Four Handy Shop Tools

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Project by Jim Jakosh posted 07-29-2012 08:42 PM 3757 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


5619 posts in 2808 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 2724 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

4168 posts in 2998 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


2735 posts in 3740 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


24374 posts in 3992 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

10265 posts in 4194 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


4387 posts in 2964 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


20948 posts in 2945 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


2730 posts in 3233 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


4263 posts in 3302 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

2565 posts in 3825 days

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

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

-- Bob C, Australia. Your best teacher is your last mistake.

View majuvla's profile


13009 posts in 3009 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 2317 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

21284 posts in 3247 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


1185 posts in 2605 days

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

Cool tools. thanks for sharing.

-- Kelly, Allen,KS

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