Instructables
Picture of Wearable Slide Rule Bangle Bracelet
DSCF6934.JPG
DSCF6931.JPG
Slide rules are simple devices that can do some very complex mathematical calculations. They put into use some of the theory you learned about logarithms in high-school algebra.

Hmmm, will they allow this for use on the Regents or SAT?

The Slide Rule Museum has a template to make a model slide rule. I took that and transformed it into a piece of functional jewelry.

This will be made entirely from paper/cardstock. Advanced crafters can apply the same concept to wood and wood veneers, machined metals, or formed plastics.

This project can be adapted to make a wood, metal, plastic or ceramic bangle/bracelet. Since the scale markings are intricate, it may require a laser cutter or other method to print directly on the material used.

Note that accuracy of the instrument is limited to the medium, construction method, and skill of the operator.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Do this at your desk...

Picture of Do this at your desk...
DSCF6934.JPG
DSCF6898.JPG
DSCF6905.JPG
This project illustrates creating a large bangle. The prototype just turned out that size. You can scale the PDF of the slide rule graphic to be smaller if you want a thinner bangle or sized for a man's bracelet.

To make this papercraft, you will only need to print out the slide rule template on cardstock and glue up the parts.

So at the office or home,  have ready:

printer to print PDF file

several sheets of cardstock, thin cardboard

straight paper trimmer

glue

Download the PDF to make a papercraft slide rule from the Slide Rule Museum site.

Look for the "Scales to make a Mannheim Slide Rule - K,A,B,L,C,D - Kinsman" and click on the image to access the PDF in your browser.

Print out on regular letter size paper. The graphic will also be our guide to construct the bangle.
bryanL1971 year ago
OMG, I used slide rules in the 1950's at High School in the UK at 13 years old.We got to 2 decimal points accuracy on them, and got used to using the 10 to the minus or 10 to the plus way of treating big or small numbers. Too many kids and Wall Street traders can't do this today.
This is just wonderful, I have a crazy, much younger friend who makes her own jewelry, usually oiut of cast off computer boartds, diodes, tubes etc. This will be my Christmas challenge for her! In response to caitlandsdad,(Aug 23) the ones pilots used are flat, not cylindical, but for the same reason, like elbow room!l.
caitlinsdad (author)  bryanL1971 year ago
Slide rules got people on the moon and back. Do have your friend take do an instructable on what she made. Bonus geek cred points.
I8mAll2 years ago
That is a lovely piece of work and useful too.

Slide rules are not used enough, they help us understand how the numbers relate and mitigate against the fallacy of accuracy. As a chemist I often used them for making estimates so I knew when to concentrate on a measurement.

You did miss a simple trick you know... Bring the 1 and 10 to meet one another it means you can calculate huge numbers and the exponent is just how many times you went around the wrist. That's why there used to be a lot of circular slide rules.

Well done
caitlinsdad (author)  I8mAll2 years ago
Thanks. I did no know that about circular slide rules. I thought pilots used them just for the size limitation in a cramped cockpit.
Mike732 years ago
I didn't get to read your instructable completely through just now, but consider yourself "bookmarked".
I stumbled over an old slide rule from my brother in law, but never knew how to use it properly. But as an engineer, I think something like this is awesome, considering a lot of construction has been done without calculators and just using slide rules. With this knowledge, I always wanted to know how this works and your instructable seems like a great opportunity to actually make on myself (maybe over the weekend, although my daughter's room is waiting for a makeover as she shifts from being a child into teenage-hood). I think my next instructable will be my daughter's room as we intend to maximize the available room size. Maybe I will use a slide rule to make all the calculations.
Phil B Mike732 years ago
I did a rather complete Instructable on using a slide rule. It is linked above at the right side of the page, or you can click on this orange hot linked word to see it. I am not able to tell from what you wrote if you have had some prior experience with a slide rule or not. A little time and practice is needed to use a slide rule well. If your printer is not completely precise and consistent in its paper feed rate, the paper slide rule you print out will be somewhat inaccurate. You may want to watch eBay for an acceptable deal on a vintage slide rule. I bought a nice Dietzgen rule there and described refurbishing missing pieces in this Instructable, which is also linked above at the right.
Mike73 Phil B2 years ago
Phil, I started reading your instructable because I don't have any experience with a slide rule. But still, being an engineer I was always amazed about all the stuff (bridges, procucts, high rises) that was constructed way before a calculator as we know it today was available. So far I could follow through real well and I really like your link to the online slide rule :-)
Thanks for pointing to your instructable.
Phil B Mike732 years ago
Mike, in the days before 1972 and the first scientific calculator engineering students would have made frequent heavy use of the log-log scales. Unfortunately, even though I once thought I wanted to be an engineer, I never learned more than a few basic things about logarithms. I wish I could have given better guidance on the use of those log-log scales. Still, many people have never seen a slide rule. You will be able to have some fun when you pull out a slide rule and work a problem without a calculator. Thank you for looking at my Instructable on using a slide rule. I wish I had more reasons to use one regularly. I wish you well with learning and practicing solving problems on a slide rule.
caitlinsdad (author)  Mike732 years ago
A giant slide rule makes a great room accessory. It is easy to print out the template and fool around with it. I don't know if I am lucky but basic electronic calculators became affordable by the time I needed them in college. I think a slide rule forces you to think more with your brain than just pushing a few buttons. I think you just gave me the idea to work on a giant lightup abacus sometime. Thanks.
Sounds great. I'm subscribed to you, so I'll definitely know when you've done the abacus :-)
A giant slide rule for the wall sounds great. I think I'll probably try one.