Workshop Tip: Find Perfect Center Using a Standard Square
Whether you are prepping stock for lathe work or drilling a centered hole in the end of a workpiece, you’ll need to find the exact center. This can be tricky on a small surface, but I have a quick and accurate method.
Using a combination square or a stop rule, get as close to the center as you can, working from one side of the workpiece. Lock the square there, and then rotate it around the workpiece, marking four short lines in the middle. If all of the lines form a perfect cross, you’ve found your center point. It’s more likely, however—because your setting was off or the workpiece isn’t perfect—that the four lines will form a tiny square. That’s just as good. Place your awl or center punch in the middle, and drill or turn with confidence.
—Father Chrysanthos Agiogrigorites, St. Gregory Palamas Monastery, Etna, Calif.
Drawings by Dan Thorton