Made at 173: Center Line Scribe

November 3, 2019


In my last post I showed the steps for making my card scraper holder, and in that post I mentioned I used the center line scribed made right here at 173.


I even mentioned the possibility of a post about making the scribe and wuddaya know - here it is! I guess the first thing I should mention is that a center line scribe is used for determining exact centers on the edges of boards when making biscuit slot cuts, drilling dowel joints, for assembly work and more. I should also mention that such a scribe can be purchased just about anywhere, and most are listed at less than $20.


So, obviously making one myself wasn't as much about the money as it was my insatiable search to find ways to use scrap wood left over from other projects.  Here's how I made it, so incredibly simple!  Besides my drill press and a hand saw, these were the only supplies required...


I used scrap pieces I had on hand including:

1"x2"x5" piece of pine
Two 1 1/2" pieces of 1/2" diameter dowel
A 1" drywall screw

After cutting the body of the scribe, I cut the dowel pieces...


Then I marked out the placement of the dowels and drilled the holes to 1/2" depth with a Forstner bit to the holes a flat bottom.


If you noticed, I marked out the lines for placement of the dowels and to find the exact center between them.  After the holes were drilled, it was just a matter of applying some wood glue and making sure the dowels were inserted at 90 degrees to the base of the body.


This is the most important part of the scribe, take the time to find the exact center between the dowels.  Once that was determined, I used my drill press to pre-drill a pilot hole to make sure the scribing screw went into the body at a right angle also.


From there it was pretty much done!  I screwed the drywall screw in slowly because only a tiny bit of the tip is needed to scribe the edge of a board.  In the picture below, the screw needs to be backed out a bit because even that little bit is a smidge too much.


Of course I also finished it with what's becoming the signature stain color here at 173 - Minwax Gunstock stain.


To use the scribe, the guide posts straddle the workpiece, rotate the tool so the guideposts contact the wood, and then scribe.  It's just that simple!  No muss, no fuss and no figurin'!


And all from scraps and a screw!

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