Bowl Thickness Calipers for woodturning?

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Andy's Shed

Established Member
13 Aug 2022
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I've been looking on the Internet for some bowl calipers, the figure of 8 kind, larger rather than small and there doesn't seem to be a lot of choice. I saw some on Amazon priced around £20, but I'm not totally sold on them.

Can anyone recommend a reasonable quality brand that I should take a look at, not plastic and preferably not overly expensive?
Are you sure you need and will use them? I don't recall any demonstrators using calipers and I find fingers do a good job. I bought some when I started out but don't recall when I last used or even saw them. I guess they are useful for repeat work or work to defined dimensions so maybe it depends what you make.
Thanks. I generally use my fingers as suggested above, but couldn't with my last bowl as it was a bit too big.
I've got a figure of eight pair that i THINK I got from Axminster. They are OK. I've seen the Simon hope ones, that actually show the thickness on a scale. They're on my tool-porn list, but haven't yet reached spend justification level. I know its only a matter of time 😕
I did see the Simon Hope calipers, but I think I'd rather go for the other type. I'll check out Axminster. Thanks 👍
While I can't argue that using a finger and thumb to gauge the wall thickness of a bowl works in many instances, it does have its limitations when deeper pieces are involved.

Add to that the simple fact that the 'risky' bit of bowl hollowing tends to happen when working down near the base (beyond the physical limit of the finger and thumb technique) and,suddenly you find you've produced a large unwanted serviette ring !

I personally favour the Veritas thickness calipers for 2 reasons: firstly they cope well with deeper hollow forms and secondly, they are thin enough to fit into the gap between the chuck jaws enabling accurate thickness measurements to be taken all the way down to the bowl foot/recess.

On the downside, they are a tad expensive !
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