Tips & Tricks Issue 90: Roundabout Scribing

When installing wall cabinets some time back, I needed to scribe a face frame to fit against an irregular wall surface, but couldn’t find the compass I normally use for the job. Fortunately, I remembered that an old finish carpenter once showed me how to scribe using regular flat washers, which I happened to have in my toolbox. Here’s how it works: With the cabinet braced plumb and level, and with the face frame abutting the wall as closely as possible, select a washer whose ring width approximates the widest section of the remaining gap. Pressing the washer against the face frame and the wall, insert a pencil tip in the washer hole as shown, and drag it the length of the area to be trimmed to create your scribe line. Cut to the line, check your fit, and repeat if necessary, using a smaller washer to refine the fit.

—Mark Latimer, Florissant, Missouri

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