Tool: Tajima CR202B Chalk-Rite II Ultra Thin Chalk Line
Precision is what a chalk line should be about. Until I found the Tajima CR202B Ultra Thin line I never experienced such fine marks despite a large collection of chalk boxes. This is a love-at-first-use tool. My Tajima is an awesome chalk line that makes one wonder where it’s been all these years and starts a hankering to experience more Tajima products.
Tool: General Tools 842CP Pencil Compass Divider And Scriber
I thought I had already written about three of the compasses that I use in my shop but I can’t find the article or the images and now I find myself wondering if I dreamt about writing articles that don’t exist?
Awl a board. Yeah, that’s right. The awl is a great tool. I have quite a few awls including several antiques, even an 1805 wrought iron Lewis & Clark replica awl with antler handle. To be honest, for a while I didn’t know what an awl was for. Yeah, I get it.. it’s for poking holes. So what?
In the photo below are three of my 7″ Speed Squares; A Swanson, a Johnson and an Empire. Hopefully thinking the Swanson Speed Square is the original is not just another reflection of learning carpentry in California.
Many manufacturers offer combo squares in a variety of materials but the tool remains the same. One of my favorite tools in my belt, which I’ve carried for years, is the 6″ combo square. Sure, I use larger combo squares regularly but the 6″ is in my pouch ready for gauging and marking at any moment …those moments come all day long at my job.
Tool: Stanley 46-813 8-Inch Solid Hardwood T-Bevel
A bevel gauge has been an essential tool in my carpenter’s belt. I don’t know how old this one is but I can tell you it’s been around the block and then some. The way this tool sticks out of my pouch means it has gotten caught on just about everything I have to squeeze through on the job, be it shrubs, a crawlspace, or a joist bay.
Tool: Bridge City Tool Works CT-1 Squevel Date of Service: 1993
Wow! Really one of my coolest tools. At first I thought these tools were too beautiful to use but it didn’t take me long to break them in. Today my limited edition Signature Series CT-1 Squevel is in constant use, though writing this post has brought to my attention it’s need for some TLC.
Tool: Bridge City Tool Works – TS-2 Master Try Square Date of Service: December 1990
Every woodworker has a few prized tools that are put to use often. A few of the finest tools In my shop are made by Bridge City Tool Works, including the TS-2 Master Try Square which is engraved with my initials, birthday and the year of 1990.
90 degrees, plus or minus 0.002″ over the blade length, inside and outside
8″ (heel to toe)
360 alloy, half-hard brass
Solid rosewood, faced on both sides with 360 alloy half-hard brass wear plates, rivets are anchored in solid brass seats, both sides
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I received the Bridge City Tool Works TS-2 Master Square as a birthday present from a fine cabinetmaker and an influential person in my life. Unfortunately he died before I grew up enough to share woodworking stories, experiences and learn from him. As we talked during his last few days I felt like I was being cast out alone into the woodworking world with no teacher since we had lived on opposite coasts of America during my beginnings and I had just returned to the East Coast; “How will I learn to be a craftsman without you?” He replied, “You are going to have to go out there and learn it for yourself like everyone else.”
I don’t own a tool more accurate or more beautiful. I value these tools more than any other for obvious reasons… but still I use them almost every day!
Tool: Ticonderoga #2 soft pencil
Every woodworker uses pencils. The Ticonderoga #2 soft pencil is the choice for my shop. I’ve tried several other manufacturers but the Ticonderoga is a brand with a decent eraser. I got a case of pencils as a gift and ended up tossing them because I couldn’t erase mistake lines. Seems like a funny article to post but it’s one tool that is a part of every project, whether it’s carpentry, cabinetry or general woodworking. Grab a case of these and you’ll be set for a year and then some.