My guess is that there isn’t much that we wouldn’t do for any of our children and particularly so these days when the latest bank not on the High Street (that’s the Bank of Mum & Dad) takes such a hammering, mainly due to the vastly inflated price of property. We’re no exception, but any parent (especially dads who possess even the tiniest shed at the bottom of the garden) starts to quiver when ‘the call’ arrives, usually these days by email.

You know how it goes.

“Daaaaaaad” (with the appropriate high/low inflections)...”being such a wonderful dad and having such a great workshop and being able to make really cool stuff and everything, I wonder if it’s possible, you know, could you possibly make me a….”

Such a call was received the other day from my daughter Megan, where the title of the email was ‘A Strange Request’.

To my surprise, I initially said “No” as the item in question was more suitable to be made in an engineering workshop as it was a confection of stainless steel and cast aluminium with a hefty price tag of around £1500. However, over the course of the inevitable email train, my feeble powers of resistance failed miserably (it’s been compared favourably with the breaking strain of a Kit Kat) and we eventually agreed that... “Yes, the WoD (Workshop of Dad) could provide and knock something together.”

The following images show what I made for her. The device is basically two oddments of mahogany 20mm thick which are precisely hinged in the middle with a couple of good quality brass butt hinges. Using some fairly chunky stainless steel screws (left over from the greenhouse build), I fixed part of a protractor on one side, with the zero point exactly on the hinge centre line and on the other, a couple of our 150mm metric stainless steel rules.

Down the centre of each piece of mahogany, I routed out a 19mm stopped groove and screwed in a couple of gash bits of T-track (then coloured blue) onto which fitted some further bits of mahogany which are designed to slide up and down. The 90° angle was made using a pair of old steel brackets from an oddments box and each sliding shoe has a steel indicator inset into one end so that a precise measurement can be taken from the rulers.

This device is clearly designed to measure an angle and distances...but on what, and what is its correct name?

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