Crucible Center Squares
There are many ways to mark centerlines on workpieces that are square, round or octagonal. But we wanted a simple, compact, dedicated and beautiful tool for this everyday job.
The Crucible Center Squares are based on a vintage tool owned by a bodger friend. His tool was compact but had a weight and shape that made it feel like a worry stone in your hand. The bodger wouldn't part with his (we don't blame him), so we decided to make our own.
Our Center Square comes in two versions. The smaller one (now available) is machined from a solid chunk of steel in Kentucky. It measures 3-1/4" long x 1-5/8" wide x almost 3/8" thick overall. The working area of the blade is 2-7/16" long and includes a 1/8" hang hole. It is ideal for chairmakers or turners who need to mark the centers of spindles or sticks for turning or shaving.
The larger one is 5-1/2” long and 2-3/8” wide, so it sits nicely in most palms. The Large Center Square is machined from solid brass and weighs a pleasant 5.6 ounces.
But the real stunning part of the brass tool is the machine-engraved pattern on its blade. We wanted woodworkers who might not be able to afford an engraved tool to be able to own something that is (almost) as perfect and beautiful.
We reached out to engraver Jenny Bower who created the fluid and floral design. Our machinist, Craig Jackson, then spent many hours translating her work into something his mills could cut.
The result is not something intended to fool an engraver. The lines are clearly incised by a machine. But they also retain the fluidity and life that Jenny put into them.
Using the tools is simple. Press the workpiece against the 90° opening on the underside of the tool. Then scribe a pencil line or knife line along the tool's blade. Rotate the workpiece and repeat.
CNC machine work by Machine Time of Nicholasville, Ky.
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