Hand tool tips and tricks #4: Hiding Component Markings

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Blog entry by RGtools posted 02-04-2013 02:01 PM 1230 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


17850 posts in 1890 days

#1 posted 02-04-2013 02:11 PM

That’s what I do. It’s a good system

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

View Cajunrotor's profile


31 posts in 1414 days

#2 posted 02-04-2013 02:18 PM

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

-- Earl

View Mauricio's profile


7077 posts in 2238 days

#3 posted 02-04-2013 02:46 PM

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


5769 posts in 1929 days

#4 posted 02-04-2013 02:47 PM

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


6738 posts in 1527 days

#5 posted 02-04-2013 02:48 PM

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 2202 days

#6 posted 02-04-2013 02:48 PM

thanks for sharing the tip RG :-)

now I just have to rember it …..


View Don W's profile

Don W

16821 posts in 1654 days

#7 posted 02-04-2013 03:42 PM

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


316 posts in 3184 days

#8 posted 02-04-2013 04:46 PM

Simple elegance!

-- Making sawdust is what I do best

View balidoug's profile


393 posts in 1565 days

#9 posted 02-04-2013 11:56 PM

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


1627 posts in 1402 days

#10 posted 02-05-2013 04:41 PM

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. ... Surprise Az.

View RGtools's profile


3343 posts in 1741 days

#11 posted 02-06-2013 02:18 AM

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


5769 posts in 1929 days

#12 posted 02-06-2013 06:55 AM

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


14926 posts in 2421 days

#13 posted 02-06-2013 05:18 PM

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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