I found myself a few hours ago, whilst measuring whether or not I had created a perfect square, looking at my ruler and deciding that the diagonal was about (yes, about!) 16.7 mm.
What kind of craziness is this?
The ruler is a cheapo school jobbie I paid a euro for, and is only marked with millimetres.
When I started out in this woodworking game a few years ago I had an old tape measure and a soft pencil.
There was a lot of “play” in the tape measure – depending on how tight you pulled (or pushed it), you had about 5mm to work with/against.
The pencil could, if I worked at it, give me a point that would make a line about 2 mil wide.
I rarely worked on it.
Ah the good ol’ days – that was enough.
Then I got a ruler, and suddenly everything changed – 1 mm out was 1 mm out – the big black line told me so – no more excuses. My diagonals were off by a whole one of those seemingly never ending cavernous gaps between the black lines, which were, I swear, laughing at me as, glasses on bench (without my glasses I’m blind as a bat, except for close ups at which I can probably count the hairs on the legs of a dude ant (I presume girl ants don’t have hairy legs)), the gap got wider and wider.
Now the pencil lines I was drawing on were a joke – a big fat, uneven, black joke.
Which side of that fat line was I supposed to fail to cut along?
So I got a propelling pencil (I think I’ve seen those referred to as mechanical pencils here). Now my lines are, the package tells me, 0.5mm thick – my ruler tells me they’re a lot thinner than that, but is that important?
In those good ol’ days when I jigsawed I was aiming to cut along the line.
Easy – the blade was actually less fat than the line.
Now – crisis – my pencil line is thinner than my blade – am I aiming to cut along the middle? Or an edge? Which edge?
I try to see all this as a “good” thing – I’m starting to pay more attention to detail, and to accuracy, but it also gives me actual evidence of my inadequacies – this is less of a good thing – some of me yearns for the days when “close enough” really was close enough.
Where will it all end?
I have one of those super-duper microchipped battery operated caliper gauges on my shopping list.
Do I really want to be told that the diagonals differ by one hundredth of a millimetre?
I very much fear that my seriously obsessive sagittarian rat tendencies are going to have a field day!
-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."