Witness Marks

Here is another installment to my Shop Quickie series.
I would like to show the witness (layout) marks I was taught as a young man. These marks help a lot in joinery layout, assembly and glue up. When making panels, frames or carcases these are the best way to lessen my confusion when working. My grandfather used a lot of these and it made it easy for me to pick up and help him without having to ask what board did what.
Sorry no pictures but I do have a video.
Send me some pictures of your methods and systems and I will be happy to post them.
dave@chiselandforge.com
Thanks for stopping by and come again.

Please be careful. Some of the things I do are dangerous. It is not my fault if you get hurt. Use your brain, be safe.

12 Responses to Witness Marks

  1. William says:

    All good advice Dave, but I stopped using sharpies. Some woods, like the cottonwood I use a lot, I have found that the ink from a sharpie can sometimes bleed deep enough that it is terrible to get removed without removing too much wood in the process.
    As alternatives, I’ve used #2 pencils, carpenter’s pencils, lumber crayons, marking knives, and others I can’t think of at the moment. Each of these choices has it’s advantages and disadvantages. My newest favorite is mechanical pencils. I like being able to use one marking tool for it all, witmess marks, layout, everything. I feel the mechanical pencil leaves an easy to see mark, is thin enough for reasonable accuracy, and is easily sanded off.

  2. roger says:

    Good stuff Dave. Simple is good

  3. Boxcarmarty says:

    I always find it’s best if there is no witnesses…..

  4. JL7 says:

    Great tips there from Grandpa Dave…..I have a bad habit of using x’s for everything, nd then can’t always remember what they mean……have to give this a try…….

    BTW…..I’m a moron too,…

    • David Bardin says:

      😉 Jeff I hate spinning my boards the wrong damn way. I have placed the dado’s on the outside of my drawer carcases before. The last time I did that I had to dovetail 4 more sets of drawers. That is a lot of work hand milling raw stock all the way to dovetails. To top it off they were marked.
      You are only good if you pay attention.
      Thanks for coming over and having a look.

  5. DIYaholic says:

    Whenever “wood” is involved….
    I like a good QUICKIE!!!

    I have not incorporated witness marks into my WW, YET! It is but another skill/technique that I need to bring to my WW. I currently use blue painters tape to lable & mark materials, as it is easily removed. Plus, I forget about the traditional witness marks. I often also forget to use the tape though, because it is not always within reach. By utilizing witness marks, at least all I would need to find is a pencil!!!

    Thanks for the heads up/reminder about witness marks. Now I just need to do a “real” project!!!

    • David Bardin says:

      Randy I will still use blue tape after I get all the surfaces planed. It is easier to remove than pencil marks. Your getting there. That shop of your is really turning out.
      Note, I still screw up and turn the boards the wrong way. The marks just help prove that I am a moron.

  6. eddieantley says:

    Dave it was very informative , especially to newbies like myself , good quickie

Forge a whitty reply.

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