Duplicate a spindle by tracing its shadow
I recently tried unsuccessfully to duplicate a small spindle from an antique toy chair. Because of its small size, measuring the spindle with dividers and calipers just wasn't accurate enough.
To make an accurate pattern, I taped the spindle to one side of a piece of glass and taped some tracing paper to the other side. By shining a lamp on the spindle, I was able to trace the outline of its shadow on the tracing paper. Darkening the room makes the shadow easier to see.
—Jeff Gaynor, Rootstown, Ohio