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'Scribing' Tip: Notch it With a Multitool

October 26, 2015

How to make a tight joint without scribing: notch it

Angle of view is an important aspect of joinery: it is best to plan joinery in such a way that it will NOT catch a viewer's eye. The order of overlap can make good joints look bad and bad ones disappear. Here, Samurai carpenter shows a hack for making false scribes: notching a beam with a multitool.


Hey guys here's a quick and easy tip on how to scribe around odd-shaped objects. I've got a 1x10 piece of cedar running around the room like a belly band to cap the top of the walls and immitate a timber frame beam that this beam will notch into.

So. I've got to get the 1x10 up around here, about half way up the beam. I could scribe that, it's not that big of a deal, but it's going to look better if I can actually notch it into this.

To do that, I just use this board which is the perfect thickness of my 1x10—actually minus about 1/32 or 1/16 in for the thickness of the blade of this multimaster. I'm going to put that (board) around here (beam) and I'm going to use my tool to cut in about 1/2 inch all the way around where the 1x10 is going to sit.

That way I can get it clese, notch out my 1x10 and when I slide it up in here, it will actually slide into this beam and it will be an absolutely perfect seam. It will look like it is actually notched in—because it is

So, let's do that and see how good it looks.

OK, so now we've got the cut in there, I'll take a chisel; and a mallet and chisel out the gap and then slide our board in.

Alright you can see the notch I've made, about a half inch deep. The first cut is the outside edge, and I also made a cut tight against ther wall here so that you don't have to chisel out all of that wood back there, the board will just slide up there. Makes chiseling a lot easier.

The result: one tiny little crack, but as soon as I put a couple of coats of poly on it—it'll look pretty good.

OK, there you have it. That's your Samurai Hack for the day: How to do false scribes.

[Shout out to a viewer who sent photos of his own version of the Samurai Tool Box]

The Samurai Carpenter is a timber framer and furniture maker in Victoria, BC. See more on his YouTube channel

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