Marking gauge or pencils.

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Forum topic by ShipWreck posted 04-28-2012 02:02 PM 1433 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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557 posts in 4024 days

04-28-2012 02:02 PM

I seem to be going back and forth between a No.4 pencil and my wheel gauge. What method do you LJ’s use?

V/R….. John

7 replies so far

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15983 posts in 2889 days

#1 posted 04-28-2012 02:36 PM

Depends on the task, what gets used. And the lighting at the time…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 3121 days

#2 posted 04-28-2012 02:49 PM

I treat them as too different tools, John. Pencil (I use 2.5 Dixons) allows me to write communications on parts, cross out an erroneous mark, and, most often, scribe a line from a straight edge of some kind. Pencil marks, though less precise than a scribe mark, can be erased or eliminated with rubbing alcohol or lacquer thinner.

The gauge, or scribe, does its thing by making marks parallel to other surfaces. Invaluable.

Your interest in markage suggests to me you might enjoy making a striking knife. It’s a half hour joyful task briefly described and illustrated here.

Pencils by far get the most use because they’re handy in my Pete Wadey Apron.

A side benefit of pencilis: I have disciplined myself to stop and ponder things when I’m sharpening them. For me, it’s a time to say, usually out loud, hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

I like discussions about humble, simple tools. I will enjoy the LJ responses to your post.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3138 days

#3 posted 04-28-2012 03:10 PM

I use both but most often it’s a sharp no 2 pencil. My eyes are not what they use to be so I have to be careful and take my time that I don’t miss the mark.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3339 days

#4 posted 04-28-2012 03:35 PM

I use 0.5 or 0.7mm mechanical pencils. It’s too easy for me to confuse a scratch or nick with a “mark”. Pencil marks are easy for me. – lol

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2577 days

#5 posted 04-28-2012 04:49 PM

I use both, my go to is the pencil, unless its very intricate work than the scribe is really the only way for me. When I did my Kitchen cabinets I used the scribe, the last project I used a pencil. I guess it all depends on what your doing, scribe would be more accurate, but I do a lot of outdoor stuff and the pencil works fine for that.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2848 days

#6 posted 04-28-2012 05:22 PM

I use #3 ticonderogas.
I prefer the harder lead as it leaves a finer line and stays sharper longer. What helps a lot is getting into the habit of scribing a line once instead of going over it several times.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View TDog's profile


235 posts in 2501 days

#7 posted 04-28-2012 05:31 PM

I am switching to a marking gauge and knife now.
I was using a fine tipped pencil. Here are my thoughts why.

Pencil Cons
1. to much sanding needed later
2. line width begins to vary as lead wears down
3. lead breakage
4. chisels and saws do not grab the pencil line
5. to much sanding later

Gauge and Knife Pros
1. Fine line without coloring wood
2. Chisels and saws find lines easily
3. Easier working between Dovetails
4. Low maintenance
5. there are some really cool marking gauges and knifes out

-- "So many little time..." Psalm 23

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