I’m in the process of making another dovetailed box, this one to hold some diamond sharpening plates. I do all of my marking with a knife, but I still need to drag a pencil line along the cut to see it. I got tired of sharpening pencils so I picked up a mechanical one some months ago. These are the tools I use to mark, listed from left to right:
Veritas shop knife – This was an impulse purchase. I just got it and have barely used it, so I’m not sure if it was a good buy or not. I ordered it because the blade can be sharpened, unlike my main marking knife, the DeWalt below.
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DeWalt fixed blade utility knife – Not intended for woodworking but works well enough. I don’t like that the blades are disposable, but this thing allows you to really bear down on the cut, like when you’re trying to clean out the corners of a chiseled joint.
SumoGrip 0.7mm mechanical pencil – I grabbed this because it was what my local art supply store had on hand.
Pentel 0.7mm lead refills (HB) – I go through more of these than I’d like, which leads me to the point of this entry:
On “clumsy days” I seem to break pencil leads more than I mark with them. This is irritating and wasteful, and breaks my momentum when I have to stop, disassemble the pencil, fish out a new lead from the container, load it and re-assemble the pencil.
That’s why I’m going to pick up one of these:
Zebra Del Guard Mechanical Pencil, 0.7mm
This brilliant Japanese design has a clever system of springs and a floating tip that prevents you from accidentally snapping the lead. Check out how it works:
All of that engineering, and it’s cheaper than the SumoGrip! Wish I’d known about this one first.