Martel 4 Way Caliper


I have noticed that premiergauges.com has been advertising a lot lately. I am not impressed with their products. They are to expensive and the calipers are only single ended (rather than double ended).

If I was going to pay big bucks for a caliper than I would get a “Andre Martel Medium Caliper” from Woodworkers Emporium in Las Vegas. I have one. It was expensive and worth every penny.

The UNIQUE shape of the Martel calipers makes them REALLY useful for measuring the dept of things (plates, bowls and hollow forms) while they are STILL IN THE CHUCK. i.e. I don’t want to go thru the bottom. How much wood do I have left to play with? See pictures below.

The Marten calipers are DESIGNED to work while things are still in a chuck. See photos below. The calibers fit between the jaws on a 4 jaw scroll chuck.

One end of Marten calipers is used to measure the “depth”. The “other” end of the Martel calipers can be used to measure wall “thickness”. One caliper does both jobs. Well, you can actually use either end of the caliper to measure wall thickness. It depends on the shape of your work. Thus it is a 4 Way caliper because each leg of the caliper is a different shape.

I prefer double ended calipers that let me “see” the thickness. I don’t need a vernier scale or what ever. If my pinky finger fits in the doubled ended space then it is good.

I have laser dept gauges, etc. But, I have found that the Martel calipers are best for inexperienced people and students. They are simple. People can “see” the answer in their minds. End of argument.

Full disclosure: I took a class with Andre Martel at his studio in Canada in 2012. I enjoyed the class. But, I have not had talked to him in a few years.

Martel Caliper Sizes

Andre Martel sells Small (6″-12″), Medium (10″-20″) and Large (14″ – 28″) calipers. I think better names would be small, large and huge! The Medium ones are pretty big. See photos below.

I have the Medium size. It is the only size I need. You can measure the dept of small things with medium size calipers.

Cost

A Medium Martel; Caliper is $88. Plus $18 of shipping from Las Vagas NV to my studio in Poughkeepsie NY. All prices on 4/2020.

You can get a cheap set of calipers at Harbor Freight for $10 or less. Thus, the Martel calipers are really expensive. However, I kind of understand why. It looks to ME that when you cut the Martel calipers out of a sheet of steel you do not get a lot of them. You end up with a lot of waste, due to the shape. The calipers are designed to be really useful rather than designed for manufacture. This is the way to go for me. I rather have something that is REALLY useful. If it costs more to manufacture and ship then so be it. The high shipping cost is because the calipers are big and flat.

You can purchase the calipers directly from Andre Martel in Canada or from Woodworkers Emporium in Las Vegas. The price is the same. Paying Woodworkers Emporium and shipping from Vegas is easier.

Examples

Here are some photos showing the Medium Marten Caliper in use, in my studio.


Andre Martel

Andre Martel is a great woodturner. He is well known for making lamp shades with his hook tool.

There is a good SHORT video of Andre using his hook tool and caliber on YouTube. He uses the calibers at 1:35 into the video.