Easy Center Finders

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Project by kiefer posted 01-22-2015 10:04 PM 13468 views 61 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Always wanted to make one but never took the time so this morning while I was waiting for a glue up to dry I made two .
I took a few pictures along the way and thought I share them .

I used 3/8” Baltic birch plywood for this because it is nice and stable .
Here is the simple layout two perpendicular lines and a part circle with a french curve finish to the 1” hole that will be the first to drill.

A piece of 3/4” MDF clamped to the drill press table and tight to the fence and the centre finder hole mark aligned .

The 1” hole drilled through the work piece and almost through the MDF .

The mdf shifted over and a 1” dowel wrapped with some packing tape to fit tight .
The work piece is aligned with the mark for the metal dowel ( cut of 1/4” carrige bolt which is a tight fit )the mdf piece is reclamped to the table and the two holes for the dowel are drilled ,first one from the top and the second after flipping the work piece and indexing it on the dowel again ,makes for nice and accurate placement of the holes

Next I cut along the centreline and just removed the line which I thought would give me an accurate location when marking out for centre .

Next a little cutting on the band saw and sanding on the disc sander to make everything smooth .
I also cut an seven degree angle on the outside which is a common angle that will come in handy for wedgesETC . this can alsobe used as a 90 DEG. square in addition to a centre finder.
I looked around the shop for a very accurate round object and thought the alignment disc that I use to align my table saw is likely the most accurate I have and used it to prove out both centre finders by measuring from the edge of the centre finder to the edge of the 5/8” arbor hole and the distance is 5/16” so I guess this is right on and luck was with me .Woks on squares and rectangles also just engage the pins on one corner and and aline the opposit corner with the edge then do the same on the next corner and you have the centre .
In the last picture I used it as a 90 DEG. square and derw the lines to quarter the board and also drew a seven degree line along the top of the board .
All in all a very quick and useful tool and no reason to use a ruler for these markings .

Thanks looking in .


-- Kiefer

26 comments so far

View tyvekboy's profile


2092 posts in 3980 days

#1 posted 01-22-2015 10:24 PM

Very Interesting. New Favorite.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View Woodknack's profile


13541 posts in 3347 days

#2 posted 01-22-2015 10:28 PM

Nice looking center finder. I might have to copy it if you don’t mind.

-- Rick M,

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4301 days

#3 posted 01-22-2015 10:45 PM

I love this one Klaus. I just hope I can measure accurately enough to make one. Thanks for posting it!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View MontanaBob's profile


873 posts in 3650 days

#4 posted 01-22-2015 11:15 PM

Great idea… I’ll have to make one of those….

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 3375 days

#5 posted 01-22-2015 11:18 PM

Nice tool/jig for the shop.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3259 days

#6 posted 01-22-2015 11:35 PM

Nice jig. Thanks for the details on your build. A definite keeper.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View CharlieK's profile


605 posts in 4760 days

#7 posted 01-22-2015 11:48 PM

I like it. It’s clever, it is functional, and its got style!


-- Adjustable Height Workbench Plans

View hoss12992's profile


4178 posts in 2859 days

#8 posted 01-23-2015 12:14 AM

That is really cool. Very handy Im sure. Great job buddy

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View doubleDD's profile


9985 posts in 3010 days

#9 posted 01-23-2015 01:18 AM

Not only is this a cool tool to have, I believe even I can make it. Thanks klaus.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View CFrye's profile (online now)


11143 posts in 2806 days

#10 posted 01-23-2015 09:36 AM

A very handy tool, Klaus! I don’t think I’d trust myself to make one accurately, though. Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 4003 days

#11 posted 01-23-2015 11:17 AM

Very useful tool and well explained, Klaus.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Robsshop's profile


923 posts in 3941 days

#12 posted 01-23-2015 11:41 AM

Will add this to my “got to have that” list and thanks for the detailed pics/discription. Will help in the accuracy department! Thanks for sharing…......Rob

-- Rob,Gaithersburg,MD,One mans trash is another mans wood shop treasure ! ;-)

View mafe's profile


12844 posts in 4056 days

#13 posted 01-23-2015 01:05 PM

Brilliant Kiefer, I have a small one in brass I use all the time at the lathe, have to make a larger one like yours one day.

For many years this was my center tool, made from cardboard.

Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View macdo's profile


29 posts in 2909 days

#14 posted 01-23-2015 01:48 PM

Beatiful piece, but the most I liked is how you drilled it with the dowel in the center, Great Idea!!


View J123's profile


361 posts in 3307 days

#15 posted 01-23-2015 03:17 PM

smart… almost… too smart. proof of aliens?

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