It often becomes necessary to find the thickness of material so thin, or inconvenient to measure, that a rule or other measuring device will not serve the purpose. A simple, fairly accurate, and easily made apparatus of the micrometer form may be constructed as shown by the accompanying sketch. Secure a common iron or brass bolt about 1/4-in. in diameter and about 2-1/2 in. long, with as fine a thread as possible, and the thread cut to within a short distance of the head of the bolt. The head of the bolts should have a slot cut for the use of a screwdriver. Clamp together two blocks of wood with square corners which are about 1 in. wide, 3/4 in. thick and 2-1/2 in. long and fasten together with small pieces nailed across the ends. The width of the blocks will then be about 2 in. Bore a 1/4-in. hole through the center of the blocks in the 2 in. direction. Remove the clamp and set the nut into one of the blocks, so that the hole will be continuous with the hole in the wood. Cut out a piece from the block combination, leaving it shaped like a bench, and glue the bottoms of the legs to a piece of thin board about 2-1/2 in. square for a support.

Solder one end of a stiff wire that is about 2 in. long to the head of the bolt at right angles to the shaft, and fix a disc of heavy pasteboard with a radius equal to the length of the wire, and with its circumference graduated into equal spaces, to serve in measuring revolutions of the end of the wire, to the top of the bench. Put the bolt in the hole, screwing it through the nut, and the construction is complete. The base is improved for the measuring work by fastening a small piece of wood on the board between the legs of the bench. A small piece of metal is glued on this piece of wood at the point where the bolt meets it.

Home Made Micrometer 242

Find the number of threads of the screw to the inch by placing the bolt on a measuring rule, and counting the threads in an inch of its length. The bolt in making one revolution will descend a distance equal to the distance between the threads.

The device is used by placing the object whose thickness is to be measured on the base under the bolt, and screwing the bolt down until its end just touches the object, then removing the object, and screwing the bolt down until its end just touches the base, carefully noting while doing so the distance that the end of the wire moves over the scale. The part of a rotation of the bolt, or the number of rotations with any additional parts of a rotation added, divided by the number of threads to the inch, will be the thickness of the object. Quite accurate measurements may be made with this instrument, says the Scientific American, and in the absence of the expensive micrometer, it serves a very useful purpose.