Essentials

Pencils are a basic requirement. Choose those with medium to hard leads that hold a good point: cutting up to a very fine line is more accurate than using a wide, soft line.

A marking knife, marking gauge and mortise gauge are

FIG 1.7

Tools for shaping and smoothing curves.

FIG 1.7

Tools for shaping and smoothing curves.

FIG 1.8

Rules and pencils.

FIG 1.8

Rules and pencils.

essential items, as is a long steel ruler to use as a straight-edge. For measuring long lengths, pull-out steel tapes have replaced the folding boxwood rule that was traditionally used by carpenters, although I still have one that I use occasionally.

A good quality try square is also essential, and for preference I use one with a steel crosspiece, about 9in (229mm) long.

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