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Hand tool tips and tricks #14: Layout Speed Tip.

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Blog entry by RGtools posted 484 days ago 3310 reads 1 time favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 13: When a Marking Knife Won't Do Part 14 of Hand tool tips and tricks series Part 15: Dead Blow Mallet, to Mar or Not to Mar? »

This might seem totally obsessive, but I am an efficiency Nazi in my shop. Wasted movements drive me crazy and any time I can get into a habit that saves me a few seconds it makes me happy. This is of course especially true in the case of repetitive tasks.

One such task is marking the layout lines of a board to cut it square. If you have been working with hand tools for even a short time you have probably heard to “Reference only from your true face and true edge”. This is sage wisdom, but let’s add a bit to it. Start on your true face across the true edge. Like so.

Once you have marked one line, rotate the piece towards the true edge. Like so (forgive the blur, but I have been trying to post this tip for a while and I kind of give up on the photo shoot…sorry)

Then flip your square over and do the other two sides.

Why do it this way? Because you only have to flip your square over once…I told you it’s a rather neurotic, but it will save you time and headache on days where you are doing this with a lot of components.

Here is what I mean. About 30 seconds to lay out the end.

For reasons beyond my understanding, I am unable to post this video, despite having been able to post it successfully in the Measuring and Marking Tools or Your Dreams forum (also despite the fact that the video worked at first). When I figure it out I will edit and bump the post. Sorry.

Bonus tip per Brit (I hope you don’t mind):

Another tip which you did on the video but didn’t talk about was to set your marking knife in the indentation left by marking the previous face and move your square up to the knife. Guaranteed accuracy.

Cheers!

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



16 comments so far

View LeslieC's profile

LeslieC

147 posts in 697 days


#1 posted 484 days ago

Thanks for the tip!

-- There is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert.

View lysdexic's profile

lysdexic

4779 posts in 1222 days


#2 posted 484 days ago

You are the man Ryan

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

View Michael1's profile

Michael1

403 posts in 1259 days


#3 posted 484 days ago

Nice tip, Thanks for sharing. Anything that saves time adds up and after a while its like having an extra hour in the shop!!

-- Michael Mills, North Carolina, http://www.scicaskets.com

View Brit's profile

Brit

5107 posts in 1441 days


#4 posted 483 days ago

I couldn’t agree more Ryan. Another tip which you did on the video but didn’t talk about was to set your marking knife in the indentation left by marking the previous face and move your square up to the knife. Gauranteed accuracy.

Keep ‘em coming my friend.

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

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3299 posts in 1253 days


#5 posted 483 days ago

^I knew someone would catch that.

Edit: added to the main post. Thanks Andy.

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

View Brit's profile

Brit

5107 posts in 1441 days


#6 posted 483 days ago

I’ve got your back. :o)

-- 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

AnthonyReed

4375 posts in 1039 days


#7 posted 483 days ago

Nice tip Ryan. Thanks.

Video is missing if you did not know.

-- ~Tony

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3299 posts in 1253 days


#8 posted 483 days ago

Not sure why it is fouling up (It worked this morning). I will try to fix this tonight, perhaps I should get a You tube account and set up that way.

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

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

1465 posts in 833 days


#9 posted 483 days ago

In the name of efficiency I have given up rotating my square around the four sides. Even with knife marks and using the “butt to knife” technique, I rarely come out precisely even on the fourth side. Incremental errors accumulate, even tiny ones. I mark the reference length on sides diagonally opposite (it’s more rare to make the same mistake twice) and using a short piece (6”) of 1” aluminum angle (aluminum angle “irons” have sharp inside corners) with carefully squared ends, mark two sides at once with one setting. If I need to cross a wider piece to the other side, then I butt the square up, but usually 2” coverage is sufficient. A wider angle could be used. Just my .02.
Another small item of accuracy I learned from another woodworker so long ago I cannot remember who. A single bevel marking knife makes a kerf that is vertical (perpendicular to the marked surface) on one side and beveled on the other. For greatest accuracy, one wants the bevel side of the mark to be in the waste. Because a knife mark is so fine, one doesn’t readily think of that in the doing. It’s important when setting a chisel or chasing a mark around a board.
DanK

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL http://www.kragerwoodworking.weebly.com

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7620 posts in 2651 days


#10 posted 483 days ago

Here is a Tip that may help you with the pictures:

1. Use a tripod.

2. When you’re posed & ready for the shot, set to use the camera timer…

3. Click the shutter… (it will wait about 10 seconds or so… Then, click the picture.)

4. Results in NO BLUR from hand movements.

Another possible reason might be is that you’re too close for your lens…
... put your camera into Macro Mode, which lets you shoot real close while staying in focus.

Thank you for your Tip…. Very good!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3299 posts in 1253 days


#11 posted 477 days ago

FINALLY!!!!!!!! I am not sure why the video worked this time, I tried edit and preview over and over until the darn thing showed up.

Can’t explain, but I am not editing it again.

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

View AnthonyReed's profile

AnthonyReed

4375 posts in 1039 days


#12 posted 477 days ago

Thank ya sir.

I covet your marking knife.

-- ~Tony

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3299 posts in 1253 days


#13 posted 477 days ago

Well worth the investment Tony, it marks the way for a lot of your other tools.

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

View lysdexic's profile

lysdexic

4779 posts in 1222 days


#14 posted 477 days ago

Ryan, it must be warm in your shop with all that R-13 insulation in the corner.

EDIT: who is the maker of said marking knife?

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3299 posts in 1253 days


#15 posted 477 days ago

Blue Spruce.

...and soon as my toolchest is done that stuff is getting crammed in the walls.

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

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