All Replies on How do you identify the parts you cut?

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How do you identify the parts you cut?

by SmartCutter
posted 01-05-2012 07:40 AM

30 replies so far

View HerbC's profile


1438 posts in 1948 days

#1 posted 01-05-2012 07:45 AM

I think that would be a good feature.


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 2072 days

#2 posted 01-05-2012 07:50 AM

i just mark with a pencil. but if you’re a smart cutter ;) you might like the labels, but what about when you’re sanding parts, is it easy peel off label and reattach?

View Manitario's profile


2386 posts in 1972 days

#3 posted 01-05-2012 07:51 AM

soft leaded carpenter’s pencil

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View SmartCutter's profile


24 posts in 1486 days

#4 posted 01-05-2012 07:59 AM

But if you are sanding parts, wouldn’t the pencil marking fade away with the sanding as well? With the label sticker idea, you can just peel it off with the sander, then print another copy of the labels to stick on the sanded parts afterwards. Are there any better ideas?

-- Get Optimal Cuts from your iPad - Carpenter Pro:

View Loren's profile


7967 posts in 2737 days

#5 posted 01-05-2012 08:14 AM

I mark the ends with a crayon, or chalk if the wood is dark.

You can’t get fancy with a crayon so I use numbers and letters
like A1, A2, B1, B2 and so forth. My cutlist tells me what the
numbers mean.


View SmartCutter's profile


24 posts in 1486 days

#6 posted 01-05-2012 08:22 AM

So If the cutlist software allows you to print X quantity of label stickers for each part according to the cutlist layout, with the part label & dimensions printed on the label, would this be better than the pencil/crayon/chalk manual marking approach?

Another idea is to print the color of each part label differently, so if you have a color printer, that would make it even easier to identify each part from a distance by looking at the label color.

For the lable size, 2x1 should be good enough to stick at the part’s corner.

-- Get Optimal Cuts from your iPad - Carpenter Pro:



169 posts in 1423 days

#7 posted 01-05-2012 08:56 AM

Where the parts are getting sanded only on one side, then the sticker could be fixed on the other side.

But I adopt a different way of using stickers,

i put stickers in the edges of pieces being joined together, with matching numbers written on them with permanent markers.

This way, I also find it easier to decide, which side to be sanded and which side gets lamination, without sanding.


View Pete_Jud's profile


424 posts in 2842 days

#8 posted 01-05-2012 09:07 AM

I use a lot of chalk in the shop. Sands off easy, and cheap.

-- Life is to short to own an ugly boat.

View Loren's profile


7967 posts in 2737 days

#9 posted 01-05-2012 10:50 AM

Part id stickers are are used bigger shops. They also use barcodes
in some cases. I would use stickers if the cutlist software interfaced
with Sketchup. If I had to enter my data for the cutlist manually,
I probably wouldn’t use the stickers much.


View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


930 posts in 1444 days

#10 posted 01-05-2012 11:00 AM

Well, define large cutlists.

Usually if I need to keep track of parts, I will write what it is on the edge grain, if it’s plywood it won’t be visible, if it’s wood, then I can sand it away when I sand the edges easily enough. But honestly in most cases, just working by myself, I know what the part is, no one is going to move it, mix pieces together, or anything else. If I have questions, I just measure and look at my cutlists.

The danger with a sticker is that they are adhesive, if you leave them there too long, then you’re going to end up having to clean the sticker off because it will attach itself. If you do use a tape, get a low tack tape, it will take longer to stick itself permanently, and it won’t pull the veneers on thin veneered plywoods like even blue or green tape will. (Low tack is typically white, and will cost a little more than the normal painters tapes, and will be marked in some method as low tack.)

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View Les 's profile


201 posts in 1779 days

#11 posted 01-05-2012 01:39 PM

Blue painters tape, then write on that. It leaves no residue and removes and reapplies easily. I write on it with a black marker.


-- Stay busy....Stay young

View Dan's profile


45 posts in 1426 days

#12 posted 01-05-2012 01:47 PM

blue tape with pen and lots of chaulk; all easy clean up and no finishing issues.

-- Dan Stine, Galion Ohio

View SmartCutter's profile


24 posts in 1486 days

#13 posted 01-05-2012 03:55 PM

So if there were printing paper that is made of blue painters tape, then the cutlist app would simply print all parts labels & dimensions onto this paper, that would be the ideal solution.

Otherwise, regular label sticker printing paper would have to do, as long as you don’t plan on leaving the stickers on the parts for too long.

I’m convinced… I think I’ll go ahead and implement this feature for the next release of Carpenter Pro.

-- Get Optimal Cuts from your iPad - Carpenter Pro:

View Dallas's profile


3570 posts in 1576 days

#14 posted 01-05-2012 03:59 PM

I identify parts I cut like this:





Sorry, I just couldn’t help it. The topic struck me as odd, especially after a night of little sleep.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2012 days

#15 posted 01-05-2012 04:12 PM

Chalk cheap and sand off easily

-- Life is good.

View DIYaholic's profile


18010 posts in 1764 days

#16 posted 01-06-2012 01:15 AM

If the parts are the wrong dimensions, Then anybody can identify them as mine

I think I have a similar affliction as Dallas!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View DS's profile


2141 posts in 1509 days

#17 posted 01-06-2012 01:30 AM

I usually use a two letter memonic name for the part type and then the cabinet number.

e.g. TO 5 is the Top for Cabinet #5

I mark the edges with a black sharpie as they come off the CNC machine.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View a1Jim's profile


113825 posts in 2666 days

#18 posted 01-06-2012 02:21 AM

another blue tape and pencil.

-- Custom furniture

View dannelson's profile


172 posts in 1460 days

#19 posted 01-06-2012 03:05 AM

I use the lables for plywood parts only . I look at the cutlist print out by sheet number = plywood sheet and apply them to the approx location on the plywood and cut it on the cnc. for faceframes it chalk based on the finish size of the cabinet. (B31 UP36 )you can figure out where it goes pretty easy

-- nelson woodcrafters

View MoshupTrail's profile


301 posts in 1569 days

#20 posted 01-06-2012 03:18 AM

If you were manufacturing a kit to be assembled by the purchaser it would be very professional to have all the parts nicely labeled with removable stickers.

-- Some problems are best solved with an optimistic approach. Optimism shines a light on alternatives that are otherwise not visible.

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 2359 days

#21 posted 01-06-2012 04:26 AM

Blue/masking tape (I will also use gaffer’s tape when the wood is especially hard to stick the tape too…..and a pencil/pen. If there are alot of items….I might use some colored dot stickers to group the pieces (I put the dot on the endgrain). Too much work to print a label…then stick to the part – especially if there are alot of parts.

I also use the tape to indicate the joining edges, the top or inside and various other important considerations. Printing all those kinds of labels would take alot of extra time….not to mention remembering to remove all of them before sanding or applying finish. I would be worried about stickers that might leave residue that would compromise a stain or oil finish.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View jusfine's profile


2351 posts in 2015 days

#22 posted 01-06-2012 05:21 AM

I mark mine on ends with heavy pencil, using same method Jim Tolpin explains in his books.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View Viking's profile


858 posts in 2284 days

#23 posted 01-09-2012 03:38 AM

I do my preliminary designs with good old paper and pencil on a drafting table. Once I am happy with the dimensions I start creating a cut list with the rough dimension of parts and give each part a corresponding number. As I cut each part I mark the P/N on back along with key information like top, bottom, right, left, upper, lower, etc. This information stays on the part until assembly. If pre- assembly sanding has to be done I make a blue tape tag that goes back on the part until assembly.

There have been more than a few times that I have picked up a part and cut off the wrong end due to not marking and indexing.

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View SmartCutter's profile


24 posts in 1486 days

#24 posted 01-12-2012 01:51 PM

Well, based on the feedback, I went ahead and added the “Parts Stickers & Labels” feature to my cutlist app “Carpenter Pro” so now you should be able to auto generate barcode size 2×1 colored stickers for all parts in the cutlist. The colored stickers will show part name, dimensions, color (as specified in the cutlist) and the wood grain direction for the part relative to its dimensions, just as a final check. Here are some examples of these colored stickers:

-- Get Optimal Cuts from your iPad - Carpenter Pro:

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 2854 days

#25 posted 03-08-2012 02:27 AM


View onlinelabels's profile


2 posts in 1020 days

#26 posted 02-10-2013 12:43 PM

SmartCutter – Do you have the specific configuration specs of the label sheet that you have displayed in your post?

I work at and I would like to offer that sheet configuration as one of our standard label sheet sizes at

Here is a 2 x 1 label sheet configuration, but I’m not sure if it lays out exactly the same as your format -

Here are all the current standard label sizes at

Let me know.

Dave Carmany

-- Dave Carmany,

View johnstoneb's profile


1547 posts in 1261 days

#27 posted 02-10-2013 01:03 PM

I use a pencil on the unseen side. It sands off easily when I want it off and leaves no residue.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View bondogaposis's profile


3448 posts in 1440 days

#28 posted 02-10-2013 03:07 PM

I use a lumber crayon.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View AandCstyle's profile


2017 posts in 1346 days

#29 posted 02-11-2013 04:20 AM

I use a black Sharpie on an area that won’t be seen, like the top of the leg, the end of a tenon, etc. That also helps me keep track of the orientation of the part.

-- Art

View mbs's profile


1570 posts in 2029 days

#30 posted 02-11-2013 05:24 AM

I’ve used stickers before that printed automatically from my cabinet software. The type of sticker I used was very sticky and difficult to get off at times. Blue tape works well.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

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