lots of homework along these lines. Inclined planes are a staple of physics lessons about vectors and motion and forces acting in two directions.
posted by ceribus peribus at 6:52 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

And that handle on the end may or may not hold a pulley (can't quite tell from the picture), for even more physics phun.
posted by ceribus peribus at 6:54 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Whatisthisthing subreddit is excellent for stuff like this... but you probably know this already.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 3:54 PM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

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