Lee Valley Tools Woodworking Newsletter
Vol. 3, Issue 2
November 2008
From the Archive

Excerpt from Popular Mechanics Shop Notes, Volume 21, 1925.

Measuring Irregular Objects

Accurate measurements of irregular objects can be made quickly and easily with the aid of photography. The illustration shows the method of doing this, and the inserts show some of the work.

The sensitized paper is put in a printing frame and this is laid face up on a table. The object is then placed on the paper and a cardboard tube of suitable diameter to fit within the frame is set up as indicated. The printing is done by holding an electric lamp at the other end of the tube for about 30 seconds. Care must be taken to hold the lamp over the center of the tube so that the rays striking the paper will be nearly vertical.
Measuring irregular objects
Printing Outline of Irregular Objects on
Sensitized Paper to Aid in Measuring Them.
  The inside of the tube should be painted dull black to prevent reflection. After exposure, the paper is developed in the usual way and an accurate outline of the object will show up on the prints. By this method gear wheel teeth, keys, etc., can be measured much more quickly than by using a scale and calipers. When very accurate measurements are required, as is the case with small clock gears, etc., film should be used instead of paper and the resulting negative should then be enlarged.  
  Editor's Note: This is a reprint of an article published in 1925. It describes what was recommended in accordance with the knowledge and practices of the day. While reading it, please consider this fact.  
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