We need to thank Rich Hummel of Woodpeckers. Besides making great marking and routing tools, Rich was kind enough to help us out and fund the lanyards we gave away at Woodworking in America West and will give away at Woodworking in America Midwest.
If you're not familiar with Woodpeckers, they are the purveyors of some of the nicest milled aluminum marking and routing tools you can imagine. I know the make your own wooden marking tool movement has caught on as of late, but listen to Rich talk about machining aluminum and you'll see he's just as passionate about it as we are about working wood.
My first Woodpecker tool was their 1281 12" Precision Woodworking Square I bought from Christoper Schwarz a few years ago when he was selling his excess tools. While I have the utmost respect for Chris, and I enjoy learning from him whenever I can, I can't wrap my head around selling off a 1281. It instantly became my favorite marking tool, and I don't think I'll ever have the desire to make my own when I can use one of these.
Be sure to check out Woodpeckers at woodpeck.com or by clicking the Woodpecker logo on right. They'll become your favorite tools too.
On a related note, Popular Woodworking Magazine is currently auctioning off a set of signed Chris Schwarz Books & DVDS. Having read the three (3) books ("The Workbench Design Book", "Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use" & "Handplane Essentials") I'll tell you they're well worth it, even if the auction wasn't for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.