When do you need a [Blank]? That is the question. The second time my pants fell down in public was when I decided it was time to get a belt. The second time I tired to make grilled cheese directly on the stove top was when I decided it was time to purchase a pan. The second time my former roommate caught me using His toothbrush was when I decided it was time to start locking the bathroom door. Ever hear of privacy? Jeez!!
This leads me to Today's topic .. When to make a shop jig/gauge/tool? For me, the answer is simple. When I need to achieve the same goal more than twice, it's worth my time to make the jig.
Step 1: Some Options
A few months ago I made some helmet display stands and I needed to drill a hole in some wooden spheres to accept a dowel. Naturally, I wanted these holes to be centered. Have you ever tried drilling a centered hole in a sphere freehand? Maybe you can do it, but I'd have better luck teaching my cat to order take out in perfect German. He probably doesn't even know the address because he's too afraid to go outside ... I guess he could've seen it on the incoming mail though. I'm getting off task.
The quick solution is to drill a hole in a board, which is smaller than the sphere. then put the sphere in the hole and drill away. As long as you didn't move the afore mentioned board, you should be good to go. This is what I did with the Helmet stands ... then who knows what happened to that board. Probably a sacrificial board for the drill press or tablesaw ... then onto the firepit.
It's time to make a jig/gauge/thingy.