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Finding center can be frustrating when you are in the shop and need a quick way to place a biscuit or dowel or mortise.
This simple math trick does the job for you.

Drill two holes in a piece of 3/8" thick stock that are 2" a part and exactly the size of your selected dowel material
The center hole should be the diameter of your favorite pencil stock.
All the holes must line up along a straight pencil line for this to work.
Drill a hole dead center between the previous dowels for the pencil.
If it's a bit loose set a screw through the side of your wood to hold it .

That's it!

By placing a dowel on each side of your wood and running down the stock with the dowels touching the sides you will draw a line dead center on the work.
You may want to stack more layers up to hold the pencil so the sharp end doesn't protrude as much.

Enjoy Bob
brd-divider

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Comments

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2,489 Posts
Yep, got one but it isn't as nice as yours. Mine uses nails. Ugly but it gives me a resaw line. Good post .
 

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I hope you made two!
 

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Very nice! I need one of these to make fast layouts with my Leigh FMT jig . . . better than using two combination squares. Thanks!
 

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9,134 Posts
Great Bob.
 

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I've always liked this idea. And thanks to some time spent in the shop today, I've got some cutoffs that will be perfect for this. I don't have any dowels long enough so I'll try Thos' idea of using nails.Thanks for sharing.
 

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Bob,
I don't have one now, But I will on Monday. Thanks for the idea.
 

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Great Tip Bob. Thanks for sharing.
 

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Thanks for the walk through. I think I'll be making one tomorrow :)
 

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Why do I do everything the hard way? This is slick and definitely one of those deals where I couldn't see the forrest cause all those trees were in the way. Thanks, Bob
 

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p.s. guys, for those who don't know you can buy various sizes of dowel material in 3 or 5 foot lengths at most hardware stores worth their salt.
I keep a tube in the shop with the more common sizes.
They are not all that expensive.
I the high end harwood suppliers often have doweling in various hardwood materials as well.

Bob
 

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I agree with Shaun…I've seen this idea/jig before but still find myself measuring and marking.

*Still not ready to snatch the pebble…sigh.
 

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Of all the things I really do poorly, measuring is foremost.

So, I have to use all the props I cant find. <g>

Bob
 

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Nicely done Bob. Simple and eminently useful.

This looks like just the ticket for splitting a board for resawing. Typically I'll make up some laminate out of 4/4 stock, then resaw it down the middle. To find the middle I usually eyeball the fence position, nick it on the bandsaw blade, flip the stock over, nick that side and see if the second nick lines up with the first nick, then usually adjust and repeat. A little trick like this ought to get me right on the first time.
 

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Great tool, Bob! Thanks for taking the time to give us some pictures and a little "how-to" instruction. I really appreciate posts like this.
 

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Nice Jig Bob - and accurate very time. just one question, why not use a mortice gauge - this is what it was designed for?
 

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Tony a mortise guage can measure the width of a mortise and help set the chisel width and the distance from one edge or the other.
It isn't that good at finding a center.
You can set it and mark a line from each side and divide the space between the lines but that again wont work that well on larger stock with the mortise guage.

Check this great description out and you can see what I mean.
The other place I plan to use it is for resawing on my bandsaw.
cheers Bob
 

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Bob, I was thinking of the single pin mortice or marking gauge. It was how I was taught Oh! so many years ago.

With a little practice you get it pretty close by eye, the just a quick adjustment, at tap here and there and it centred. But it does mean that you score a line - they do not come with pencils, although I do use a pencil down the groove sometimes.

Well whatever works for different people - it is still a nice project, simple ideas are the best and last the longest.
 

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I follow you Tony.
That's another way to do it.
With this one I just made however I can split a 8 inch board right down the center.
If it is tapered it will still follow the center of the work piece.
It will also give me the center of my rough timbers for resawing with a line to follow.

Your method served me for many years too and is still in my box of measuring tricks.

cheers
Bob
 
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