Hand tool tips and tricks #4: Hiding Component Markings

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Blog entry by RGtools posted 523 days ago 969 reads 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: When you don't have a place for chisels. Part 4 of Hand tool tips and tricks series Part 5: Starting a Handplane. »

I actually picked this up from Paul Sellers, though not something he specifically discussed. The tip came from a picture in his book; when I saw it I thought “why didn’t I think of that”.

Here is my version of the picture.

When the joint is assembled the marks are permanently hidden by the joint…you don’t have to figure out how to erase them later. A nice way to keep things straight, huh?

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

13 comments so far

View Roger's profile


13960 posts in 1390 days

#1 posted 523 days ago

That’s what I do. It’s a good system

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View Cajunrotor's profile


27 posts in 913 days

#2 posted 523 days ago

I would have thought of that…................eventually! Thanks for the tip!

-- Earl

View Mauricio's profile


6734 posts in 1737 days

#3 posted 523 days ago

Pretty cool, I’ve seen Peter Follansbee do this to where he uses different carving gouge to chop matching marks in each M&T.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Brit's profile


5103 posts in 1428 days

#4 posted 523 days ago

I do that when I remember. I also stick bits of blue tape on components and write on that instead of directly on the wood. If you do have to write on the wood though, use a soft pencil and when you’re ready, wiping the pencil marks with white spirit takes them right off.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

View AnthonyReed's profile


4267 posts in 1026 days

#5 posted 523 days ago

Now if i can cut a mortise and tenon that fit that nicely then i am all set…

Thanks bud.

-- ~Tony

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 1701 days

#6 posted 523 days ago

thanks for sharing the tip RG :-)

now I just have to rember it …..


View Don W's profile

Don W

14497 posts in 1153 days

#7 posted 523 days ago

this is a tactic I employ, mostly due to laziness. But sometimes I write my name in locations like that. Something to give the future recycler something to think about.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View DrSawdust's profile


307 posts in 2683 days

#8 posted 523 days ago

Simple elegance!

-- Making sawdust is what I do best

View balidoug's profile


363 posts in 1064 days

#9 posted 523 days ago

Great tip, thanks.

-- From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. Immanuel Kant

View Grumpymike's profile


992 posts in 901 days

#10 posted 522 days ago

White spirit?? I use alcohol to remove pencil marks … is that white spirit??
Some of this English English translate funny to American English :)

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it.

View RGtools's profile


3299 posts in 1240 days

#11 posted 522 days ago

I second the white-spirit question. Mineral spirit perhaps? not a bad tip. The other way to go about it is to place the marks in a place where they can be easily handplaned off with a smoother after assembly.

About a million and one ways to do about anything.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View Brit's profile


5103 posts in 1428 days

#12 posted 521 days ago

Sorry guys I was wrong. I meant to say Methylated Sprits and NOT White Spirit. I believe this is called denatured alcohol in the US. Whatever it is called where you live, it is basically ethanol that has additives to make it undrinkable (poisonous), to discourage recreational consumption

You can apparently also use acetone. If you type ‘removing pencil marks’ into the LJs search, you’ll find some threads that have discussed this subject in the past and see what others have recommended.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

View stefang's profile


12416 posts in 1920 days

#13 posted 521 days ago

This is a great tip, which I have used for some time. When I made my frame and panel router table there were about 50 mortise/tenon joints which I diligently marked as I chopped and cut them. Everything went together perfectly thanks to that.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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