Whether you're building a house, a bookshelf, or something in between, pretty much any woodworking project is going to involve some measuring. "Measure twice, cut once" is fine advice sure, but even if you measure perfectly, you can lose a crucial slice of accuracy if you don't mark that measurement as precisely as you need to. Fortunately, there are a few simple, handy tricks that will help you make your mark.
There are a few crucial variables as the , an experienced professional, points out. The right implement (a sturdy carpenter's pencil, generally) is key, as is making sure that you're consistent about whether you cut right on top of or your lines, or just to the right or left of them. But perhaps the handiest trick of all is marking your measurements with a V instead of a simple dash or dot.
This technique has a few obvious and less obvious benefits. It's easy to see from a distance, for one. But it also makes life slightly easier when you go to square because you can hone in on the apex with a speed square no matter which side you're coming from. Last but not least, you can also adjust your mark by a hair's breadth to the left or the right when you make the second leg if you see that the first one was off just a little.
These are small benefits to be sure, but if you're making dozens or hundreds of measurements per day, the ease adds up. Not to mention that a misrecorded measurement can cost you a heap of time down the line, especially if you're working with tight tolerances. So yes, marking a measurement with a pencil might seem easy, and it is, but anything worth doing is worth doing right.