RunnerDuck Projects

Centering Tool

This project appeared in our January 30th, 2004 Newsletter.

Centering Tool

Here's a handy little tool for marking the center on the edge of a board. It will work on just about any thickness of board.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 5" X 1 1/2" X 1/4" hard wood like Maple
  • 3/4" dowel
  • Glue
  • (2) #8 X 1" flat head screws
Cut a piece of 1/4" maple 1 1/2" X 5".
Carefully mark the board for two holes centered 1/2" in from each end. I used a knife to make a precise mark.

Drill pilot holes for the screws at these locations. Counter sink them for the screws.
Cut two 3/4" dowels 1 1/4" long. Be careful to cut them perfectly square on the ends.
Mark the center on one end of each dowel. A good way to do this is with dial calipers. Mark from one side then the other, then 90 degrees from the two opposite sides.

Drill a pilot hole in each dowel for the screws. Center punch the holes for better accuracy.
Glue and screw the dowels to the board.
Lay a steel rule between the two dowels and draw a line on both sides of it near the middle of the tool.
Move the rule to the opposite sides of the dowels and do the same thing. This should give you a good center for your marking hole.

Center punch your mark and drill a 1/16" hole through.
From the top side of the tool drill a 1/8" hole 2/3 of the way through. This should give your pencil clearance for the wood taper and allow the lead to stick through a tiny bit. You may have to adjust this hole size and depth for fit your pencil.
You should now have a centering tool that looks something like this.

As shown in the top picture, just straddle your wood piece and mark the center.

We hope you've enjoyed this project and have good success with it. Remember, if you ever have any problems with our projects just drop us a line and we'll try to help. Since we build every one of these projects we have a pretty good idea of how to get through them. We also make lots of mistakes so we can help you avoid them.

For a great selection of woodworking supplies and tools check out Rockler, Great Prices/Great Selection!

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This is what it looks like: