Layout Tool Hints and Tips

by Gil Alexander

We may be doing metalworking on the RV, but like most machinists, we don't want to scratch or scribe on our nice, shiny aluminum surfaces. So we use the Ultra-Fine Point "Sharpie" brand marking pens for layout ... and this now puts us in the realm of draftsman tools ..... so go to your professional artists/draftmans supply store and buy their tools specifically made for drafting.

I have been using C-Thru brand plastic rulers (6 to 18 inch long) that have a nice matrix of 1/8 inch grid lines on them. This makes marking a line 5/16 in from an edge, and all other parallel marking a snap. They also sell a large selection of orange colored plastic drafting triangles ... these are much easier to use than large, heavy metal builders squares for marking large 90 degrees layout lines. The circle templates are also useful for corner radius marking. These stores are also the best source I have found for Sharpie brand marking pens in all colors and widths ... color code your lines for less errors during drilling and cutting.

In general, these plastic tools are easier to use than their metal equivalents, just as accurate, don't scratch, are more flexible, and are actually cheaper. But, this is definitely one case where you need to buy the high quality professional tools, not the plastic triangles from the local drug store! Try some .. you'll like it.

Gil Alexander RV6A, #20701

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