When translating Andre Roubo’s “l’Art du menuisier,” we debated converting all of his dimensions to U.S. Customary Units or metric. After some discussion, we decided to leave them as-is for the same reason that we tried to maintain Roubo’s writing voice. This is a work of the 18th century, and so we sought to keep it there.
Translating French inches from that period isn’t difficult. Roubo uses the units of “thumbs” and “lines.” A thumb is just slightly more than our modern inch — 1.066″. The thumb is further divided into 12 “lines.” Each line is equivalent to .088″ today. The French foot is 12.792″.
If you wish to complete your “period rush” when reading “With all the Precision Possible: Roubo on Furniture,” you might like to have a ruler at hand that is marked in French inches and lines.
Brendan Bernhardt Gaffney of burnHeart has put his “Pied du Roi” rulers on sale today, and they are gorgeous and useful when reading Roubo.
If you have ever wanted one, don’t wait. Brendan says it will be awhile before he makes more.
— Christopher Schwarz
11 thoughts on “On Sale: Roubo ‘Pied du Roi’ Rulers”
It’s surprisingly easy to get the hang of visualizing these units in Imperial as you read along. 9 lines? ~ 3/4″. 6 lines? ~ 1/2″. Easy peasy.
yea, I think of it as geriatric metric.
Wow…..no Thanks….costs more than the book!
Well, it doesn’t cost more than the Deluxe version of the book…. if you get the Deluxe version, what’s another 60 bucks for a companion ruler to go with it?
That being said, while I did preorder the deluxe version of the book, I don’t think I can swing for that ruler. If ever do need one, I might be more inclined to try custom making one with a CNC machine or something like that.
Laser printer and a bit of glue?
I plan to make a cheesy sector with the French inch points because I want to make a couple of the things Roubo talks about. Granted, it will be nowhere near as cool Mr. Gaffney’s work.
The units/conversion details are up on my website, if you do go the DIY route! I say everyone should make their own rules, at least some of the time.
Very cool! Thank you for the reply and the information!
Very Nice, but I work on metric units only. Also I agree with Don Slaughter. I rather buy the book for that price.
When a ruler costs more than a book, someone has a problem.
I’m not likely a customer either, but it is simply a matter of scale (double entendre intended). Thousands of book copies will be flying on to shelves for a few months, followed by maybe dozens of rulers (all figures purely rectally rendered).
Nice mention of knowing the difference between Imperial units, which is dead, and US Customary Units which we in the US use. Someone’s been studying details. 👍
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