Episode 25 – Marking Knives vs. Pencils

~knvs_8111In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking, Bob, Chuck and Glen discuss how they mark and layout – specifically, do you use a marking knife or pencil. One member doesn’t own a marking knife and cheaps-out when using pencils. A second 360 member also uses pencils, but his pencils are special. And the remaining member uses both, but his pencil is weak. Get all the answers in 360 seconds.


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4 thoughts on “Episode 25 – Marking Knives vs. Pencils

  1. Pencils rule. If I use a knife it’s my pocket knife. The marking knives I have come to a point and oftentimes want to follow the grain rather than the intended line. Oddly more so when sharp. Maybe I don’t use it correctly, but why try to correct myself when a pencil works fine.

  2. So does this mean that when you register your baseline for dovetails that you are using a pencil and a ruler rather than a marking gauge? After all, the line made by the marking gauge cutter is every bit as difficult to see as the one made by the marking knife. Oh, I see, that one is different, isn’t it. Me, I like the combination of a marking knife followed by a 0.5 mm pencil. HB or H lead. But then again, I am deeply flawed.

    1. Mitch,

      If you’re going to hit us with THAT kind of logic…

      I actually think the problem lies in grain orientation. The scribe line across the grain is a whole lot easier to see than the one that is essentially with the grain (at least it is for me). Sometimes I still have trouble seeing that cross-grain scribe line, but I don’t really need to see it. If you have seen the way I cut dovetails, you’d know why. And if not, may I suggest “Dovetailing Apprenticeship” 🙂

  3. You’ve totally missed an important option: a 0.5 mil gel pen. Unlike a pencil, it doesn’t get dull, you can see the line, even on walnut, and the tip is less fragile than a mechanical pencil, even if you use the high polymer lead in the pencil.

    My favorite is a black Pilot P500. This one at least, doesn’t have the problem of the ink soaking deep into the wood. It’s no more difficult to sand off than pencil.

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