Improved Pattern Dividers
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A much-needed update to one of the essential tools for woodworkers and architects. Crucible Improved Pattern Dividers adjust so you have exactly the stiffness you need, and they will never wear out. Simply and precisely made. A joy to hold and use.
Dividers are as old as civilization and have been used for thousands of years to design and construct the world around us. And yet, depending on how it is made, this essential tool suffers from some flaws.
Typical blacksmith-made dividers use a hinge to join the two legs. Most have several leaves of metal from each leg that are stacked like a layer cake. Then those leaves are pierced by a round pin that is peened to keep the leaves bunched tightly together. The pin allows the dividers to keep its setting as you work. If the pin is too tight you cannot pry the legs apart. If it is too loose the dividers will not keep their setting.
Good blacksmith dividers are tight but not too tight. But after years of use, the leaves wear and loosen to the point where you need to re-peen the pin to tighten things up again. It’s not a terribly difficult process, but it is inconvenient. And some people overdo things and damage the leaves.
The second most common type of traditional dividers are called “wing dividers.” They feature two legs and a third bit, called the wing, that joins the two legs. A thumbscrew locks the setting of the dividers. Adjusting them is a two-handed and sometimes awkward hand dance.
Modern dividers are spring-loaded where the two legs meet at the top. A threaded screw is fastened to one leg and passes through the other. A spinwheel makes precise adjustments – until the spring wears out. Then the dividers will adjust only in a small range.
Crucible Improved Pattern Dividers are infinitely (and easily) adjustable and are designed to never wear out. In essence, they are built like blacksmith-made dividers. But instead of a pin you need to peen, we’ve designed a mechanism that allows you to adjust the friction between the legs with a quick turn of a special screwdriver (the bit is included with the tool).
Thanks to the mechanism, you can have dividers that adjust quickly or are nearly locked down, depending on your preference. And if the mechanism becomes loose due to use, it takes only a few seconds to tighten them up as much as you like.
The overall design is based on simple historical examples from the early part of the 20th century that are unadorned, sleek and have a definite presence in your hand. They are made from oil-hardened steel from scratch in our Indiana workshop. Each pair is hand finished.
Crucible Improved Pattern Dividers are 6" long, weigh 3-1/2 ounces and ship with a common No. 10 spanner bit to adjust them – the bit will fit in any typical bit holder.
You can download the instruction sheet for the dividers via this link.
These dividers come unsharpened so you can choose the type of point you would like. This short video explains how.
Read More About the Dividers