Esy Simple Center finder/marker

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Project by WoodsmanWoodworker posted 12-01-2010 07:04 PM 9355 views 16 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This a simple center finding marking device. You just turn it sideways and scribe. This one looks bad because it was my first and a prototype, i want to make one that is able to slide bigger somehow. If any of you have made one, i’d like to see it, or if you wish to make one i like to see that too. Thanks for looking.

-- We must protect the forests for those who can't speak, for the trees and animals. ~THE WOODSMAN~

13 comments so far

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3111 days

#1 posted 12-01-2010 07:10 PM

I needed one of these this past weekend. How did you go about ensuring that the pencil is exactly centered? It would be very easy to get that off center just a little and that could lead to problems.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View WoodsmanWoodworker's profile


146 posts in 2874 days

#2 posted 12-01-2010 07:18 PM

Just some time consuming precision measuring, it is actually easy to do, but I would tell future makers to make the 2 dowel pieces on the sides longer for a better grip to what your using it for.

-- We must protect the forests for those who can't speak, for the trees and animals. ~THE WOODSMAN~

View DrDirt's profile


4426 posts in 3794 days

#3 posted 12-01-2010 07:27 PM

The way to double check the accuracy is to take a board and mark it. then flip the tool and go back over your line. If you have 2 lines, it is NOT right. If the pencil tracks over the existing line you’ve got it.

Woodsman is right though you do need to spend the time to get it measured up right, especially if you will mark things that will need to be flush at the joint. if it is set back like many table aprons are from the leg, then being a little off won’t be notices.

But I am a little off in general ;-)

For cutting mortises, you can do the same thing with two pins on a Router base plate (making sure the bit is centered) then you will cut mortises in the center of the leg all day long.
If you wanted to offset the mortice, just clamp a shim to one side of the leg (thickness 2X the distance you want the mortise to move from the center)

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View shipwright's profile


8005 posts in 2850 days

#4 posted 12-01-2010 07:29 PM

This is very similar to a traditional marking device I have used to make round spars from tapered, squared stock. It has two pencils and when all four sides are marked, planing the corners off to the lines will give you a perfect tapered octagon. They are usually made up to fit the size of the job with two spikes in tight holes on the ends and two pencils. The trick is to be firm enough to make a line but not so firm as to break the lead.

Nice job Woodsman, and I like / agree with your signature.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3093 days

#5 posted 12-01-2010 07:56 PM

Why not take & drill for the Pencil. Then put over a pin on your drill press Drill for Dowel at one end spin drill for dowell at other end.?

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View sramiro's profile


11 posts in 2832 days

#6 posted 12-02-2010 01:01 AM

Yeah¡¡¡ very nice tool, i will made one myself, thanks for sharing

-- sramiro sinaloa mexico

View Bricofleur's profile


1448 posts in 3245 days

#7 posted 12-02-2010 01:33 AM

This is a great tool. And since you asked, watch how I made mine so it would be perfectly centered. A fool proof method.

I must admit that I like the fact you used larger dowels, which must slide easier. Anyone can learn on LJ’s!!!



-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. --

View Pawky's profile


278 posts in 2856 days

#8 posted 12-02-2010 04:27 AM

Awesome, I think I will make one of these in a couple weeks when I’m on break. Already have the dowels waiting for me

View WoodsmanWoodworker's profile


146 posts in 2874 days

#9 posted 12-02-2010 06:11 AM

Cool, i’d like to see how your guys’ turn out.

-- We must protect the forests for those who can't speak, for the trees and animals. ~THE WOODSMAN~

View jaedwards575's profile


90 posts in 3110 days

#10 posted 12-02-2010 07:29 AM

Another suggestion to find the center is to drill the pencil hole, mount it to a lathe or even a drill; as it’s turning, mark the dowel holes with a pencil. They will be curved, but measure the center, and drill it. Of course there is still room for error.

-- Aaron Possom Town, TN

View CaptainAhab's profile


214 posts in 2849 days

#11 posted 12-03-2010 12:19 AM

I made a couple versions out of aluminum awhile back…will post them here when I get pics taken

-- Dave

View mafe's profile


11734 posts in 3141 days

#12 posted 12-03-2010 11:40 AM

Well done.
I always wanted to make one, but never get there…
Best thoughts,

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

View vanzemaljac's profile


334 posts in 3553 days

#13 posted 02-24-2012 09:00 PM

supplies practical, easy to produce, thanks for the idea …

-- Lathe and my imagination will do everything to realize my dreams...Vanzemaljac

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