Anarchist’s 2015 Gift Guide, Day 2: Starrett 819 Centering Punch
When I started seriously into building campaign furniture, I found that I was driving hundreds (no lie) of screws each week when building a typical piece with all the brass hinges, stays, corner guards and straps.
To speed me along, I bought a Starrett 819 centering punch, and if you have ever struggled with installing hardware, you will love this thing.
Like many woodworkers, I’ve tried all the silly gizmos for installing hardware (including the always-breakable Vix bits). I’ve trashed all of those and use only the 819 to mark my pilot holes. The way it works is simplicity itself. You press the tool’s black sleeve into the screw hole of the hinge or whatever it is you are trying to install. Press down. Click. It makes a perfect dimple in the middle of the hole. Done.
By the way, you can buy cheaper versions this sort of tool at the home center. Don’t. They stink for a wide variety of reasons (they aren’t spring-loaded or they fall apart).
— Christopher Schwarz