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Finding the Center of a Vertical Post

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Forum topic by Jim Crockett (USN Retired) posted 03-17-2008 05:07 AM 1044 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 4268 days


03-17-2008 05:07 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

As I believe I mentioned in my profile, I am making bunk beds for my granddaughter’s dolls. Similar to real bunk beds, I have made two separate beds and will stack them, aligning the posts with dowels.

To do this, I need to find the center of the posts. Normally, I would draw a line from opposing corners and where they crossed would be the center. But nothing is ever easy – I’ve already rounded over the edges so there are no clearly delineated corners. I can measure each way with my Incra rule and draw a line at the center, but this could possible be 1/64” off or so and it would be nice to be as exact as possible so the posts line up. (And, of course, I’m a perfectionist, so they must be exact ;-) ).

Does anyone have a better procedure to determine the centers?

Jim

-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".


6 replies so far

View Eric's profile

Eric

875 posts in 4318 days


#1 posted 03-17-2008 05:39 AM

Would one of those center finders (like those included with a Starrett combination square set) work? I have one but have never used it – so I don’t have experience finding a center.

-- Eric at https://adventuresinwoodworking.wordpress.com/

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Thuan

203 posts in 4352 days


#2 posted 03-17-2008 05:51 AM

I really need to get a combination square set Eric suggested, that would solve lots of layout porblems. There are a couple of the simpler version at woodcraft.
http://woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid=4363

-- Thuan

View gizmodyne's profile

gizmodyne

1784 posts in 4624 days


#3 posted 03-17-2008 06:36 AM

You could cut another square the same rectangle size but thin stock, and , find the center of that, punch or drill a hole…. and then use that as a template to mark all of your pieces. It will line up with the edges.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View swied's profile

swied

74 posts in 4296 days


#4 posted 03-17-2008 07:50 AM

Here is a suggestion that doesn’t require any measuring. Take a thin nail and pound it half way into the what looks to be the center of your board. Snip off the flat head leaving about 1/4 inch sticking out. Lay the board on your tablesaw (blade down) and push it against the fence. Take the opposing board that will share the dowel and place it in the same way so the boards are end-to-end. Tap them together so that the nail head penetrates the second board. Pull them apart, and extract the nail with some pliers. Both boards now have a hole marking where to center punch, and then drill the dowel holes. I suggest using a Forcner bit for the dowel holes.

-- Scott, San Diego

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gizmodyne

1784 posts in 4624 days


#5 posted 03-17-2008 03:42 PM

My other thought is who cares if they are in the center? Set dowel centers close to the middle of each one, and then set the other bed on top. That will leave an indentation as to where both holes will go.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 4268 days


#6 posted 03-18-2008 02:32 AM

Scott, I used your suggestion and it worked pretty well – the edges of the posts don’t line up perfectly, but it was certainly easier and probably more precise than trying to determine the center of each. Thanks for the help and thanks to everyone who made suggestions.

I drilled a hole through some poplar on the drill press and used that to help with bit alignment. Because of the size of each bed assembly, it would have been quite difficult to drill the holes with the drill press. The holes would have been even more accurate if I had made the piece longer than 1-3/4” which I would certainly do in the future.

JimC

-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

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