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Old 08-15-2010, 08:19 AM   #1
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homemade scribing tool?


as I've written about numerous times, trying to scribe the profile of vinyl siding to a piece molding.

in case you need a visual
http://tinyurl.com/2ee7cct


bought a compass from depot for a few dollars, the only one they had in stock. and it's really flimsy and keeps closing/folding when I am attempting to get a line.


is there a better scribing tool that can be homemade?

here's a tool called a power butt that purports to be a better scriber, but it costs $30.

http://tinyurl.com/22lwdum

in the comment section to the video linked above, some said "been using pencil and cotton reel for years… does the same…."

have any of you ever heard of a pencil and cotton reel scriber?


just playing around i put a pencil through a clothes pin and used that to scribe the profile of the siding, not bad to get a line, but i can't control/adjust the distance from the siding to the wood I am scribing to, if that makes sense.
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:43 AM   #2
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homemade scribing tool?


Here is a post from next door--Best way to draw a scribe? - Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:05 AM   #3
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homemade scribing tool?


thanks Mike, taking a look.


i was just playing around for a sec w/ the idea of a homemade scribing tool, I made this

http://tinyurl.com/29eudtp


I then put a piece of cardboard up and scribed a line.

http://tinyurl.com/2dyf3vp

http://tinyurl.com/2a3hf92

After cutting on the line, the piece fit but not perfectly.

http://tinyurl.com/2c7v3s7


Not sure I understand why I can’t get a better fit.
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:25 AM   #4
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homemade scribing tool?


Will this work?

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...1t:429,r:3,s:0
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Old 08-15-2010, 11:31 AM   #5
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homemade scribing tool?


use your finger, or just put the pencil on the flat directly against the siding and slide it down.

while we're at it, are you trying to notch a trim board over the siding? there should be no reason to do this. there should be inside/outside corner pieces for vinyl siding. if it were wood clapboard, just cut the claps back and put the casing in on the flat.
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:06 PM   #6
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homemade scribing tool?


"while we're at it, are you trying to notch a trim board over the siding? there should be no reason to do this. there should be inside/outside corner pieces for vinyl siding. if it were wood clapboard, just cut the claps back and put the casing in on the flat."


this is what i am trying to do



do they sell trim already notched, or am i misunderstanding you?
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Old 08-15-2010, 01:30 PM   #7
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homemade scribing tool?


well, they sell inside corner pieces specifically for vinyl siding. it forms a channel on either side that the ends slide into.

in your case it's a slightly different setup, so either proceed as planned, or maybe the trim board can slight into the inside corner piece.
good luck.
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Old 08-15-2010, 02:17 PM   #8
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homemade scribing tool?


Joe, the compass method should work fine; can you squeeze the joint a bit to tighten it up. I have better ones that I use for closer work, but for things like this, I am still using one that I had as a kid, so it's probably 50 years old, and works well for such projects. You just need to keep the compass level as you scribe.

In the absence of that, you might try flipping your trim piece around, mark the bottom of each high point, then cut a cardboard template that matches the setback, line the template up at each of your marks, and transfer it to your trim. You will probably want to check several of them to make sure that they are the same, but my guess is that they are close enough to be covered by a thin bead of caulk.
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Old 08-15-2010, 02:21 PM   #9
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homemade scribing tool?


By the way, you don't want to cut it too tight anyway. Even though it appears to be out of the weather, your siding needs to expand and contract, so cut it close, but not tight, and caulk it if needed. I would be inclined to see if it even needs to be caulked first though, because if it is out of the weather, and your cuts are close, you may not even be able to see behind it. That it why they use the channel that schmolze mentioned.
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Old 08-15-2010, 05:26 PM   #10
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homemade scribing tool?


thats a Basswoods scribe
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Old 08-16-2010, 12:10 AM   #11
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homemade scribing tool?


The rolling power butt will work on curvy surfaces but not well for what you want to do. You might try a woodworking store like Rockler or Woodcraft for a better compass.
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