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Does anyone actually use the center finder head on a combination square?

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Forum topic by SMP posted 09-23-2020 05:29 PM 1268 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SMP

2668 posts in 789 days


09-23-2020 05:29 PM

Going to order a couple squares and keep going back and forth between 2 piece or 3 piece. The center finder seems interesting, but wondering if people actually use it? Or does it just take up space in your toolbox and forgotten?


20 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2729 posts in 1046 days


#1 posted 09-23-2020 05:36 PM

I have a nice vintage one from the ‘60s and “sometimes” use it.
I have a 6” model from HF and use it a LOT.
just depends on you and your projects.

.

-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View whope's profile

whope

224 posts in 3329 days


#2 posted 09-23-2020 05:36 PM

I’ve only recently owned one, but yes, I have used it a few times.

-- Measure it with a micrometer, mark it with chalk, cut it with an Hammer.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6507 posts in 3377 days


#3 posted 09-23-2020 05:37 PM

I have, once or twice in 20 years or so. I suspect it’s very useful for turners but for the flatwork stuff I do it just hasn’t been all that needed.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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SMP

2668 posts in 789 days


#4 posted 09-23-2020 05:54 PM



I have a nice vintage one from the 60s and “sometimes” use it.
I have a 6” model from HF and use it a LOT.
just depends on you and your projects.

.

- John Smith

Interesting, the HF one is cheaper that the difference in price of the 2 PEC blems I was looking at.

I am pretty new to turning, but I have been starting with square stock, marking the center by drawing an x across the corners to find center. But being new to turning not sure if I will run into more non square stock? I was doing something a few months ago and was trying to figure out how to center on a circle, i ended up just eyeballing it, so wasn’t sure how often that comes up.

View Loren's profile

Loren

10718 posts in 4532 days


#5 posted 09-23-2020 05:58 PM

More of a metal working tool, imo. You can buy or make a cheap center finder for turning if that’s something you want to have.

Depends on the investment I reckon.

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2729 posts in 1046 days


#6 posted 09-23-2020 06:32 PM

SMP – I guess you would get more refined answers if you mentioned
what you think you would use the comb. square for.
like Loren said: it is a machinist’s tool for the most part, that has found
its way into woodworking.
if you are going to be turning wood stock, most any home-made (or HF) tool will work.
some of the cabinet and furniture makers here have their own view on certain tools.
I am not from that camp.
it just depends on you and your projects. (and your budget).

.

-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

15158 posts in 2022 days


#7 posted 09-23-2020 06:59 PM

I use the centerfinder head for marking the center of round or square turning blanks to mount between centers. There are other ways to skin the cat but I had the head and an extra blade so that’s how it gets done in my shop. Otherwise, nope, never used it for anything else.

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

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

26729 posts in 3567 days


#8 posted 09-23-2020 07:56 PM

Used the center finder this morning…..actually…

Quick way to find a center point…so I can set the combo square to draw a center line…and then divide the line into equal spaces…

To drill a series of centered holes…

To hold a set of Dies…

Part of a tap & die box project..

YMMV

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View SMP's profile

SMP

2668 posts in 789 days


#9 posted 09-24-2020 12:52 AM

Intersting. I ned to make something for my tapa and dies, they are scattered all over my drill bit and grinder wheel drawer.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

6302 posts in 3293 days


#10 posted 09-24-2020 01:41 AM

Yes I do on a regular basis. Learned how reading a post by Bandit few years ago.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View therealSteveN's profile (online now)

therealSteveN

6463 posts in 1458 days


#11 posted 09-24-2020 02:03 AM



Used the center finder this morning…..actually…

Quick way to find a center point…so I can set the combo square to draw a center line…and then divide the line into equal spaces…

To drill a series of centered holes…

To hold a set of Dies…

Part of a tap & die box project..

YMMV

- bandit571

What do they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. 5 pics to the point cover at least a million. Point well made. Nice Tap and Die box.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

13503 posts in 3264 days


#12 posted 09-24-2020 04:05 AM

I use mine removed from the rule as a wrap around square for transferring marks to an adjoining face. I’ve never used it as a center finder but one day I might.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Chenier's profile

Chenier

20 posts in 591 days


#13 posted 09-25-2020 01:14 AM


Used the center finder this morning…..actually…

Quick way to find a center point…so I can set the combo square to draw a center line…

Ummm, no. The center finder does not work on rectangular pieces unless one has an exceptionally good eye aligning the ruler parallel to one of the workpiece’s sides. Congratulations to bandit571 for having an exceptionally good eye.

With a rectangular workpiece there is nothing to prevent the center finder from sliding side to side. Think of the extreme case: One of the centerfinder’s arms is nestled up to one of the parallel faces of the workpiece. The ruler will then take off at 45º from the adjacent corner. You can smoothly move/rotate the centerfinder around to the opposite face of the workpiece without lifting or removing it. At the end the opposite arm of the centerfinder will be parallel to the workpiece. During the transition the intersection of the ruler and the end of the workpiece will travel all the way across the end of the workpiece.

The centerfinder will only work 100% accurately on a circular workpiece. I use one all the time in metalworking where the base stock is frequently a round rod or cylinder. In woodworking, where the base stock is almost always rectangular, it’s less useful. Finding the center of dowels springs to mind.

For the OP – IMO this falls into the “order one when you find you need it” category.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

15158 posts in 2022 days


#14 posted 09-25-2020 03:19 AM

Actually, the centerfinder could be used to scribe a line from each corner of the stock in Bandit’s picture and the intersection would be on the centerline of the board.

But the way Bandit did it, it’s not hard to eyeball the blade parallel to get close enough for woodwork.

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

View SMP's profile

SMP

2668 posts in 789 days


#15 posted 09-25-2020 03:30 AM

I guess assuming the piece was cut square, lining up the end with the same measurement on both sides of the rule, like at the 2” mark, would make it parallel as well

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