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      CommentAuthorNick
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2009 edited
     
    In the last tip, I mentioned that I like to "scratch" a line with a steel point when I lay out joinery or mark a board for a cut-off. There are several reasons for this, but the most important is that it's more precise than a pencil. As a pencil grows dull, the line grows wider and it becomes more difficult to maintain the tolerances you need for properly-fitted parts and joints.

    That said, pencils do have their their place in a workshop. I use them to label parts and surfaces. And occasionally I use them to mark cuts when the shop gremlins borrow my marking gauges and awls. If your awl has gone AWOL or you'd just rather work with a pencil, there is a simple technique the helps keep the pencil lines crisp. ROLL the pencil as you mark the line so the lead wears away evenly from all sides and keeps the conical point sharp. This is actually an old orthographic technique -- many of us were taught to use the pencil in this manner in drafting class. And it works just as well on wood as it does on paper.

    With all good wishes,
    Nick
    • CommentAuthorAijca
    • CommentTimeAug 9th 2012
     
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