Woodworking Precision Measuring and Marking Tools {awesome|amazing|Great|Special}

If you are just getting started with woodworking these are some basic measuring and marking tools that you should own.

Measuring Tape

Having a measuring tape handy helps you take measures on the fly. Measuring tapes are available in “Imperial” format or “Standard”/metric version. Typical lengths are 16, 25 and 30 feet.


Always keep at least one good ruler in your workshop. You will use a ruler for a wide range of tasks, like plan drawing, measuring of material, table saw wing alignment and surface regularity check, among other things. It’s always better to invest in a steel ruler.

Combination Square

If you are just getting started with woodworking, buying a combination square is an excellent investment.

A combination square will help you measure 90° and 45° angles, determine flatness, measure the center of a circular bar and mark the work surface.

A classic combination square consists of: 1) a square head and 2) a steel ruler. By sliding the square head along the steel ruler, it is possible to depth gauge or transfer dimensions.

Framing Square

A framing square (also called steel square or carpenter’s square) is also another useful tool to own. It is made of steel and consists of 2 arms: a long arm and a short arm meeting at 90°.

Having a framing square will allow you to measure any construction design that you need. Typically, framing squares can be found with a 24 inch blade and a 16 inch tongue. There are also smaller ones but they come without the framing tables.

Marking Gauge

The marking gauge is used to mark out lines before cutting. It allows you to draw a line parallel to a reference edge. Generally, the marking gauge consists of a beam, headstock, pen, pin, wheel and knife.

Scratch Awl

The scratch awl is basically a steel spike with a sharp tip. It etches a shallow groove on the wood that you can follow when using a hand saw or a chisel.

Sliding Bevel

Using a sliding bevel, wood cutting will be much, much easier and smoother. The sliding bevel is basically a gauge that allows you to set and transfer angles. It consists of a handle, usually made of wood or plastic, connected to an adjustable metal blade.


The Drawknife cutting tool is classically used by chair makers. It usually consists of an 8-12 inch long straight blade and perpendicular handles at each end.

The Froe (also called lathe axe and splitting knife) is a tool used for riveting or splitting. The froe has an 8-12 inch long straight blade and a perpendicular handle at its end.

The Scorp is a drawknife with an almost completely circular blade. Very handy to hollow out bowls and similar objects.

The Utility Knife is a knife with has a retractable blade that is sheathed inside a metal handle. Available in all sorts of sizes, the utility knife is used in woodworking to cut all types of materials.

Dial Gauge

The dial gauge is a caliper with a dial readout in the hundredths or thousandths of an inch. You can use it to measure the depth of a hole. It’s an ideal tool to use for precision measurements from cylindrical tenons and mortises.

Source by P. Wheeler

Oneway Lathes for Woodturning {awesome|amazing|Great|Special}

When it comes to woodturning passions run high on which of many fine lathes to own. A major contender is the Oneway. Manufactured by Oneway Manufacturing Company, Ontario Canada,Oneway Lathes are among the most sought after woodturning lathes in North America. Large shops routinely choose Oneway because it is ideally suited to production turning. The 2436, the big horse in Oneway’s stable, is a massive lathe. Coming in at close to 900 pounds this is a machine that will not “walk” under heavy load.

Oneway has given a lot of consideration to the demands of the woodturner and designed a tool, a series of tools actually, that can be configured to meet any woodturners needs. Several models, including the 2436, 2416, 2036, 2016 and 1640 have optional spindle heights allowing the lathe to be built to “fit” the operator. Additionally, the 2000 series lathes can be delivered in either a 24″ or 20″ swing with a corresponding 36″ or 16″ between centers. This allows you to pick the machine best suited to your turning needs and still get the same basic frame.

On the 2436, 2416, 2036 & 2016 lathes the basic build is very impressive. These lathes have at their core a 10 – 3/4″ steel tube to which the bedways and ribs are welded. This is what gives the Oneway the mass needed for a stable, vibration free operation. The lathe is powered by your choice of a 1 1/2HP, 2HP or 3HP motor with an onboard electronics package that is designed to give maximum torque to the cutting operation and maximum control to the operator. Additionally, the controls are located on a swing arm that allows them to be positioned to either the right or the left for operator convenience.

At up to 3 HP there is plenty of power for even the largest turnings and the onboard electronics package converts your shops 220 -volt, single phase input to 3-phase current within the switch itself. This allows for constant torque variable speed control with exceptional low end power. A three sheave step pulley allows you to choose 30-800, 30-1800, 30 – 3000 RPM with unstoppable power at speeds as low as 100 RPM.

Oneway has eliminated radial and axial play in the headstock with 4 sealed ball bearings and a 2″ diameter spindle. The headstock includes a spindle lock and a 48-position indexing head with precise tapered pin. The thread of the spindle is designed with a lock screw for full power forward and reverse turning and eliminates the possibility of chucks or faceplates accidentally unscrewing in use. The right hand threads on the outboard spindle nose allow you to install your chucks and faceplates, reverse the motor and turn with the stock rotating counter clockwise. This is an unusual and most convenient feature as it allows you to turn outboard with the same tools as you would use for inboard turning.

The lathe tailstock accepts #3 Morse taper and industrial-duty accessories. A double-bearing multi-function live center comes standard with the lathe. Also included as standard equipment are: a 6″ cast iron faceplate, 14-1/2″ toolrest with 1″ post, a #2 Morse taper “Safe Driver” drive center, and a commercial-duty #3 Morse taper live center.

You don’t have to go industrial size to get the quality, safety and features of the 2000 series lathes. The 1640 is engineered to the same high standards as its big brothers and sisters in a smaller package. The bedways and ribs of this lathe are welded to a 6″ diameter steel tube. You do not get the same options for bed length here, the distance between centers is fixed at 40″ but you can still choose your spindle height. You can also select either a 1 1/2HP or 2HP motor.

While not as robust as the larger machines the 1640 lathe is still well suited to professional or serious amateur woodturners. It comes in at a sizable 600 lbs so it is not going to be walking out of your shop on its own. It has the same high quality craftsmanship and electronics, including a programmable inverter. The spindle and headstock are built to the same specifications as the 2436. All Oneway lathes use Oneway’s patented sliding cam clamping design. The sliding cam clamp assures even, powerful clamping anywhere on the bed.

Before you buy any lathe take the time to talk to other woodturners and, if possible, try turning on the lathes you are considering. There are many fine lathes on the market and all have woodturners who swear by them. It is well worth doing the research before you buy. Any lathe worth having is a considerable investment so take your time and buy right the first time around.

Source by Lucy LaForest