Woodworking Tips, Tricks and Techniques

 

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Marking Tools

 

Marking Tools

Going beyond the pencil...

 One of the first tasks in any woodworking project or detail, or joint, is lay out. As much as I like guessing, that just won't work, in cutting or trimming wood.

 
 
 
 

There are a number of marking tools available, and they all have their place, based on what you're doing. A simple lumber crayon is great for rough lumber layout lines, but won't help much with a dovetail joint. The same is true for a scribe, used for a dovetail, won't be of much use in laying out rough lumber.

Knowing, and using the right tool for the job, is essential. Some tools will work well for 90% of layouts. One such tool is a mechanical pencil, sold by Lee Valley Tools. (see photo one) This particular pencil is designed for marking rough lumber all day long, without breaking the point! What's great about that, is the fact it actually works. I've been using these pencils for a couple of years, and although they seem a little pricey for a pencil, (about $25.00), they are not over priced. The lead is almost an 1/8" in diameter, and can be sharpened to a fine point. This pencil will actually scribe the line into the wood. The blue cap is the sharpener. It is necessary to tap the cap on something hard occasionally, to clean out the dust. Swiss made, and great quality! These make great gift for woodworkers.

  Mechanical Pencil from Lee Valley Tools  Mechanical pencil with lead extended  Japanese scribing tools  Veritas scribing tool

When you want a very fine line, it's time to use a marking scribe. These are generally metal blades, sharpened to a a very fine edge. While there a many to choose from, my personal favorites came from Woodcraft store. (see photo three). These are Japanese made, and are available in left, right, and double edged. These are realitively inexpensive, and hold an edge well.

Photo four shows a scribe made by Veritas, for Lee Valley tools. It too, is a great tool, and is double beveled, so being able to mark with the left or right edge of the blade is quite convenient.

 

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