The carpenter’s scribes sold in lumberyards and hardware stores are so flimsy that they will self-destruct just rolling around with other tools in your nailbags. Sturdier versions are sold by mail order, but they cost about $20. Rather than spend the cash, I made the one shown here out of an old 4×4 butt hinge. It’s accurate, nearly indestructible and easy to make.
I cut out the basic shape with a hacksaw, filed down the rough edges and drilled holes to accommodate a 1/4-in. wing-nut pivot. A sharpened hinge pin makes a good turning point. The pin and the pencil are held in place by friction. If the slots are a little loose, a squeeze in the bench vise will tighten them up in a hurry.
John H. Sandstrom, Fort Dodge, IA