Rough and ready layout tools

  • Advertise with us
Project by Babieca posted 03-21-2015 03:34 PM 1273 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve decided to work on my basic skills and put a dent in the scrap bin by building up my arsenal of tools. They aren’t pretty, but they all work pretty well. After I use them for a while, I’ll have a better idea what I like and don’t and will rebuild them with some better wood. All are built with hand tools and the drill press. All finished with a couple coats of BLO.

Marking knife: I made a lathe attachment for the drill press and turned the handle out of a cherry scrap. The blade was cut out of an old circular saw blade. The one you see here is the second one. The handle on the first was too fat and the blade too wide to fit into tight spaces. It works better than the exacto knife I’ve been using as a marking knife.

Marking gauge: Cherry and a turned walnut knob. The blade is cut from the same circular saw blade as the knife blade. The beam isn’t perfectly perpendicular to the fence, but it doesn’t seem to affect how the tool works. I remade the fence a couple of times for this one until I got a size I liked. Lots of practice chopping square holes for the fence an the blade. I had been using a cheap pin marking gauge from HF and this works a lot better.

Square: This is the fourth one and actually came out square on the inside and outside edges straight from the glue-up. I got lots of practice cutting and paring the joint and getting it flat across the bottom was really tough. We’ll see how long it holds up. It does not work better than my combination square, but two out of three ain’t bad and I improved my skills a bit.

Next up: A router plane and a spokeshave!

3 comments so far

View Andre's profile (online now)


2120 posts in 1976 days

#1 posted 03-21-2015 06:34 PM

Very Nice, How dose the saw blade work for annealing and Harding? I have been using old files but thin ones are getting hard to find. The wood square is on my to do list but really like my little 2” Lufkin and have a 6” and 12” metal which I know are always perfect!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1251 posts in 1884 days

#2 posted 03-21-2015 09:07 PM

Lovely set of tools there!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View Babieca's profile


178 posts in 1674 days

#3 posted 03-22-2015 12:20 AM


I didn’t do anything with heat to the blades. I cut them out with a cut off wheel on the dremel, got them down to size on the grinder, and shaped the bevel with a file, then sharpened to 600 with wet/dry paper. I went all out on the first knife and got it very sharp on a water stone, but the line was too fine for marking. It’s too early to say how the edge will hold up.

I’ll probably build a couple of bigger squares from the scrap bin just to do it, but I’m pretty happy with the metal ones.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics