Ronn W

Pencil l ines or scribe lines

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I have been working on some hand made dovetails and, while I like the precision of scribed lines, I find that I can't see them well enough on the faces of the boards when cutting the dovetails and pins.  Even with an aux light, I have to squint and get close to the work and it ruins my body postion for cutting.  The scribe line gets lost in the wood grain. An exacto knife is the worst because the line is so fine.  The base line, prependicular to the grain is not a problem.  How do you guys mark your pins and tails? Just had my eyes checked - OK.

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37 minutes ago, Ronn W said:

I have been working on some hand made dovetails and, while I like the precision of scribed lines, I find that I can't see them well enough on the faces of the boards when cutting the dovetails and pins.  Even with an aux light, I have to squint and get close to the work and it ruins my body postion for cutting.  The scribe line gets lost in the wood grain. An exacto knife is the worst because the line is so fine.  The base line, prependicular to the grain is not a problem.  How do you guys mark your pins and tails? Just had my eyes checked - OK.

Ron go to finewoodworking.com and look up Pekovich he uses blue tape for this, I have started using it too for guys like me with bad eyes I find it very helpful.

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I mark everything with really fine pencil lines, even being really particular about the type, and hardness of the pencil.  My pencil lines are thinner than most scribed lines.  Sometimes you need to take the line.   Sometimes you need to leave the line.  I find it really hard to leave what I want to leave with a scribed line.

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16 hours ago, Tom King said:

I mark everything with really fine pencil lines, even being really particular about the type, and hardness of the pencil.  My pencil lines are thinner than most scribed lines.  Sometimes you need to take the line.   Sometimes you need to leave the line.  I find it really hard to leave what I want to leave with a scribed line.

My problem with this is how are you using a pencil to transfer lines from tail board to pin board?  I don't know of any pencil that can squeeze itself into a typical hand cut pin socket.

Unless you do pins first, in which case it works fine.

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Knife line for me. Filled with pencil when necessary to improve visibility. Pencil is perfectly adequate for some things, but I generally find the knife both more accurate and more convenient (It's usually sitting right on my bench, you won't need to resharpen your pencil all the time, you can drop a chisel right into the line, etc), so I rarely use a pencil alone for marking.

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Knife line for me. Filled with pencil when necessary to improve visibility. Pencil is perfectly adequate for some things, but I generally find the knife both more accurate and more convenient (It's usually sitting right on my bench, you won't need to resharpen your pencil all the time, you can drop a chisel right into the line, etc), so I rarely use a pencil alone for marking.

I havent filled alot of my cut lines until recently when I got a white lead fill for my Pica Dry Marker. It really helps when working with darker woods. Plus the white lead also makes marking the waste super easy.

 

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

 

 

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So I tried the ol' "color in the scribe line with a pencil and then erase it to leave the graphiet in the scirbe line" trick.  Now I can see my lines........now if I could just get the saw to follow it.  Thanks guys!!  BTW, I decided it's tails first for me.

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As one of the newbies on here I'll just chime in that if you fill your scribe grooves with pencil marks and then discover you made a mistake, you have more work to do to make the marks less visible (just theorizing, here ;-)

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As one of the newbies on here I'll just chime in that if you fill your scribe grooves with pencil marks and then discover you made a mistake, you have more work to do to make the marks less visible (just theorizing, here ;-)

Leigh-Neilson makes fine erasers!
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Pencil lines. If you want to use scribe lines then do so but run a pencil over them after scribing to make them clearer. Of course always cut on the waste side of the line and leave the line intact. You can always pare off any excess. 

I use a 0.5mm mechanical pencil with HB lead installed.

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I still use a small mechanical pencil for some things, but largely have switched to a 2mm lead holder, which is for drafting.  You can extend the lead out to reach into weird spots and there's also plenty of colored lead available for them.  In use it is a very functional cross between a wood pencil and a mechanical pencil. 

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My problem with scribed lines is with the second piece.  Regardless of which part you cut first, the second part needs to have the line left. I take the line on the first piece, just to get rid of it.  There is more guess work for me deciding exactly where you start the "leave" to a scribed line, than to a marked line.  I cut everything first shot with a saw.  I even plan on some paring with tenons, but anything cut with a saw should be cut right to start with.

I'll try to take some pictures this weekend.

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52 minutes ago, Tom King said:

There is more guess work for me deciding exactly where you start the "leave" to a scribed line

If you use a proper marking knife with a flat back and you mark accurately, there is zero guess work.  You set your chisel in the knife line and pare away the waste side...and that is exactly the size the pin is supposed to be.

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3 hours ago, Eric. said:

If you use a proper marking knife with a flat back and you mark accurately, there is zero guess work.  You set your chisel in the knife line and pare away the waste side...and that is exactly the size the pin is supposed to be.

I must not be visualizing this correctly.  Are you talking about marking the pins after the tails are cut?  That's what I was talking about marking the second part by the first part, which has already been cut.  If the pin is scribed by the previously cut tail, the scribed line is on the part that needs to be left for it to fit perfectly.  If the scribed line had zero width, it would work, but if it had zero width, you couldn't see it.

What I'm talking about is a pencil line maybe a couple of thousandths wide.  In order for the joint to fit perfectly, that couple of thousandths needs to be left on the end of the pin.  It's easier for me to do that than to cut right outside the indention left by the knife.

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