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Tracing is the first step in woodworking and one of the most important. To avoid mistakes and to facilitate assembly, it must be precise. Let yourself be guided by this big file:

Carpenter's tips and tricks for successful layouts

postpone measurements in carpentry

Report the small measures to the ruler, large ones with a meter.
But preferably transfer the dimensions of a part by placing it directly on the surface.

use a sliding square for carpentry measurements

The sliding or combination square is a very useful tool.
The length of its ruler is adjustable and its heel offers a support face at right angles and another at 45°.

use a greasy chalk to mark the pieces to be debited

Draw the piece to be chalked on the raw wood, often dirty and irregular.
Mark the debit card with a letter or reference number to identify the parts.

conventional signs of woodworking in carpentry

The conventional signs of wood establishment are simple to apply: a "hat" on the horizontal pieces together, and an X on the verticals together.

use a truscan

The efficiency is as much the gesture as the tool: hold firmly with one hand the platinum of the truscan and tilt the rod flat on the wood, the other immobilize the room.

the right gesture to draw straight up

Adopt this act of fast and precise carpenter to trace the small cuts: pencil between thumb and index finger, two other fingers lean against the song of wood to trace.

good gesture for small straight cut in carpentry

Hold the square and the wood with one hand to prevent the tool from slipping on the part being traced.
Slice the fibers on the surface against the square.

compass to yard for joinery

Draw the small circles with a dry point compass or a pencil lead.
For adults, use a rod compass: two points slide along a wooden rod.

Carpenter's Tips for Tracing

• Avoid delaying measurements: use the other pieces of wood to be assembled to directly transfer their dimensions by wedging them along the square.
• Use basic geometry formulas: Pythagoras theorem, etc.
• Clear any unnecessary tracing: it may cause an error.
• Blacken the areas to be cut (cheeks of tenons, mortises...).
• Make a scribing knife from an old kitchen knife or saw blade.

Tracing techniques explained with System D:

  • Draw polygons
  • DIY tip: draw rounds
  • Tracing techniques: a partition well plumb
  • Tracing Techniques: Segmenting a Board
  • Tracing: realize ellipses and ovals
  • Tracing Techniques: Creating a Tiler Ruler
  • Tracing Techniques: Drawing an Octagon
  • Tracing techniques: marking the right angle in the corner of a room
  • Tracing techniques: make a layout
  • Tracing Techniques: Setting a Bubble Level
  • Tracing techniques: succeeding an oval
  • Tracing techniques: hold the perfect vertical
  • Tracing techniques: draw a right angle to the compass
  • Tracing techniques: draw a right angle in the middle of a wall
  • Tracing Techniques: Finding the Horizontal


Video Instruction: Easy Fit to Irregular Surfaces Carpentry Tip