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Distinguish firm-joint and adjustable-nut calipers[edit]

Firm joint calipers have a pivot consisting of ripple washers sandwiched inside shallow domed bolt and nut. Adjustable nut calipers are opened and closed like a draughtsperson's dividers. Hedley (talk) 11:17, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Need to add skinfold caliper to article[edit]

There is also a caliper which is not used in Metalworking but in medicine and fitness/bodybuilding.

It is a device which measures the thickness of a fold of skin with its underlying layer of fat. It is also called a fat caliper or skinfold caliper By doing this at key locations, shown by research to be representative of the total amount of fat on the body, it is possible to estimate the total percent bodyfat of a person. —Preceding unsigned comment added by [[User:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]] ([[User talk:{{{1}}}|talk]] • [[Special:Contributions/{{{1}}}|contribs]])

Maybe because they're often inaccurate nobody wants to write this up206.248.133.183 (talk) 19:51, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

History of calipers?[edit]

Can anyone add anything about the history of the caliper? What is the earliest recorded date for the use of calipers? 18:05, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

Should we add a link to the Vernier scale?[edit]

Seems appropriate, since the picture mentions it and it's mentioned in the article.

--Xcmadman2004 08:13, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

How do digital calipers know their position?[edit]

They seem to be able to know their position even when powered up away from zero, so I presume they have some position code embedded on some surface. But there is nothing obvious. An alternative is that they integrate position like an optical mouse, but how would this work when they are off? A magnetic pattern is a possibility, but the care and feeding doesn't mention magnets. njh 01:11, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

They never actually turn "off", even if the display is blanked. So they just keep counting pulses back-and-forth from the last point you told them was "zero". Try it some time: slide the caliper out a ways, remove the battery, and re-insert it. They will treat the current point as zero.
Atlant 04:21, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
Ok, that makes sense. How is the position encoded? Optical, magnetic or magic? njh 07:32, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
Some manufacturers claim that they use a kind of electrical capacitor to get the reading. But how is it actually realized, what circuits are used? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 16:02, 4 March 2007 (UTC).
I would like to suggest adding a link explaining how a digital caliper work.
See the following for how the calipers work:
I opened one up today to verify the essentials of the board layout are as stated in the web link.
Danpeirce 06:14, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Here is a picture of the insides of one. I'm guessing the beam has a similar PCB with grouped vertical bars at a different pitch and/or different widths. This would create a vernier scale and the differential capacitance could be interpreted like a regular offset encoder. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by AnotherBrian (talkcontribs) 08:16, 6 May 2007 (UTC).

───────────────────────── [Re above from 2006 ("Try it some time: slide the caliper out a ways, remove the battery, and re-insert it. They will treat the current point as zero.")]:

That's not necessarily true. Try it with a Mitutoyo Absolute, it'll still know where it is. The design of the linear encoder is designed such that it is unique at and given point along the slide. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:05, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

What's the link or difference between a caliper and a (drafting) compass?[edit]

Both have links to navigation. Is it purely that a compass is used to create a circle, whereas a caliper is used to measure a distance betwee two points? 18:38, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

The original caliper was called a "caliber compass" at the time (see e.g. "Dictionarium britannicum" by Nathan Bailey (1736). It was a compass (ie having two speading legs in this case with angled points) that was used to measure the caliber (bore diameter) of a barrel with points outwards facing, and when the points faced inward was used to determine the diameter of canon ball or shot (note... only one device is needed to do this not two). A compass is any measuring/drafting device having two spreading legs... many variations of course, but siblings and close cousins of each other (family includes those things called dividers). (talk) 03:40, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Proportional Caliper?[edit]

I haven't been able to find any information on Wikipedia for proportional calipers. Here is a link to one: They are used in scaling objects. Example: when taking a small clay figure and scaling it up to a large statue a proportional caliper is used to ensure the distances between points on the large and small figure have the same proportions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:37, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Re hatnote removal: that's what hatnotes are for[edit]

Hi Alvesgaspar,

You removed the hatnotes from this article with comments "wrong place" and "Sorry, but that is not the subject of the article". But that's the whole point of a hatnote—to steer searchers who were looking for a different sense of the word toward the sense that they were seeking. The top of an article is not the wrong place for a hatnote linking to other senses; it's exactly the *right* place.

If your real reason for the edits was that you feel that "Caliper Corporation" shouldn't get "free advertising" of a sort by having its name in the hatnote here, you can circumvent the problem by changing the hatnote to {{otheruses}}, which would yield "For other uses, see Caliper (disambiguation)." This would have readers click through to a disambig page before seeing the Corp name.

I will go do that and solve both problems at once. (I.e., by both restoring the disambiguating capability of having a hatnote, and also avoiding the "ad"-like side-effect). — ¾-10 01:47, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

  • Yes, I think the {{otheruses}} solution, sending users to the disambiguation page is the best. -- Alvesgaspar (talk) 08:41, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Caliper vs. Calipers[edit]

The title and lede of this article need further consideration. The article uses "caliper" and "calipers" interchangeably, and that seems to also be general usage. Which word should properly be used for what -- what is the difference -- what is the history of this? - (talk) 14:53, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

The variants coexist in natural-language usage. Sometimes people's brains treat the word "calipers" like "scissors" or "pants" grammatically—that is, as something where the pluralness of the 2 parts (2 blades, 2 legs) is cognitively acknowledged on some level, but talking about an individual part (*scissor, *pant) is simply not done idiomatically. Other times "caliper" is treated like a regular noun, that is, it is treated cognitively as one object, not as a pair of legs. The interesting thing is, even one person can slip back and forth between both treatments. For example, I would never call one disc brake caliper "calipers" (and neither would any mechanic [as far as my regional knowledge knew when I wrote this —Ed.]). But when thinking about my dial caliper, my brain actually feels both senses of the word at various times. And you could use either sense when talking to a fellow machinist and s/he would not notice either way. The idea that a "proper" distinction does or must exist is a matter of one's philosophy of language. — ¾-10 23:48, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
That is an impressive explication! Can someone find some way to work some of it into the article?- (talk) 02:29, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
I should add that, at least in my region, the plurale tantum sense is kind of slippery and doesn't bear conscious analysis. Just as (at least in my region) we use only plural agreement with "scissors", that is, we say "scissors are" or "give me those scissors", we would say "hand me those calipers" or "those calipers are mine", but that cognitive feel would tend to evaporate if one was forced to think consciously about it. At least that's how it feels now that I am analyzing it. When I try to say "calipers is", my brain revolts and reverts to the regular noun sense. Oh well, I am too sleepy to ponder the possible edits tonight. Cheers, — ¾-10 03:22, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I agree about feeling both senses, yet personally I seem inclined to use "calipers" for the two-armed device (perhaps likening them to scissors) and "caliper" for the scaled device. Like you, I would never call a disc brake caliper "calipers". —D'Agosta ( TC ) 17:25, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Agree completely regarding the first observation. I had been thinking the same thing not long ago. "Calipers" is clearly an especially interesting case of plurale tantum because of this fluidly shifting variation. — ¾-10 01:50, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
I, living in Atlanta, Georgia, have only ever heard the plurale tantum form, even for brake calipers. I think that the English convention with other words tends to agree with this; tools with two identical symmetrical parts are always plural: scissors, dividers, grippers, pliers, bolt cutters, shears... The only exceptions I can think of right now are a vise and a compass, but in those cases the two ends are not perfectly symmetrical. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 23:22, 30 March 2011 (UTC).
You know, you're very right about scissors, dividers, grippers, pliers, bolt cutters, shears... just like [eye]glasses, pants, and nippers and dykes (electricians' tools). You could almost say that plurale tantum is the natural default, and maybe singular forms may occur only because of some degree of prescription that many people (such as myself and many other mid-Atlantic U.S. people with "brake caliper") grow up treating as natural because, for us, it is, in a way (guess you'd have to say that sometimes what began as prescription can become natural if widely adopted). I think this whole topic would make an interesting thesis project in linguistic science. Sigh. If anyone wants to give me a grant to study it, let me know ... ;-) — ¾-10 01:53, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

10-point divider[edit]

Equal space 10-point divider made of stainless steel with brass pivot pins. Manufactured by Theodore Alteneder & Sons, Philadelphia.

Does this have a place in the article? Anna Frodesiak (talk) 02:32, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Pachometer, Pachimeter, Pachymeter, Paquimeter[edit]

Just thought I'd note that the words Pachometer, Pachimeter, Pachymeter, Paquimeter apparently all refer to devices that measure thickness (from Greek pachos = thickness + meter). According to google and youtube, at least some people refer to calipers by one of those names. The spelling "Pachymetry" seems to have found a specialized use in eye medicine, relating to measurement of the thickness of the cornea: Corneal pachymetry, in this case not using calipers per se, of course. Gwideman (talk) 22:32, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

File:Vernier caliper.svg to appear as POTD[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:Vernier caliper.svg will be appearing as picture of the day on April 26, 2015. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2015-04-26. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page. Thanks! — Crisco 1492 (talk) 01:44, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

A diagram of vernier calipers, a device used to measure the distance between two opposite sides of an object, showing the individual parts:
  1. Outside large jaws: used to measure external diameter or width of an object
  2. Inside small jaws: used to measure internal diameter of an object
  3. Depth probe: used to measure depths of an object or a hole
  4. Main scale in centimeters, marked every millimeter
  5. Main scale in inches, marked every 1/16 of an inch
  6. Vernier scale gives interpolated measurements to 1/20 of a millimeter
  7. Vernier scale gives interpolated measurements to 1/128 of an inch
  8. Retainer: used to block movable part to allow the easy transferring of a measurement

Here the metric scale shows a distance of 2.475 cm between the jaw faces: the 0 mark on the vernier is between 2.4 and 2.5, and the 7.5 mark is the one best aligned with a mark on the main scale. Similarly, the inch scale shows (155/8)/16, or 125/128, of an inch.

Diagram: Joaquim Alves Gaspar, modified by ed g2s

Divider calipers[edit]

@Glrx: Regarding your edit: divider calipers indeed have nothing attached to them for marking; the scribing that is done is accomplished with one of the points of the calipers, scratching a mark into the metal, wood, etc. Please restore my edit. Thanks. — Gorthian (talk) 18:39, 3 November 2016 (UTC)`

You restored your own edit. There's no source for the statement, and the statement is strange. Why should one need to attach a marking implement when one already exists? You need consensus here to restore the edit. Glrx (talk) 23:47, 19 November 2016 (UTC)
@Glrx: I didn't restore it, I reworded my edit, trying to make it clearer. Obviously, I failed at that. :-/ I was trying to say that a drawing compass has a marking tool attached, and divider calipers do not. The legs of the divider calipers are the markers for that implement. The sharp points at the end can be used to scratch metal, wood, or stone. See this picture—no tool attached.
Obviously, scratching would not be helpful when you're making a mark on paper, which is why drawing compasses have a pencil, chalk, pen, or some other writing implement attached to them. See this one with a pen. Or this cheapo version with a pencil.
I also wanted to remove the {{main article}} template, as I think it's misleading. Nothing about divider calipers is discussed in Compass (drafting). Perhaps {{see also}} might work instead. — Gorthian (talk) 02:14, 20 November 2016 (UTC)
The marking method does not distinguish dividers from compasses. The standard metalworking divider is a compass. The common internal caliper is a compass. The common external caliper is a compass. See Merriam-Webster. See discussion far above.
A steel point is not a graphite pencil is not an interesting statement. The points will be appropriate for the material they are used on. Steel points can draw on Dykem or aluminum, so it is absurd to say they are not drawing compasses (suggesting that they cannot be used for drawing). Furthermore, neither dividers nor compasses need to make marks in all applications (e.g., measure against the scale in a map legend). Divider calipers are used much like your drawing compasses. The linked article does mention "divider" (linking back to the section at issue). There's mention of "scribe compasses" (but puts a pencil on it). The problem is the linked article is too intent on drawing on paper and ignores other media. Compasses can be used to draw on whiteboards, too. Pencils and steel points not allowed.
Be careful about pushing distinctions that are not appropriate or significant.
Glrx (talk) 06:04, 20 November 2016 (UTC)

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Lead picture and possible reorganization[edit]

I suggest replacing the lead picture with the picture of digital calipers, which are the most common thing people mean by calipers and the most commonly in use.

Also, the "types" section seems to be organized in historical order rather than order of importance. I think it would be better to order it by categories and importance:

Measuring calipers

Digital caliper
Dial caliper
Vernier caliper
Micrometer caliper

Non-measuring calipers

Inside caliper
Outside caliper
Divider caliper
Oddleg caliper

Ccrrccrr (talk) 19:59, 12 October 2018 (UTC)

Who told you these are non-measuring calipers? All of them are measuring. Please do not invent classifications without source.Staszek Lem (talk) 02:22, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
As for image, it should be a basic vernier caliper. "digital caliper is nothing but a vernier one with digital reading. Staszek Lem (talk) 02:22, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
I'm glad to see you agree that the lead image should be changed. Since your opinion is that there's little important difference between a vernier caliper and a digital caliper, we might want to wait for others' input to decide which to use. For reference, the guidance in WP:MOS is that it is good if "it provides a visual association for the topic, and allows readers to quickly assess if they have arrived at the right page."
I agree that my headings aren't very good--that's part of why I posted on the talk page rather than implementing them. Hopefully the discussion here will lead to better headings. I agree that if there are established names for the categories, we should use those for the headings. But I do want to note that I didn't invent anything in proposing those headings. The first definition of measure in the Oxford dictionary is to "Ascertain the size, amount, or degree of (something) by using an instrument or device marked in standard units." [[1]]. Of course there are other meanings of "measure" and there are also ways to use any calipers, even those that have no way to read measurements in standard units, along with other instruments to perform a measurement. But I don't mean to defend that proposal for headings vigorously, as I agree that they are not ideal.
I take it you agree with the proposal to change the order of types? Ccrrccrr (talk) 12:41, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
A possible heading for dial, digital, and vernier: "Slide calipers". That's the heading Starrett uses for that category [2], which also includes non-vernier direct reading calipers--like a vernier but with just one mark on the stationary part. Ideas for the other category title:
Other calipers. Works if we can't do any better.
Uncalibrated calipers. I don't like this--sounds too much like regular calipers that are fresh off the production line and haven't been checked.
Spring and Firm-Joint calipers. That's kind of a cop-out--listing two sub-categories, rather than naming the category, and I think we could find examples that aren't either.
Pivoting-joint calipers. This is descriptive, but it's not really the essence of category and I don't think the name is in general use.
Measurement transfer calipers. This is one application, but not the only application.
Any other ides?Ccrrccrr (talk) 14:59, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The reorg proposals border on OR. Anytime one invents vocabulary or struggles to find terms for a classification is a red flag. I'm OK with historical order; many "historical" calipers are still used. How are you going to check the diameter of an internal groove? The introduction can have a quick overview and a picture of a modern vernier to set a broader context. Glrx (talk) 17:02, 13 October 2018 (UTC)