What Measuring and Marking Tools Do You Use? – Ask Matt #4

This time, I show my measuring and marking tools. I also share how and when I use them in my work.

This is the fourth episode of my Ask Matt series where I answer broader topic questions. If you have an idea for a topic for a future episode, please let me know. The next topic will be about my workbench.

[Amazon links are affiliate links]
12″ Combination Square: http://amzn.to/1BR3iad
6″ Combination Square (I guess they don’t make a 7″ model anymore): http://amzn.to/1zXu3qU
6″ Engineer’s Square: http://amzn.to/1BMhTDy
4″ Engineer’s Square: http://amzn.to/1BF7T0X
Pfeil Large Marking Knife: http://amzn.to/1AxpEAi
Pfeil Small Marking Knife: http://amzn.to/1yGvVJk
Veritas Marking Knife: http://bit.ly/17ndWfC
Wheel Marking Gauge: http://amzn.to/14vvRPx
Cutting Gauge: http://amzn.to/1BR6hPX
T-Bevel: http://amzn.to/1x0iDAA
Dividers (Set of 3): http://amzn.to/1tRnYzY
Digital Caliper: http://amzn.to/1tOje8q
Dovetail Marker: http://bit.ly/1DDdCDT
Chalk: http://amzn.to/1IwceUB
12′ Tape Measure: http://amzn.to/1xWclc8
16′ Tape Measure: http://amzn.to/17nfp5t
48″ Ruler: http://amzn.to/1AxrKQB

Instagram: http://instagram.com/mattcremona
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MattCremona
Facebook: http://facebook.com/MattCremonaWW
Email Me: matt@mattcremona.com

What Hand Planes Do You Use?: http://youtu.be/e1MJdiRaLO8
Tell Me About Your Workbench: Next Week’s Topic


Art Heen says:

First of all, sorry for commenting on such an old video. (Subscribed now, btw.)
But there are a couple of tools I can’t see how you can do without.
The first is a straightedge; one thick enough to stand on the edge.
The second is a striking awl, for use when marking with the grain, especially on woods like pine, where a knife tends to follow the grain instead of the rule/straightedge.

For a striking awl, my favorite one is a repurposed 1950s thin ice pick. It’s actually better steel than the striking awls sold as such. It would have to be to survive its intended usage.
For a striking knife, I used to use a Veritas one, but switched to a Higonokami knife, because it still has a flat grind and very acute angle, yet folds away and goes in my pocket, so I always know where it is. (I have a second one in case I don’t know where my pocket is.)

woodturningjohn says:

Hey Matt, I too have tons of tape measures and can never find them. The real sad part is my shop is only 10 x 10 lol. I only use them for rough measures, I use the steel rulers for amost everything.

Christopher Chisolm says:

Awesome video. I never considered using dividers. Thanks for the great information you put out!

deleetmeeh says:

My brother buys a million tape measures and can never find them at work. I never leave my tape off my belt. I don’t let people work with me that don’t have a tool belt and can keep pencil/tape on them at all times. So many of my apprentices would go though all my spare pencils and tape measures it drove me crazy.

Mark McIntyre says:

It’s ver-ee-tas

Walter Rider says:

thank you Matthew

Andrew Lucas says:

Also..   you haven’t talked much this past year about finishing (other than the cutting boards).. finishes themselves, finishing supplies, and techniques you like.. (unless your arm-r-seal is the one and only)… also reading material, books, mags, articles and the like or anything else that inspired you along the way….  sorry, just trying to help with some show ideas..   

drayne3750 says:

Hey Matt cool video. I use a 6″ General metal ruler everyday on the job for finish carpentry (scribes,reveals etc) It is an invaluable tool.

cdouglas1942 says:

Jimmy DiResta solves the lost tape problem by never taking it off his belt. Just pulls out the end, marks the stock, allows it to retract. Makes it look easy.
Personally I have 5 or 6 tape measures somewhere…

jonathan conrad says:

Great tip on marking versus measuring. I’ve been trying to do more precise work and I’m finding the measuring is always the problem. I’ll be ordering a marking gauge very soon now.

Paul Desmond says:

I like what you said about not measuring. I need to do more of that. I also have tape measures that are everywhere and nowhere. Need some quantum physicists to work on that.

The ShavingWood Workshop says:

Alot of good information for begining woodworkers, Good video Matt.

Alan Rodriguez says:

thanks matt

Jerry Joseph says:

Just discovered your channel.  I really like it! great information and I’ve subscribed.  Only suggestion I have is try to be aware of whats in frame for your video. There seems to be a some distracting element all the time. usually another camera or lights

Zac Higgins says:

Looks similar to my marking/measuring tool assortment. Great job going through each one, perfect overview of them. For marking, I absolutely love my Blue Spruce knives and awl set. A bit pricey, but so nice to work with!  Thanks for another great video Matt!

AdventuresInDIY says:

Great subject Matt.  I took away some good information on layout tools.  I used to measure out where I’d cut rabbets but now I use the board since even in things like plywood there are still small variations in thickness.  I have a set of calipers, part of a carpenters’ box of old tools (not even sure about everything I have there), but haven’t seen them used before.

BrandonsProject says:

What Lathe tools do you use matt, Anything from chisels to measure/layout on the lathe.

1crazynordlander says:

Thanks, That helps out a lot. I am just missing engineer squares, a marking knife, dividers and the dovetail marker. I heard about a craftsman that uses a hacksaw to do his dovetails and pins. What is your favorite saw or if you were Norm Abram, sar? I love your comment about tape measures. I have a lot of those…if I could find them.

Jared S says:

I actually use my combination squares a lot. Then i have a few speed squares. i also have 4 framing squares to use. 

Walter Rider says:

thank you good info

tagi3d says:

What happened to your dust collector? something fall on that canister?

blackemmons says:

Thanks for the good info.

Nice to see it was a warm day in January up north(t-shirt).  Not quite that warm here in Tennessee.  🙂


Todd Clay says:

i’ve been watching several of your videos tonight. i enjoy watching. i’m not sure who you are thinking your auduence is but the one thing I realuzdbwas I was feeling a bit lost. my grandfather ws a cabinet naker and did strunged instrument rrpair and he built grandfsther’s clocks and a few harpsichords and so I’ve seen a lot of the itens your showing and may even know their names but when you describing how you use them it’s too atherial. i’d like to see you actual usr them becausebI don’t always know how a particylar item works. in your last video you were moving planesvaround so fast I could hardly keep up with the diffrrences and I really didn’t understand why you had a particular desire forbsay a #4 but never use the #3 when they look all but identical. i guess what I’m saying is for me you make a lot of asumptions as to my understanding which is why I brought up who was supposed to be your audience. It ws the one piece of info I got from college English 101. Know your audience and tailor your discussion to that audience. I’d call myself an intermediate. I’ve built shelving, chess boards, entertainment centers, a workbench and last summer I put up hardware on my carport to install bypass carriage doors whichn.i’ve yet to build because I had to ipgrade my electric tonad some 230 lines to do some minor milling. So I’m not a newbie. It would also help if you showed what you’re talking about rather than just saying so and so and slow down your talking 100 miles an hour. I had Speech 101 so I know it’s hard to pace yourself you feel like your talking too slow but trust me you’re not.
I really enjoyed watching the chainsaw mill and the slab cutting, stacking. And you gave some real skill at building things that seems innate and an I for design that I could never be that creative like the live edge builds.
ok, yhat’s way too much advice but I do it from a caring place.

John Conklin says:

Good info Matt. I’m recent convert to marking knives, amazing how much finer the line is. I also recently bought a box of pencils with white lead, I got them from Amazon. I like to write the species of wood on the end of the board so I can find them easily in the stack and the white shows up much better on walnut and other darker woods.

KSFWG says:

There needs to be a movie or book — or both — Where Tape Measures Go To Hide…

Spoiler Alert !

Matt Cremona’s Workshop  (and my workshops also)        lol

Thank you for this video series, Matt.  I enjoy them very much.  You do a superb job with this kind of video.  Informative, Insightful, yet the atmosphere is light enough to toss in the occasional bit of humor.  Keep it going, please!

Joe Basement Woodworking & DIY says:

I always heard “measure twice”..;) but I agree with ya on the measuring technique. Im making a new charging station aand I just used tht tech with a stop block. Its A lot faster than re measuring and u cant go wrong or mis-measure. But im not a mechanical pencil guy tips ALWAYS BREAK ON ME.lol reg #2s4me. but im thinkin im going to look into buying a marking knife. Dont have to shrpen it every 10 or 20 lines..

Off topic and lastly-
im hitting my 12 month mark for woodworking @end of january and I must say from watching youtube vids ive learned way more then any class or book has to offer. Im glad I made a channel ..main reason is so I can comment and chat with the woodworkers..well,, the ones tht will..lol ill mail ya a few tapes and a ruler haha

Francis Barnett says:

New to your channel, great stuff, subbed.

Shop built says:

Great info as always!

jointheresistence123 says:

I loved the tape measures are “everywhere and nowhere at the same time” Made me laugh cause its so true.

The Metal Butcher says:

Most of digi calipers suck. Move them too fast and they lose track. Same couldn’t be said about a brown and sharpe analog.

Wordsnwood (Art Mulder) says:

Matt, what did you do to that poor dust collector!  Looks like it was dropped off a truck and kicked around a bit…

I have become a convert to wearing a shop apron.  First, it helps keep the clothes clean.  But possibly more importantly is the fact that my tape measure goes into the front pocket always.  Well, almost always.   And some pencils in the top pocket, and my ZEM hearing in the lower left pocket.

Oh yeah, and I really prefer the leverlock style of tape measure.   I find that much easier to use.

Bill Sutherland says:

You use chalk-a-lot or chocolate? Stupid joke. Great vid!

Mat says:

Thanks for all the good videos you make. Always watching always learning. thank you

Jose Noriega says:

Nice video! Thanks for sharing!

Галым Бердыкулов says:

Whould you reccomend please brand (make) for engenere square?

Dave Lamaison says:

Hi good day.
Awesome channel
I have the Veritas micro ajust wheel marking gauge.
i was wondering if it the wheel supose to turn if you mark a line or has it to be tight non turning?
it came tight non turning out of the box.

MRrwmac says:

Good information and tips! I’m sure many viewers will find it educational. I use half of those and yes I use chalk alot also as you “may” (or may not) see in a build video of the coffee table I told you about! For some reason I thought you were in a basement but saw the “winterized” garage doors and therefore stand corrected. Since your area has been 0 deg and below (yes I checked) I have to ask what kind of “Blast Heater” you have in there that you are in a T shirt? Brrrrrr!!!

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