Measure Twice - Don't cut at All

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Blog entry by Don posted 12-31-2006 03:48 AM 885 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch

We often hear the old adage, “Measure Twice — Cut Once”. The point of this is to remain diligent when cutting. Wood is expensive, and the time you’ve taken to mill it to just the right size and shape can be considerable. To make an error in measuring is a ‘disaster’ we have all experienced.

I have fallen into the habit of using one piece to serve as a template for a second identical piece. This is OK and makes a lot of sense as long as the first piece that you use as the template is correctly sized. (But that’s another story.)

As my table-saw presents one of the few flat surfaces in my small shop, I sometimes leave one of the pieces I’m working on, on the table surface of the saw, safely on the other side of the fence away from the blade.

Recently, after carefully measuring, and double checking that I had the dimensions correct, I proceeded with the cut. I was consciously being careful, because I had exactly enough timber to finish the project — there was no room for error.

“Great!” I exclaimed to myself. “That’s perfect!” And it was, except for the fact that I had just cut one of the finished pieces left on the table surface. Disaster! Right size, wrong piece.

Lesson? Keep your finished work away from the saw. In fact, don’t use this surface for storing anything, temporarily, or otherwise. Remember, mistakes are accidents that you have planned.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

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