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Lid Master Pottery Calipers Reviewed

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


The Lid Master calipers, developed by a potter for use in pottery.

The Lid Master calipers, developed by a potter for use in pottery.

Photo © 2009 Beth E Peterson

The Bottom Line

This is an excellent tool for measuring pottery galleries on lids and pots. Well worth getting if you do many lidded jars, fitted saucers, or other forms that require measurements between thrown pieces.


  • Easy of use --- no need to stop, measure, adjust, measure again, then use.
  • Bright red plastic makes them easy to find even in slurry.


  • May have some trouble tightening wingnut enough.


  • Available in two sizes, one which measures openings up to eleven inches wide and one that measures up to twenty inches wide.
  • Make one measurement for an opening, and you have its opposite automatically.
  • Manufactured in bright, durable plastic that will not rust, corrode, rot, or swell.

Guide Review - Lid Master Pottery Calipers Reviewed

I have used a number of wooden and metal calipers when trowing lids and other forms that required thrown pieces fit together. Using the Lid Master has taken a great deal of the work out of using calipers.

Using calipers meant a number of steps had to be taken: throwing the first piece, measuring it with calipers, marking the measurement down with pencil on a convenient surface, adjusting the calipers to read in the opposite direction, fitting the calipers to the measurement, tightening the wingnut to keep the caliper accurate, and then throwing the next piece to fit. With the Lid Master, you can throw the first piece, measure it with the Lid Master, turn the Lid Master over, and you are immediately ready to throw the next piece to fit.

I also like the bright red of the plastic. I do not have nearly as much trouble keeping track of the Lid Master as I do my metal calipers. Even covered with slurry and throwing mess, the red makes them easy to find at a glance.

The design is a bit thicker across than metal or wooden calipers, yet I have not found that to be a major problem. I believe that this is due to the translucent nature of the plastic used, which allows me to see the shape I am moving toward through the material of the caliper itself.

I do find that I must be careful to tighten the wingnut enough so that the caliper doesn't slip. However, since this is a problem I have with other calipers, I suspect the fault is more with me and my aging fingers rather than with the tool.

All in all, the Lid Master caliper is a brilliantly conceived tool that does its job with complete effectiveness and efficiency.

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