The accuracy of your project is determined by the precision of your layout work. There are many options out there for marking tools, and many woodworkers have different opinions. We consulted a reliable source for the real scoop on how to make your mark. Popular Woodworking Magazine writer Robert W. Lang addresses this basic yet important woodworking question with some very valuable advice on what works and what doesn’t.
First, start with a BIC .5mm mechanical pencil. Why mechanical? Because it won’t quickly dull down like your old fashioned #2 pencil. Then go over your lines with an X-Acto (about $5). As Robert explains, this may seem like an extra step, but it’s actually worth the trouble in the event that the pencil smears. Still start with a pencil, though, to ensure you don’t make any accidental impressions. Since an X-Acto is a bit flimsy, you’ll have to go over the lines a couple of times. With $15 more, you can get a chip-carving knife, which has a better blade for marking. Money aside, if you want the absolute best, Robert suggests going for a Blue Spruce Toolworks knife. The blade and handle are specifically designed for the easiest and cleanest markings.
Bottom line; don’t fall for a gimmicky wood marking product. A mechanical pencil and one of these three knifes, whichever you choose, will get you the marks you need.
Find everything you need for your woodworking project from tools to exotic hardwoods at Schutte Lumber in Kansas City, Missouri. Stop by our showroom and lumber yard at 3001 Southwest Boulevard.
Photo via Popular Woodworking Magazine.
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