Last-Minute Gifts for Woodworking Dads
June 17th is less than two weeks away, and if you’re a mother, wife, or child still in need of a Father’s Day gift for a woodworking dad, Fine Woodworking has got you covered.
I asked a few of our very own woodworking dads (myself included) to pony up their best gift suggestions for under $50.00. Below, you’ll find their favorite picks, complete with store links.
***UPDATE*** Below are the winners, accompanied by the gifts on their wish lists.
|Winner of Shop Improvements is Bsmiley who is wishing for a Spring Center Punch – $9.95 and a Hinge Center Punch – $7.20 from Lee Valley.||Winner of Building Doors and Drawers is Tumblewoodworks who is wishing for a Blue Spruce Marking Knife – $50.||Winner of Best Workbenches is thebigvise who is wishing for a Woodpeckers Rule Stop-1 – $24.99.|
Submit Your Own Suggestions
Between now and Tuesday, June 12, 2012 (3pm EST), submit your own suggestions for Father’s Day gifts under fifty bucks for a chance to bring home one of three free books. We’ll select our three favorite suggestions from those left in the comments section below, add them to this blog post, and award the books to the lucky winners. **Note: We’re giving away three different books, matching each book to each winner will be done at random.
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Great Father’s Day Gift Picks from Our Editors
Starrett 4-in. Double Square – $52.50
Most woodworkers own a 12-in. combination square, and these are certainly great. But they won’t fit in your apron pocket, and they can be a little unwieldy to use for precise layout jobs, especially when marking joinery. The truth is that most marking and layout tasks are small-scale. Enter the 4-in. double square by Starrett. This size is a joy to use, the precise markings are easy to see and use, and Starrett accuracy is legendary. You’ll be surprised to see your 12-in. combo square gathering dust, while this trsusty little friend becomes your go-to layout tool. I’m pushing the $50 limit, but only by 2 bucks this time!
Jorgensen 12-in. Adjustable Hand Screw – $25.99
In woodworking, you can never have enough clamps and here’s a pair that will help fill out anyone’s collection. These 12-in. wooden hand screws from Jorgensen ($26/ea. at woodcraft.com) may look old fashioned, but they earn a spot in the modern shop. The deep reach jaws can put pressure exactly where you need it and the twin handles let you apply plenty of clamping force. For more on using these indispensable clamps check out:
Veritas Precision Square – $24.50
The longer I have the Veritas Precision Square, the more I find myself using it. It’s great for setting up machinery, like setting the distance between a router bit and the fence on your router table, and setting the bit’s cutting height. I use it at the planer to check the thickness of my stock, hooking the long leg over the face and reading the thickness of the short leg. It also can be used in a similar fashion for layout. For example, when laying out dovetail spacing on small drawer sides, I hook the small leg on the edge of the board and the long leg across the end grain. It truly is a great tool and a wonderful compliment to standard 6 in. and 12 in. rules. And I even find myself using it as a try square on occasion.
5/8-in. Thick Anti-Fatigue Floor Mat – $36.99
Although I can easily lose track of time when I’m woodworking, I don’t need a clock in the shop. After an hour or so of standing at the bench, my hips and knees let me know it’s time for a break. Or at least they did until I put an anti-fatigue mat under my feet. I wrote a piece for Fine Woodworking about these spongy beauties a couple of years ago and, in the process, became a convert. A layer of foam between you and the concrete can make a world of difference, I’m happy to report. My hips and knees are happier, and I’m getting more done.
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Veritas Wheel Marking Gauge with Micro Adjust – $36.50
The typical pin-style marking gauge works well, but when scribing a line along the grain of some woods, that pin will tend to wander with the grain. This can leave you with an inaccurate line. Recently however, I tried out a Veritas wheel-style marking gauge in a colleague’s workshop. Since the hardened steel wheel slices through wood fibers, rather than tearing them, you don’t have to worry about wandering along a grain line. They’ve even got a micro-adjust model that makes it a heck of a lot easier to dial in the perfect setting. Plus, the micro-adjust model comes in well under $50.