Tools don’t have to be complex or expensive to be a worthy asset. Rockler (a HomeFixated sponsor), recently introduced its Center/Offset Marking Tool (Item # 56094). It is a simple device that makes it quick and easy to do two common shop tasks: Drawing centerlines on the edges of boards and drawing offsets parallel to the edge of a board. Let me show you how it works.
The Rockler Center Offset Marking Tool – Easy to Use
Using this tool is about as simple and straightforward as it gets. To mark a centerline on the edge of a board, first insert a standard #2 pencil into the guide in the handle until the point peeks through the underside.
Straddle the edge of the board with the marking tool and twist it so that the two posts contact the faces of the board as shown.
Maintaining that twist, give the handle a little squeeze to hold the pencil in place and run the marking tool along the edge to draw a perfectly centered line. You may need to use a straight edge at the ends of your board if you need to continue the line all the way to the end. Even then – since this tool is auto-centering – you still don’t have to measure, making for a quick task.
Rockler says the center marking aspect of this tool will work on stock up to 1-1/2” thick. But really, the space between the two posts is 2-1/2”. So you can actually mark centerlines on stock up to the full 2-1/2”. As long as you twist the tool – so that the two posts touch the faces of the board – your line will be perfectly centered.
Ready, Offset, Go!
Another feature of this marking tool is the ability to easily draw lines (offsets) that are parallel to the edge of a board. The offsets range from 1/16” to 1/2”, in eight 1/16th inch increments. The offset points are designed to account for the width of a sharpened pencil point so that the line you draw will always be the proper distance from the edge of your workpiece. I measured and verified this to be true.
To mark perfect offsets, place your pencil point in the appropriate notch, hold the handle against the edge of the board and slide it along to draw your line. Offsets are used for laying out rabbets, screw/nail locations, and many other purposes. See it in action here:
An Attractive Marking Tool
One post of the Marking Tool has a magnet, allowing it to be stored wherever it’s most convenient, like the side of a band saw or tool box. Or the shop kegerator! It even holds your pencil so that the two are always together, in wedded bliss.
The Finish Line
Simplicity is the beauty of a tool like this. It’s accurate and nearly foolproof. Overall, it’s like getting a Jackson’s worth of convenience for just under a Hamilton. And, made of sturdy plastic that is hard to flex even if you try, it’s virtually indestructible. It’s really hard to go wrong with a product like this. You can purchase the Rockler Center/Offset Marking Tool for just under $10 from Home Fixated sponsor Rockler Woodworking and Hardware.