Half measures with the FitFinder 1/2 Gauge! by A.J. Hamler, Woodshop News

February 26, 2024

There’s no replacement for accurate measurements. But sometimes there are shortcuts that work just fine.

Over the years there have been discussions on the various woodworking forums about center-finding jigs and similar measuring aids. The general feeling is that it’s either cheating or cutting corners. But then, isn’t that what jigs are all about, saving time and being more efficient?

I’ve owned a couple CenterPoint rules since they first came out years ago, as well as a simple plastic center-finding tool for round workpieces. (I don’t even remember who made it.) I use those rulers all the time, and that plastic thingy hangs right by my lathe.

Photo by A.J. Hamler

I just bought a new tool that does both those tasks, and I already like it a lot. Microjig recently introduced their FitFinder 1/2, a nifty little device that instantly gives the center of any workpiece thickness up to 3". It not only finds that center spot for marking, but can then be used to set blade and bit height on a variety of woodshop tools.

For critical measurements, it’s always best to actually measure. But to be honest, in several decades of woodworking I’ve rarely made anything that requires anything so critical that a short cut can’t be used, and that’s where these come in handy. I’ve never had an issue using a CenterPoint or that plastic thingy, and this FitFinder looks pretty foolproof. Glad to have it in my arsenal.


A.J. Hamler is the former editor of Woodshop News and Woodcraft Magazine. He's currently a freelance woodworking writer/editor, which is another way of stating self-employed. When he's not writing or in the shop, he enjoys science fiction, gourmet cooking and Civil War reenacting, but not at the same time.  

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