Four Handy Shop Tools

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Project by Jim Jakosh posted 07-29-2012 08:42 PM 3310 views 8 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Slow day in the shop- nothing doing- so I thought I share a few of the crude but effective hand made tools I use every day in the shop.

The first one is a piece of 2×8 and I cut in a hurry to hold my router for doing the edge work on a small piece that I could not put the router over. I just clamp it to the bench and pop in the router and it holds it upside down for a quick trim so I don’t have to roll out the router table and set it up. It serves as a mini router table.

The second one is a center finding tool I saw in a magazine for sale. It was so simple and I use it all the time now. I just took a piece of 1/8” Lexan and started scribing circles on it every 1” diameter and closer for the smaller ones. I drill a small hole in the center for my awl and place it over a log to center it over the mass and poke a center hole. Then I center drill the log on both ends and mount it in the lathe.

The last two I use in the lathe all the time. Having been in Quality Control, I like GO- NO Go gauges. They are quick at making a call on a part and they keep you out of trouble down the line.. I measured my 4 jaw lathe chuck fully closed and fully open and made the determination of what size it would accept internally and externally. Then I cut this go / no-go gauge out of Lexan on the mill to those determined sizes. You could use wood on the band saw and make one that is very effective. It sure beats measuring each time you go to cut an tenon or internal mortise.

The last one is an 8 degree gauge for the tenon and it is cut to 7/16” , the max length the tenon can be so as not to bottom out in the jaws.

Have a great rest of the weekend!!...............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

21 comments so far

View kiefer's profile


4881 posts in 2126 days

#1 posted 07-29-2012 08:47 PM

Thanks Jim.
My kind of tool/jig cheap and useful .
Thanks for sharing .

-- Kiefer

View QuickWay's profile


77 posts in 2041 days

#2 posted 07-29-2012 09:37 PM

Thanks Jim, I am just beginning to learn turning. Your tips are great.

-- Bill Native Texan

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4166 posts in 2316 days

#3 posted 07-29-2012 10:04 PM

Great Jim

They may seem crude but they

are ones that Work.

It is great to share.

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View sedcokid's profile


2715 posts in 3058 days

#4 posted 07-29-2012 10:05 PM

Jim, What great Ideas!! I have simular tools but always appreciate seeing others too.

Thanks for sharing!!

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View Grumpy's profile


21550 posts in 3310 days

#5 posted 07-29-2012 10:27 PM

There’s nothing like a good jig Jim.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

9430 posts in 3511 days

#6 posted 07-29-2012 10:41 PM

Very Interesting…

Thank you.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View peteg's profile


3850 posts in 2282 days

#7 posted 07-30-2012 12:27 AM

We all have our own take on these types of templates / gadgets Jim, but always great to see “the other guys” ideas :))

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View Roger's profile


19850 posts in 2263 days

#8 posted 07-30-2012 12:37 AM

Super simple, and to the point useful. I really like the gauge for the chuck. Very smart and quick.. I’ll be addin one o them to my turnin drawer

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View dakremer's profile


2583 posts in 2551 days

#9 posted 07-30-2012 03:19 AM

I like that center hole marker!! great idea!

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View rance's profile


4245 posts in 2620 days

#10 posted 07-30-2012 04:29 AM

I need those last two. Probably the last three. Well done Jim.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2312 posts in 3143 days

#11 posted 07-30-2012 05:37 AM

Nice useful gadgets Jim, good to see what you use.

-- Bob C, Australia. I love sharing as long as it is not my tools

View majuvla's profile


9095 posts in 2327 days

#12 posted 07-30-2012 07:04 AM

Very good and useful tips.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Tom Godfrey's profile

Tom Godfrey

488 posts in 1635 days

#13 posted 07-30-2012 10:39 AM

Thanks for sharing. Plan on making all of those for my shop. I think the circle finder is the best of the four but like all of them.

-- Tom Godfrey Landrum South Carolina (

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

17108 posts in 2565 days

#14 posted 07-30-2012 11:47 AM

Hey guys, thanks for all the nice comments. I just like to share the things that make woodworking more fun for me with all of you. It is great to see that some of you will make them. You will not be disappointed. I used to get take my chuck and scroll it down to the smallest opening just to see if a small tenon was not too small to fit in . Then I got thinking about a go no-go gauge to determine that for me. I have one in my kit that I take to Arizona, too.

You made my day!!!!!!!!!!!!!....................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View scrollingmom's profile


1090 posts in 1923 days

#15 posted 07-30-2012 12:18 PM

Cool tools. thanks for sharing.

-- Kelly, Allen,KS

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