Decking: How to Scribe Decking to Stone

Deck boards scribed along a stone wall.

When uneven surfaces butt up to the deck surface, you will need to scribe the edge, or end of the board where it meets the stone, or other rough face.

Pro Tip

The easiest way to do this is to use a drawing compass, or a thick wooden dowel to transfer the line of the surface onto your material.

Compass Method

  1. Set a compass so that the scribe and pencil are an inch apart.
  2. Tighten the compass to lock it in place.
  3. Position your material as close to the rough face as possible. If the rough surface is also on an angle to the decking, miter the decking ends first.
  4. Place the scribe of the compass against the rock, so that the pencil’s point rests on the deck board.
  5. Slowly drag the compass along the surface, so that the pencil marks a line on the deck board that duplicates the line of the rough surface.
  6. Cut the edge with a jig saw for a tight fit.

Dowel Method

  1. Tape a pencil to the side of a one inch dowel section, about a foot long, so that it is parallel to the length of the dowel and the point of the pencil extends past the end of the dowel.
  2. Drag the dowel along the wall as described above for the compass.
  3. Cut the edge along the line with a jigsaw.

Scribing Around Square Shapes

  1. Place your deck board as close to position as possible.
  2. Mark the board where it will intersect with the shape while it is in position. This will provide the most accurate position for your scribe.
  3. Measure and mark the shape of the scribe onto the board, checking your measurements carefully.
  4. Cut the scribe out with a jigsaw.

Decking scribed to create a tight fit along a log wall.

Pro Tip

Whether scribing up against stone, or other uneven shapes, you can achieve a tighter fit by back-cutting each deck board with a jig saw.

Back cut deck boards for a tight fit against an irregular surface.