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An easy-to-make tool that accurately marks the center of wooden dowels.

Step 1: "X" Marks the Spot

As you can imagine, accurately marking the center of a wooden dowel (by hand) is a tricky task.

This funny looking 3-sided box gets it right every time.

Step 2: Cut the Parts

A scrap of 3/4" plywood is cut at the mitre saw. Two pieces are required measuring 3" wide and about 7" long.

Step 3: Form an "L"

Glue the two parts that were just cut into an "L" shape.

Step 4: Cut at 45°

Back at the mitre saw, the sides of the "L" piece are trimmed at 45°.

Step 5: Cut Into Two Parts

Splitting the previous part right down the middle. The resulting pieces will form the 3-sided box.

Step 6: Cut Dados

Shallow grooves are cut at the router table. This creates a slot which provide space for the utility knife blade. The two halves will be glued together... but for added measure, the knife blade is held in with a few strips of double sided tape.

Step 7: Final Glueup

Gluing the 45° mitre joint. Tape holds the parts together while the glue dries.

Step 8: Sanding

Any imperfections resulting after the glue up can be fixed on the disc sander.

The disc sander I use is made using a drill press. Check that Instructable out over here.

Step 9: BAM

Just two blows of a hammer and the center is found! Apparently I also got pretty close with the freehand mark on this one – I'm usually not that lucky.

HIGH FIVE for reading :)

<p>The next instructables video I watched used a dowel centre finder, with a much more simpler tool, that allows one to draw a line, instead of notching one, located at the 3m27s mark:<br><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/X6SwJJNDJ3s" width="500"></iframe></p>
circle finders are readily available and kludged together frequently, but this is a whole new level. You really have built a better mouse trap. Now you've got my mind going. Maybe using a surface that will hold an ink or grease pencil line to mark harder stock, or even making a jig to run lightly against your band saw to definitively mark metal rods? Thanks for planning my day. I once had to make 5lb plumb bobs for a friend (it was very windy, huge job, don't judge) and this would have saved me probably an hour right off the cuff. Definitely building this and/or variants.
<p>Your comment got me thinking too - having a slot window instead of the blade would allow me to mark it through the back side.</p>
<p>Or this! Brilliant! A permanent fine liner marker pen could very well do that. Hats off to you slippyshoe.</p>
<p>As soon as I saw that he intended to recreate an &quot;upgrade&quot; version of the available tool, the first thing that came to mind also was if he was going to create a device that drew lines instead of an indenting device.<br><br>Perhaps a Sharpie felt nib extracted from the pen (or some other permanent ink marking device's nib?), cleanly sliced into a finer strip, and sandwiched between the boards that way? And an &quot;inkwell&quot; could be incorporated to accept extra ink to the felt from the base or outside, whenever the ink dries up? Or just a sliver of straight edge timber used instead of the utility blade that has some ink spread over the edge every time a line needs being marked that way? Just a thought... or two.</p>
<p>Nice 'ible :)</p>
<p>As already pointed out, this has been around awhile, but if you did it from first principles, well done.</p><p>Centre finders come in several different forms, but the combination square with a 45-degree rule is ages old. For users of drill presses, the &quot;jiggle&quot; centre finder is also available.</p><p>What you have created is a ply combination square without the 45-degree rule.</p>
<p>Cute, but why not simply add a &quot;Center Head&quot; for your combination square to your tool kit. It will take up no room and will accurately give you the center of any round object in seconds</p>
<p>or, take one of the &quot;triangles&quot; off the devise in this (well made) intractable, and use a pencil. Cheap and easy.</p>
<p>Well a &quot;center head&quot; would only work with a fixed size dowel</p>
<p>The center head attachment for my machinist square will accept up to 2 1/2 inch dowels down to 1/4 inch. Perhaps you are thinking about another item? A Center Head looks like a V with a steel ruler sticking through it. Just put a round stock in it, pencil in a mark, then rotate the stock and scribe another mark. The crossing will be the exact center.</p>
<p>ok now I know what you're talking about. yup, you're right</p>
<p>I see that the dowels dont have to be round as I have tried square ones and they are perfectly marked. Rectangular should also mark correctly but you may have to make severals strikes and fincd the center.</p>
<p>squares are rectangles too. perhaps you are thinking of an oblong ;-)</p>
<p>How do you change the blade when it gets too dull? Or does it stay sharp enough to use? Thanks!!</p>
<p>I have the Veritas device and to avoid making deep marks, I rub pencil on the lines so marks can be seen and erased.</p>
<p>Sure wish I'd seen this post <em>last</em> week! :-)</p>
<p>Guess it's time to fire up the time machine?...</p>
<p>Oh, I missed the time machine instructable! :-)</p><p>On topic, I really like this idea. Very clever.</p>
<p>I simply like it and can think of many uses. I too shall build one</p>
<p>Brilliant !!!</p>
<p>Good practical idea. Thank you for sharing your idea. It is simple easy to build project useful for many uses,</p>
So awesome! I'm going to use one of these when I build my cigar band display.
<p>Alright!!! :)</p>
<p>Ingenious and so simple.</p><p>I will make one tomorrow.</p><p>Thank you,</p><p>Mickey</p>
<p>Did you make it? :D</p>
Brilliant, yet so simple. Lets give this man a round of applause
<p>Appreciate it, greegs!</p>
<p>You have a beautiful shop as well as some super nice tools! Nice project</p>
<p>Thank you!</p>
<p>Hi Kriss! Loving your Youtube videos, but this particular one is great in the Instructables format. All of the step-by-step instructions and photos explain it really well.</p>
<p>:) Good to know!</p>
<p>I've been needing a center finder for a while. Time to build this one! Thanks for the great instructable!</p>
<p>Super cool! It's my pleasure.</p>
Genius.
Genius!
Pretty damn smart idea!
<p>Super :-)</p>
Great idea!
So smart!
<p>Brilliant!</p>

About This Instructable

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Bio: Hi I'm Kriss! I'm 24. I like making tools, jigs, and other random contraptions with wood.
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