Misc. Shop Stuff #71: The No 1 Stanley Odd-Jobs

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Blog entry by Smitty_Cabinetshop posted 01-25-2019 06:59 PM 1685 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 70: Another Simple Cabinet Part 71 of Misc. Shop Stuff series Part 72: Attaining 100% »

Let’s explore the No. 1 Stanley Odd-Jobs! There are at least three ‘types’ out there, mostly differentiated by scribe type (earliest ones could hold a pencil) and presence of various patent dates. The Stanley version first appeared in the late 1880s (‘87 or ‘88, per the inter webs) and the tool was ultimately discontinued in 1935. An interesting article on the earliest iterations of the tool can be found here. Here is another article with pics of the tool is use. The Odd-Jobs also appeared on page 35 of Stanley’s 1922 copy of Catalogue No. 34:

And courtesy of Stan Faulin, here is a cover scan from the tool’s instruction sheet:

Here’s my version of the tool, one of the later types (no Pat’d dates, identical to the Catalogue illustration above) with Level bubble visible that makes the tool capable of checking horizontal and vertical Level (or plumb).

Blurry pic, but there’s flaking nickel coating that is keeping the face of the tool from being flat and smooth.

A few swipes ‘back and forth’ over 400 grit paper (on a flat surface) addressed that issue in short order. Looks better, too.

What does the Odd-Jobs do besides serve as a level, you ask? It was advertised as 10 Tools in One… I can’t vouch for that (yet), but here are a few. Starting with Square (honorable mention: the Scribe Tool):

Reinsert that scribe tool into the Odd-Jobs, add a pencil, and you’ve got a Mortising Gauge:

Another feature of the Scribe Tool is a Screwdriver; it is tailored to be used for extending a point at the top of the Odd-Jobs, creating a Beam Compass:

The tool is a Depth Gauge:

And a Mitre Square, too.

And finally, the Odd-Jobs can check for Inside Square on boxes, frames, drawers, etc.

Any Stanley 1” wide carpenter’s rule will fit, included this longer, brass-edge variety, should it be preferred.

Thanks for looking!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

7 comments so far

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4772 days

#1 posted 01-25-2019 07:15 PM

Such a cool tool. I have one without the scribe and the ruler. I’m thinking of making a scribe.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View theoldfart's profile


11218 posts in 3126 days

#2 posted 01-25-2019 07:16 PM

OK, that’s pretty cool and thanks for posting this Smitty.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View HokieKen's profile


12763 posts in 1813 days

#3 posted 01-25-2019 07:32 PM

Very cool Smitty! I was intrigued some time back by the Woodpecker’s version which led me to learning about the old Stanley original. Have been watching Ebay on and off for one for a couple of years but never found one that suited me at a price that suited me. It’s definitely a unique piece of tool history!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View poopiekat's profile


4659 posts in 4409 days

#4 posted 01-26-2019 12:25 AM

I have never seen one of these in person, Smitty! What does the width of the rule have to be to fit this properly? Now I really want to add one to my toolbox.

Hey, I resisted the temptation to make a reference to James Bond’s nemesis, but now the Goldfinger theme is stuck in my head.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16539 posts in 3293 days

#5 posted 01-26-2019 02:57 PM

Thanks for all the comments guys. For PK, any Stanley 1” wide carpenter’s rule will fit.

Not a bunch of these on the ‘bay, and the ones that are seem to have one problem or another.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View Mosquito's profile


10133 posts in 2967 days

#6 posted 01-26-2019 03:20 PM

That thing is really cool Smitty, thanks for sharing :)

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View AnthonyReed's profile


10136 posts in 3115 days

#7 posted 01-31-2019 05:08 AM

You have so many obscure tools, love to see them. It’s fantastic that you put them to task. Thank you Smitty.

-- ~Tony

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