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Here’s something we stumbled across, but wasn’t aware of — maybe some of you’ve had experience with one of these.  From GarrettWade’s page:

“We understand that ‘old timers’ used to say, ‘All you needed was a #1 Odd Job, a hammer, and a saw, and you could build anything.’  Made by Stanley from 1888 to the early 1930’s, it seems as useful today as it was then.  […]  It’s an inside mitre and try square, a depth gauge, a scribing tool for arcs and circles, a T-square, a depth marking scribe (excellent for marking out mortises), a plumb level, and the 6″ maple, brass-edged rule (also now marked in mm), which is standard with every #1 Odd Job.”

They also offer a 12″ rule that swaps in for the 6″.  GarrettWade wants $60 for the Odd Job, $30 ofr the 12″ rule, or they’ll sell you both for $70.

Has anyone used one of these — or better yet one of the originals?  It looks really slick, but I’d love to hear someone’s first-hand opinion before shelling out for one.

Historic Stanley #1 Odd Job [GarrettWade]


15 Responses to Finds: Stanley’s #1 Odd-Job Layout Tool

  1. Abe says:

    This tool looks very interesting and I think I would love to play with one just to see how it works. I am however a bit concerned with it’s “Made In Taiwan” country of origin. This may well be an exception but typically tools from Taiwan are not good quality.

  2. nrChris says:

    That is something that I would have to see and feel and even try out before spending power-tool money on a tool that is unknown to me. I do have to say that I am very intrigued by this and hope that someone can post some hands on and real-world views on something like this.

  3. ambush27 says:

    This definitely looks interesting, I’ve been interested in stuff like this for a while now, you know like your on an island with every natural resource but you still can’t build a car because there are certain forgotten tools and technologies…

  4. Me says:

    I read about these in a recent issue of Woodworker’s Journal. The company that makes them now is a very well known and well respected company, IIRC. So even though they are made overseas, the magazine had good things to say about them.

  5. Terry Kane says:

    The #1 Odd Job is available at Woodcraft with 6″ & 12″ rules for 39.95.
    Without 12″ rule for 34.95. The 12″ rule alone is 9.95.

    GarretWade has some neat stuff that I can’t elsewhere, but the prices can be, well, inflated.

  6. JoshMaz says:

    It looks like Woodcraft has put together a short video showing some of the functionality of this little tool.

    At $40 for the set this would be great a stocking-stuffer kind of gift and looks like a handy tool to keep near the workbench. At the $70 price-point, I would need to be a big fan to shell out for this reproduction of a old-time favorite.

  7. Will says:

    GarretWade usually sells tools that you can get elsewhere at a much better price, nice catalog..not so nice prices. If I see something that I like I will look for it elsewhere. I looked at one of these at wood craft and it seems very solidly made.

  8. Rory says:

    I just purchased an Odd Jobs Layout Tool with 6″ ruler from rockler.com, on sale for ONLY $12.95, with FREE shipping and handling! It is exactly the same as the one sold by GarrettWade for $34.95. In fact, I believe the tool is made for GarrettWade by Rockler. It is a very good quality tool that proven to be very useful to me. I keep it in my pocket when I’m woodworking and use it for most of my measuring and marking tasks. At $12.95, it’s one of the best tool values I’ve ever had! My Dad used to use one (back in the 1930’s through 1970’s) and he used to swear by it.

  9. Arthur Whittaker says:

    I purchased the 12 inch one at Harbor Freight for $19.95. The ruler is in inches on one side and MM on the other side. When I was at Harbor Freight last week I noticed that the price was listed at $22.95 now. I have used it a little but don’t know how to use it effectively as it doesn’t come with any instructions. It is a very good quality tool.

  10. Fay Templeton says:

    I have the original one made by Stanley # 1 love it
    and use it regularly . if price is right would consider
    selling .

  11. Michael says:

    It’s a shame the original reproduction from Simpson Machine Tool Co. is no longer available. I have two of them, one with the laser-engraved 6″ rule, and one that I purchased on clearance from Woodcraft without any rule. My 6″ rule is a little worse for the wear, so I’m thinking about having a stainless rule made to replace it.

  12. Grandpa George says:

    Just got one for Christmas. It was bought at Harbor Freight in Largo FL for less that $15 on closeout. Avery well made tool and very useful. Followng the link from JoshMaz above at
    will give you a brief on getting started.

  13. Patrick says:

    I got mine on sale at Harbor Frieght Tools for $0.99. The sell for about $4-5.

  14. cory says:

    Can somebody please explain how to use this thing, or know where i can find a manual. Wit so many different uses its kind of hard to figure out without instructions . If anything , how do i use the scribe.

  15. A.J. says:

    Just got one of these from Rockler Woodworking and Hardware store. It was on SALE for 19.99. I’m impressed by the solid construction. Solid Brass with a maple ruler that has brass runners on the sides of the ruler. The finish is great and the brass screws work very smoothly.

    The functions of the tool are limited only by your imagination. The general functions are:
    – Inside miter
    – Try square
    – Depth gauge for saw blades or router bits
    – Scribing tool for arcs and circles – has a retractable point at tip that screws down to give you your pivot point. The silver scribe tool has a screw head on the other side to adjust the pivot point.
    – Level (yes it has a level built in on the back side)
    – T-square
    – Plum level
    – Depth marking scribe

    I recommend it!

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