Last August, while wandering the aisles at IWF2012, I came across the Thingamejig tool. It’s a small tool designed to execute one specific task; to precisely and accurately mark a scribed line.
The tool is machined from a solid piece of aluminum, which gives it nice heft and balance while in your hand. The scribing is accomplished with three blades arranged in a triangular pattern, which can be rotated twice when they become dull. The tool has a large circular pad that follows the wall, floor, or ceiling. The depth of scribing is controlled by threading the head of the tool up or down the body of the tool. Once the depth is reached, a locking nut ensures the setting is held in place.
Scribing is one of those tasks can be done many different ways, from a simple pencil in the hand, to more elaborate tools like the Thingame Jig, with varying degrees of accuracy and success. Prior to the Thingamejig tool, my scribing tool of choice was a pencil in my hand, and there are so many ways this method fails. Often times, the pencil will leave a mark on the wall or ceiling as you drag it along, that has to be removed later. Pencils also have a one size fits all scribe depth. There is no adjustability, unless you tip or angle the pencil, which is anything but accurate. Lastly, the final pencils fail in the scribe mark itself. If the lead is dull, then you are left with a thick, fat groove pressed into your workpiece, but if the lead is nice and sharp, chances are it will break when pressed against the surface.
The Thingamejig solves all of these issues. A non-marring plastic pad connects to the circular plate to prevent marring finished surfaces while scribing. The scribing height is minutely adjustable from 0″ to 1.5″, and can be locked in place to ensure it does not shift while scribing. Lastly, the scoring blades are razor sharp, so very little pressure is needed to create a nice clean scoring line on the surface. After using the Thingame jig on a few jobs, I discovered another benefit to blades versus pencil lead. On darker woods, such as walnut or a stained finish, the pencil lead can be nearly impossible to make out, whereas the scored line is crisp and clean, which allows the user to easily see the boundary line while planing.
My only complaint really has more to do with me than the tool. Sometimes on a job I choose to accomplish a task with an inferior tool because I am to lazy to walk over to the tool box and dig out and set up the correct one. This has happened before with Thingamejig tool. I will forgo the extra steps of removing and calibrating the Thingamejig, and instead use the pencil that is in my front pocket, and kick myself for the sub-par results.
So, if you are on an install crew, or if you employ an crew of installers, grab a Thingamejig and make difficult installs a bit easier.