Four Handy Shop Tools

  • Advertise with us
Project by Jim Jakosh posted 713 days ago 2715 views 7 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


2937 posts in 1253 days

#1 posted 713 days ago

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

-- Kiefer 松

View QuickWay's profile


77 posts in 1168 days

#2 posted 713 days ago

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

-- Bill Native Texan

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4067 posts in 1442 days

#3 posted 713 days ago

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


2663 posts in 2184 days

#4 posted 713 days ago

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

Thanks for sharing!!

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View Grumpy's profile


19282 posts in 2437 days

#5 posted 713 days ago

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

7595 posts in 2638 days

#6 posted 713 days ago

Very Interesting…

Thank you.

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

View peteg's profile


2797 posts in 1409 days

#7 posted 713 days ago

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


13960 posts in 1390 days

#8 posted 713 days ago

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.

View dakremer's profile


2421 posts in 1677 days

#9 posted 713 days ago

I like that center hole marker!! great idea!

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

View rance's profile


4125 posts in 1746 days

#10 posted 713 days ago

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

1502 posts in 2269 days

#11 posted 713 days ago

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


3164 posts in 1453 days

#12 posted 712 days ago

Very good and useful tips.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Tom Godfrey's profile

Tom Godfrey

463 posts in 761 days

#13 posted 712 days ago

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

10962 posts in 1691 days

#14 posted 712 days ago

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


793 posts in 1050 days

#15 posted 712 days ago

Cool tools. thanks for sharing.

-- Kelly, Allen,KS

showing 1 through 15 of 21 comments

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

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics :: gardening showcase