10 Essential Layout Tools
Ten tools that every woodworker should have to lay out their next project.
Synopsis: Before you can cut any woodworking joint, you need to lay it out. This list of essential layout tools ensures you’ll get the job done quickly, efficiently, and precisely. For measuring you need a tape measure, combination square, double square, and 6-in. rule. For marking, make sure you have a marking knife, mechanical pencil, and marking gauge. And for angles and curves, a sliding T-bevel, dovetail marker, and 8-in. compass will round out your toolkit.
Let’s start with the basics. it’s likely you already have a tape measure. These are real multipurpose workhorses. I use a 16-ft. tape, which is a great length for general use. The tape is my go-to measuring tool for roughing out boards, but I also use it to check cases for square and mark out dovetail spacing.
Tapes have a loose hook at the end that moves in and out. Pushed…