Interesting Woodworking Link

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Episode #82 - The Cabinetmaker's Triangle


Who are “Mr. Top” and “Mr. Bottom” or their infamous competitors “Mr. Left” and “Mr. Right” found lightly penciled in an inconspicuous place on a period piece of furniture? What about the equally important, however more rare, “Mr. Inside”? Are they long lost cabinetmakers of old? Actually, as you already know, these penciled notes are historic reminders of the importance of a good marking system when building furniture.

One of the most useful adjuncts to your layout tools is a good marking system. The key benefits to a good marking system are keeping your project parts organized and oriented from start to final fit and finish. Every woodworker develops a personal method to mark project parts. Central to any marking system is the cabinetmakers triangle keeping parts orientated top & bottom, left & right, and direction of outward facing surfaces.


Adrian C. van Draanen mentions in his Fine Woodworking article, Triangle Marking (FWW #8), that “The core of the idea is that the triangle is an isosceles triangle and it must point up, or away, from you, and each piece of wood must have two lines of the triangle on it.”

Philip Lowe’s marking system, documented in his Fine Woodworking article Keep Track of Your Progress with Squiggles and Lines (FWW #149). Philip’s system starts with stock preparation, the beginning of the building process, and ends with the final and most important mark . . . the maker’s mark or signature.

UPDATE (11-28-08)
This is a very cool idea of
Chris Gochnour's posted from Chuck:
"I had a class by Chris Gochnour and he also places different color cabinetmaker's triangle on the outside of each leg by using color pencils. That way at a quick glance you can tell where the leg belongs. A single color triangle actually covers both legs on each side. Another words, say you're using a light blue color triangle on the left side, it's bottom left side would be on the back leg and the and the right corner would be the on the front leg."

Layout Marking & Maker’s Signature References:

Triangle Marking: A simple and reliable system. By Adrian C. Van Draanen (FWW #8).

Marking System Keeps Track of Parts: Cabinetmaker's triangles ensure that the sides, back, and front of a dovetail assembly are properly oriented. By Chris Gochnour.

Keep Track of Your Progress with Squiggles and Lines: A simple marking system can show you your progress at a glance. By Philip C. Lowe (FWW #149).

What's Your Sign?: Readers, editors, contributors sign their work in distinctive ways. By Charlie Reina (FWW #193).

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Installing a Brass Makers-Mark

Tutorial Blog featuring Installing a Brass Makers-Mark

Click here to download a tutorial about Installing a Brass Makers-Mark

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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dave,

I had a class by Chris Gochnour and he also places different color cabinetmaker's triangle on the outside of each leg by using color pencils. That way at a quick glance you can tell where the leg belongs.

Chuck

David Pruett said...

Chuck -

Very good to hear from you! I thought it was very cool that Neil got a chance to spend time with you at WIA 2008.

Very cool idea using different colors. I am going to post that as an update on the post if you don't mind.

David

Anonymous said...

Yea, it was great meeting up with Neil. He is a fun guy to be around and talk to about a lot of different subjects, as well as have some good laughs.

I don't mind if mentioned it in an update, please reference that it is Chris's idea. A single color triangle actually covers both legs on each side. Another words, say your using a light blue color triangle on the left side, it's bottom left side would be on the back leg and the and the right corner would be the on the front leg.

Chuck

David Pruett said...

Chuck -

While I have not had the pleasure of meeting Neil in person, I can identify with the fact that he is a lot of fun to talk with and that he is well versed on a wide variety of topics!

Thanks again for the great comments. I think I will be adding some colored pencils to my bench top pencil holder!

David