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Pencil or Scribe - What do you use to Mark Your Cut Lines?

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Forum topic by hjt posted 02-19-2016 03:39 AM 1111 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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hjt

822 posts in 2606 days


02-19-2016 03:39 AM

Topic tags/keywords: pencil scribe marking

I was in my humble workshop making more saw dust then project. I needed to make a rabbet cut that removed only 3/16 of an inch. I got my dad’s 1959 combination square and marked my line with a pencil. Grabbed my router and began. When done, I was more then a little ticked off to find the cut was much greater then 3/16.

This was cause by the pencil line being so far off the square.

Not having a Scribe I used a box cutter to score the wood and routed with much more accuracy.

What do you use to mark your cuts?

Do you use a scrib or something other then a pencil ONLY when accuracy is needed or do you use a pencil regardless and just know better then me how to make this wood working stuff work??

-- Harold


29 replies so far

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waho6o9

7180 posts in 2044 days


#1 posted 02-19-2016 03:50 AM

First I’d use a test piece and then check it and I use brass bars that are in 1/4 1/2 dimensions etc

123 blocks are useful as well.

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waho6o9

7180 posts in 2044 days


#2 posted 02-19-2016 03:54 AM

and for scribing Simple Scribe is the bees knees

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jbay

820 posts in 367 days


#3 posted 02-19-2016 04:05 AM

Pencil. Keep it freshly sharpened for critical lines, then when making the cut decide whether to leave the line split it or take it depending on where the line laid as you marked it.

-- My “MO” involves Judging others, playing God, acting as LJs law enforcement, and never admitting any of my ideas could possibly be wrong or anyone else's idea could possibly be correct -- (A1Jim)

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GerryB

69 posts in 2050 days


#4 posted 02-19-2016 04:09 AM

I use plain key stodck from the auto parts store. Ii is not expensive & close enough for what I dc.

-- The pursuit of excellence is gratifying and healthy. The pursuit of perfection is frustrating, neurotic, and a terrible waste of time. Edwin Bliss

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bbasiaga

759 posts in 1463 days


#5 posted 02-19-2016 04:10 AM

I like a mechanical pencil. But my brother just made me a marking knife. So I’m going to try that out. I’ve been watching Paul Sellers online…sometimes only one or the other will do.

-Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

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ThomasChippendale

244 posts in 400 days


#6 posted 02-19-2016 04:13 AM

Well sharpened pencil, I need better glasses to see the mark of a scribe.

-- PJ

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ksSlim

1204 posts in 2357 days


#7 posted 02-19-2016 04:49 AM

Marking knife, n fill the knife line with .3mm HB lead for old eyes.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

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bandit571

14657 posts in 2151 days


#8 posted 02-19-2016 05:07 AM

Pencil lines work just fine for me. The combo square I use has a notch on the end for the pencil to ride in ( actually, it is the groove the head rides on) I also use a marking gauge. On some fancy cuts, I will cut a knife wall. Merely to help guide a saw cut.

Just depends. I even have a “Boston” pencil sharpener mounted on a bench in the shop. Saves running back upstairs to the “good” sharpener ( Boston KS). Both will get a needle like point on a #2 pencil.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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rwe2156

2200 posts in 948 days


#9 posted 02-19-2016 12:23 PM

For a xgrain rabbet I score with a marking gauge or a marking knife and square; for a lengthwise rabbet just a marking gauge.

I will often delineate the score line with a sharp pencil in the case of dovetails or mortise and tenons.

The main point to your question is don’t try to do it all in one cut, but rather sneak up on it.

Why are you marking a line anyway? With a router or TS it is mostly a matter of setup and doing a test cut first.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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bigblockyeti

3668 posts in 1188 days


#10 posted 02-19-2016 12:40 PM

I use a #2 pencil, the level of precision required is always a function of how sharp the pencil is. If at/near the table saw where I do much of my marking, I’m always within arms reach of a pencil sharpener. In fact I’ve thought of installing one in the end of the extrusion of my Unifence.

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Tennessee

2410 posts in 1982 days


#11 posted 02-19-2016 01:01 PM

I’ve always used #2 pencils, and have an old school style sharpener with the spiral wheel cutter. I sharpen OFTEN. Also, I almost never sand off a pencil mark if it is part of a layout and won’t be cut. I use one of those large pink rubber erasers to get it off, not sandpaper.

I have tried mechanical pencils, but for some reason after breaking the lead off 5-6 times, they find themselves bouncing off the wall.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

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jeffswildwood

1331 posts in 1445 days


#12 posted 02-19-2016 01:29 PM

I use both. For my pencil lines I use a .05 mechanical pencil. For greater accuracy such as marking for hinges and rabbets, I use a box cutter knife. Works great and to sharpen, just change the blade. I still always do a test cut on scrap wood just to be sure.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way thats says "I meant to do that".

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Jeff2016

73 posts in 332 days


#13 posted 02-19-2016 01:37 PM

+1 for a good sharp pencil here too. I also tend to mark a tiny x to tell myself where to place the blade if I am laying out more than one cut. It’s only a reminder, but if I want to “split the line, the x is centered on the line. Other wise I know to leave the line and cut off the x. It’s a habit I started years ago running a cut table for a framing crew after getting grouched at that I cut the wrong side of the line.

-- Proud owner of an electronics free workshop. Please check your cell phone at the door!

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bearkatwood

1215 posts in 479 days


#14 posted 02-19-2016 01:48 PM

For a rabbet or rebate I would use a cutting gauge to scribe the line, for a dado or housing I would scribe a line. Pencils work great for layout, but when it comes to the handwork the scribe or gauge seems to works more accurately for me.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCX6RZGmiRE Good clip to watch if you are having troubles.

-- Brian Noel

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TheFridge

5765 posts in 954 days


#15 posted 02-19-2016 02:07 PM

Marking gauge would be perfect for a rabbet for me.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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