Toolmaking
September 1, 2007
Entry Details
 

# 542
Jim Trainor
Charlottetown, PE
Dimensions (inches):  
  Width:   34
  Height:   5 1/2
  Depth:   12
Materials:   Birch for adjustable slides and feet
Beech for lock mechanism
Pine wing nuts
1/4 " nuts and bolts

I needed a measuring tool to accurately measure stair treads when finishing my basement. Being at a loss with the rental stores, i made my own. It is adjustable from 34" to almost 5'. The end feet of the tool swivel to allow for crooked walls, etc.  The locking mechanism allows quick work of precisely setting the tool on the tread then simply transfer the tool to the stock to be cut, mark the lines, and cut.
 

The lock simply compresses the bottom runner with the top runner. Bottom runner has a 3/4 dado with the top being 3/4 stock that slides in it. Bottom runner is 1 3/8 wide X 31. Top is 3/4 X 28.
 

The "feet" are 12" long-the typical size of a stair tread. A 1/4 " bolt is epoxied into the bottom side and the wingnut has a nut countersunk and epoxied into it. As mentioned before, not all stairs are perfectly 90 degrees to the wall so this allows for any imperfections.
 

Here's the tool in action. Extend both slides fully towards the wall, tighten the lock, tighten both ends to the slides, pick it up and transfer to the tread stock to be cut.
 

Judges Comments
CS : Very very clever idea. I would never have dreamed this up. Excellent work.
Clarence : Another old tool reborn. Well done.

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