Center finder jig - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 03-03-2013, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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Center finder jig

I got sick of trying to measure to find the center of a piece of stock, so I made a jig to mark the center of any piece of wood. Here is how I did it:

- Take a short piece of scrap. I used a piece about 4" long.
- Drill a hole in it, using a fence and another scrap as a sacrificial landing zone.
- Go far enough into the 2nd piece that a pin put through the top one will also go into the lower piece securely.
- The hole in the sacrificial piece becomes the reference.
- Move the sacrificial piece a little distance from the bit, still against the fence. I moved mine about 1 1/2".
- Put a pin throught the top piece into the hole in the sacrificial piece.
- Hold it against the fence and drill the next hole.
- Move it one more time, this time putting the through the 2nd hole.
- Drill the 3rd hole. Now they are the same distance apart.
- Put pins in the two outer holes, and a nail in the center hole.
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Last edited by Chris Curl; 03-28-2013 at 07:26 AM. Reason: typos
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post #2 of 24 Old 03-27-2013, 11:07 PM
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Very cool
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post #3 of 24 Old 03-28-2013, 07:20 AM
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That is pretty cool. I have a different method I use this:
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1. Take a measurement and then divide by two
2. A calculator may be used LOL

Just kidding.

Wood magazine has a nice self centering mortising jig in the last issue. I have been using a variant of it for the last few weeks.

Really simple and very accurate.
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post #4 of 24 Old 03-28-2013, 07:43 AM
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Very easy, neat trick. I should have thunk of that. I'll have one this afternoon.

The worst thing you can do to a piece of wood is
....get blood on it.

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post #5 of 24 Old 03-28-2013, 08:19 AM
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Did something similar way back when - instead of nails, drill three pilot holes spaced equally on a piece of stock. On the two outer ones screw a small ball bearing with a washer under it to allow free wheeling. Drill the center hole for a snug fit for a pencil or scribe. Distance between bearings depends on how wide a stock you want to scribe.

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post #6 of 24 Old 03-28-2013, 09:38 AM
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I like the build on using bearings in lieu of nails.

I just use a centre finding rule. I have the 12in and 24in versions. I use the 12in a lot.

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/200...Stainless.aspx
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post #7 of 24 Old 03-28-2013, 09:53 AM
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I like it. Very simple to make and use. Thanks for sharing. I'm going to make one.
Tom
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post #8 of 24 Old 03-28-2013, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alchymist View Post
Did something similar way back when - instead of nails, drill three pilot holes spaced equally on a piece of stock. On the two outer ones screw a small ball bearing with a washer under it to allow free wheeling. Drill the center hole for a snug fit for a pencil or scribe. Distance between bearings depends on how wide a stock you want to scribe.
+1.





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post #9 of 24 Old 03-28-2013, 10:37 AM
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Any rule will work to find the center or to make any number of even divisions, just lay it diagonally across the material and select appropriate marks on the rule. For example to find center of 1 5/8" board line up 1" and 3" with edges, 2" mark will be center.

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post #10 of 24 Old 03-28-2013, 02:03 PM
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With your jig, I would use it as a scratch marker. Also I would do it twice with the jig in the opposite angular direction. (Think "slash" and "back slash".) The exact center will be between the two scratches.

Use the right tool for the job.

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post #11 of 24 Old 03-28-2013, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrich View Post
With your jig, I would use it as a scratch marker. Also I would do it twice with the jig in the opposite angular direction. (Think "slash" and "back slash".) The exact center will be between the two scratches.
The way it is designed, it had BETTER freaking be exactly in the middle the first time. If not, then the pin in the middle is not the same distance from the outer pins, and it needs to be thrown in the burn pile.
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post #12 of 24 Old 03-29-2013, 09:44 AM
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It is dead center and a simple little jig for a quick center find with no math involved.

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post #13 of 24 Old 03-29-2013, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alchymist View Post
Did something similar way back when - instead of nails, drill three pilot holes spaced equally on a piece of stock. On the two outer ones screw a small ball bearing with a washer under it to allow free wheeling. Drill the center hole for a snug fit for a pencil or scribe. Distance between bearings depends on how wide a stock you want to scribe.
while that would definately be good for scribing a center line, it is more work than i'd rather put into a jig like this though, unless i find myself needing to scribe center lines alot.
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post #14 of 24 Old 03-29-2013, 01:26 PM
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Those are so much fun to make I made 3 . A 6 incher , an 8 and a 12 .

Sure, the 12 incher will work on narrow stock if the stock is long enough . To be assured the holes were correct size I bored ( swaged ) them with a 6d nail with the point flare ground off and using the same nails for pins - nice fit for glue . After the punch fell out a couple of times it may get a tether of some sort .
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post #15 of 24 Old 03-30-2013, 01:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankC
Any rule will work to find the center or to make any number of even divisions, just lay it diagonally across the material and select appropriate marks on the rule. For example to find center of 1 5/8" board line up 1" and 3" with edges, 2" mark will be center.
This is what I do too. I also have a center finder but the center punch that marks the center makes too big of a mark. It also doesn't work on short boards.

Al

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post #16 of 24 Old 03-30-2013, 01:25 AM
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Good idea Chris. I will do almost any thing to keep from doing math.

Al

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post #17 of 24 Old 03-30-2013, 07:52 AM
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Good job CC.
I use something similar that's a 3/8 by one aluminum plate with spring pins outside and a carbide scribe in the middle for scribing down the center of a knife blank or center punching a shotgun rib for a bead.Screwing around with rulers and calipers is just goofy when it takes all of 15 minutes to make one of these rigs.
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post #18 of 24 Old 03-30-2013, 08:23 AM
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Nicely done. Looks like it would be a handy little unit in the shop. Thanks for sharing this one.

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post #19 of 24 Old 04-06-2013, 03:22 AM
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using the same way you can also make marker for mortise and tenon,the methid is same.you can make it out from scrap wood in your workshop check
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post #20 of 24 Old 03-27-2016, 11:43 PM
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Hey Chris,

This is EXACTLY what I been looking for -- an easy and quick method of finding the center of a piece of wood. Since I need to find the center of several blocks of wood every day -- your method is so simple. It is the kind of method that you want to say "Why didn't I think of that." Thanks for sharing.

Mike
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