Tips for More Accurate Pencil Tracing

Duration: 1:48

It’s pretty common practice to use a pencil to trace one part onto another. Whether you’re copying a buddy’s templates and patterns, or making a new insert for your table saw, pencil tracing is an easy, low tech way to get the shape transferred.


The problem with this is accuracy. Because of a pencil’s shape, it can be really difficult to keep the tip against the thing you’re tracing. If it wobbles back and forth, you’ll lose accuracy and won’t get a true shape. Here’s the solution:

A Little Sanding

To make pencil tracing more accurate do a little work on the pencil with a sander. Create a flat spot right down the center. Start with a sharpened pencil and sand until the flat is in line with the tip of the pencil

Use the Flat

Use your customized pencil by running the flat face against the thing you’re tracing. This makes it lots easier to keep your traced line in alignment with the thing you’re tracing.

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Reply to Lawrence Barnes
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One Response to “Tips for More Accurate Pencil Tracing”
  1. Lawrence Barnes
    Lawrence Barnes

    I have found that a mechanical pencil with a fine lead works best. It always sharp!