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Marking gauge and Knife vs. Pencil

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Forum topic by natenaaron posted 07-19-2013 06:33 PM 1246 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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natenaaron

408 posts in 1259 days


07-19-2013 06:33 PM

This is something I have been wondering about for a while. When I watch videos people are scribing their dove tails with a knife and depths with a marking gauge.

Why? What is the benefit over a sharp pencil?


9 replies so far

View BigMig's profile

BigMig

385 posts in 2075 days


#1 posted 07-19-2013 06:41 PM

The thinking is that a knife line is exact. A pencil line has width that can be less exact.

A scribed line can accept a chisel without ambiguity. If you chisel to a pencil line, it can be less exact.

-- Mike from Lansdowne, PA

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8523 posts in 3110 days


#2 posted 07-19-2013 06:46 PM

a scribed line with a marking gauge/knife leaves an razor fine imprint that works as an anchor to your chisels/saw keeping the cutting tools in place where they should be.

a pencil line is just visual – you could still end up with the chisel/saw off the center of the line.

I only use pencil to rough mark things to be sure to work on the correct area/side of the board. where precision is required – it’s marking knives for me.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

8080 posts in 1913 days


#3 posted 07-19-2013 06:58 PM

I’ll agree with the above except for one. On dovetails cut the first pencil the second. Otherwise you saw will follow the cut and leave you with a loose fit.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

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natenaaron

408 posts in 1259 days


#4 posted 07-19-2013 06:58 PM

That makes sense. Thanks.

What do you mean “cut the first, pencil the second”? I don’t know what a first and second is.

View JohnChung's profile

JohnChung

372 posts in 1536 days


#5 posted 07-19-2013 07:02 PM

1) mark the cut with a knife
2) use the pencil to mark the cut. For easy visuals

View KurtaKalbach's profile

KurtaKalbach

36 posts in 1280 days


#6 posted 07-19-2013 07:03 PM

The saying goes ” If you want a good joint,use a pencil. If you want a great joint use a knife.” I dont know who said it first but Its held true for me.

-- Kurt K.

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

8080 posts in 1913 days


#7 posted 07-19-2013 07:08 PM

What ever you do first, Pins or Tails, use a knife and marking gauge to lay them out and then make your cuts. Then when you transfer the lines to the other board use a soft pencil that won’t leave a groove. Since you are tracing a pin or tail the mark is outside of it, so cutting on that line would make your corresponding pin or tail to large.
Hope this helps.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View widdle's profile

widdle

2057 posts in 2461 days


#8 posted 07-19-2013 07:18 PM

If the saw kerf fallows the marking knife on the transfered( second board) in theory you would have a gap half the thickness of your saw kerf..IF..your saw falls into the knife line… Im starting to like a small ball point pen…

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theoldfart

8080 posts in 1913 days


#9 posted 07-19-2013 07:20 PM

wid, that’s why I like a soft pencil

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

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