Tips for More Accurate Pencil Tracing

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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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One Response to “Tips for More Accurate Pencil Tracing”

  1. Bobbg

    Slick trick, never thought of it, but I dont think
    It’s going to work with a mechanical pencil so may people use nowadays. However it does lend its selfe to invention.
    This is not only a problem with woodworking but also metal working arts and crafts, and tracing fabrics or just about any time you trace a pattern. On a hard surface you can lay paper over the item and with the long side of the lead scribble the edge of the item, cut that out close stick it to your stock and you have a duplicate cut line leaving some material to sand down and fine tune. But of all those in woodworking a flush trim bit might be the most accurate.
    If you’ve ever noticed the factory table saw plate is kinda loose in the table so a flush cut bits going to make it identical and loose you might want a tighter fit then that so wrap 1 to 2 layers of painter’s tape over the berring or parts edge to keep some extra material to fine tune with.