Introduction: Square Tipped Center Marking Awl W/ a Brass Nut Ferrule

Picture of Square Tipped Center Marking Awl W/ a Brass Nut Ferrule

A brass nut, an old bit, and a piece of scrap is all that's needed to make a centering awl with a square pyramid tip. The square tip helps to ream a hole, where as a round awl just splits the wood. Be sure to accept the inherent risks of any project and take the proper safety protocols to minimize potential hazards.

This project is base on this blog post by Paul Sellers:

Step 1: Turning the Handle and Fitting the Brass Nut Ferrule

Picture of Turning the Handle and Fitting the Brass Nut Ferrule

Turn a handle that fits your hand. One end should be the right size to thread a ~1/2" inner diameter brass nut. One side of the handle can be made with a flat, this prevents the awl from rolling around. Hand tighten the brass nut straight down. (See video for more details)

Step 2: Handle Prep

Picture of Handle Prep

Put the handle back onto the lathe and refine the shape of the brass nut with a file. Once the nut is shaped, back up the threading a few turns and use epoxy under the thread to secure the nut to the handle for a long time. Remove excess epoxy. (See video for more detail)

Step 3: The Tip Shape and Attachment

Picture of The Tip Shape and Attachment

An old drill bit will do. An old spade bit with a 1/4" shank was used. Cut the non-round part of the bit off. Chuck the bit into a drill and use it on the grinding wheel to get a round pointed shape. Shape the round point into a square point. Epoxy the shank and handle together. Refine the final shape with a file to your liking and you have a tool that may last several life times.


BeachsideHank (author)2016-04-01

That's a nice touch squaring the end, makes it a combination tool like a scratch awl and a gimlet combined, very useful about the shop too.

johnzhu (author)BeachsideHank2016-04-02

Thank Hank. Although, the edge may catch if it was used as a scratch awl against something, though I've rarely used scratch awls.

seamster (author)2016-04-01

Very nice work, and great write-up too. Can't wait to see more projects from you! :)

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