Paleo-Tech Student Spreading Caliper

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After years of requests, the Student Spreading Caliper arrives.  After trial and error experimenting with alternate designs, the simplest solution proved the most viable.  This caliper is identical in form and function to other spreading caliper, but much cheaper.  To reduce cost from machining and assembly time, the body and scale is CNC machined from stainless steel then riveted together.  No thumb screw lock was added either.  The main body and scale are thin, but the stainless steel used is resilient to bending, drops, and general abuse.  If arms ever become bent, it is very easy to return them to flat.  If they seem damaged beyond the ability for you to repair, send them to me and I will fix it for free if at all possible.
  • Body and scale machined from 1.5mm thick 316 Stainless Steel for durability and savings
  • Index made of machined naval brass
  • Joints secured by aluminum rivets
  • Scales laser etched in same increments as the standard spreading caliper with interpolation to .5mm accuracy possible
  • Very durable and will last years of abuse in the lab
  • Gallery pictures show the normal spreading caliper to show differences between models
  • Lifetime repair warranty for all but catastrophic damage
  • Spreading Caliper Case DOES NOT fit the Student Spreading Caliper

A note about this Student Spreading Caliper.

This caliper is the offered after dozens of request over more than a decade for a cheap alternative to my and other company's more expensive spreading calipers.  As such, certain concessions needed to be made in design and assembly in order to bring the price down to where it would meet your needs.  I will detail those now.


1.  The caliper is thin and will bend if not treated properly.  That said, it is constructed of very resilient stainless steel and if taken care of, will never bend out of shape from normal use.  However, if it is treated like the plastic protractor that you used in middle school, it will bend.  However, it is very easy to bend back into shape and shouldn't require being sent back for repairs in most cases.  Treat it like a precision measuring instrument and there will not be an issue.


2.  All caliper joints are fixed using standard hardware store rivets.  This is more of a cosmetic issue than anything else, but I bring it up so that you understand why I have used these.  In order to keep the caliper below $100, this is one of the concessions I had to make.  These rivets save time, are very cheap, and are durable (your home's gutters use these).  To use screws and bolts for this application would increase the time spent in production and material cost by about 25%.  This does make potential repairs quick and user friendly however as you can purchase these rivets at any hardware store.


3.  The brass index may become misaligned during measurement (see photos below).  To read accurately, the brass index should be perpendicular to the scale.  Again, in order to bring the price below $100, I have used a single rivet point when affixing this component.  It may, depending on the particular caliper in question, not maintain perpendicularity with the scale and thus cause an error of .5mm but less than 1mm.  If you wish to be dead on in your reading, you may need to move the cursor manually so that it is perpendicular to the scale.  With repeated use, you will see that this is not an issue.  Particularly in student settings where "eyeballing" the reading is sufficient, as again, you will not be more than 1mm away from the true reading.  


**One final note about accuracy.  Every Student Spreading Caliper is calibrated and checked in the same method as the standard Spreading Calipers.  When used and treated properly, they will measure identical to my spreaders or those of any other company.  My goal has been to preserve the experience of using "research grade" spreading calipers without the "research grade" price.