I found this article, the other day, and keep coming back to it—both literally and in my mind.
Figured I’d share it. I plan to keep all of this in mind as I begin my 2nd night stand….
Maybe others have similar suggestions for increasing precision….
How to get Precision
by Bob Smalser
Make a story stick for each project. Record the measurements of L, W, H and internals on one, unchanging stick.
Your project stock should be kept on a cart with your cut list taped to the cart handle to move from station to station, whether machines or hand tools.
1) Rough stock is rough cut (overlong) to length from the cut list you prepared from your plan, along with one stick of extra stock for every major thickness.
I number each part on the cut list and mark the endgrain with a corresponding number in pencil to keep track of them, including the spares.
2) Flatten and thickness plane it together, using the same tool settings.
3) Joint and rip it to width all together using the same tool settings.
4) Cut it to finished lengths together, using stop blocks on your tools so you only have to measure once.
5) Lay out and cut your joints all together.
That’s how you get precision, not with measuring tapes or straight edges.
Make sure you also don’t mix tapes and measures. Use one tape or one rule for the entire project. Scribe your lines with knife (across grain) and awl (with grain), minimizing your use of sloppy pencils.
Personally, I just think you are gonna make a lot more, not less trouble for yourself with long T-squares.
The longer the square, the more one speck of sawdust will mess you up. Even when nicely square…they are still pretty sloppy because positioning the base is firmly is so critical and long bars will flex on you.
I don’t use a panel gage any longer than 10” for the same reason. Simply measure up from each end and use a straightedge to scribe… any aluminum yardstick will do.
Then monitor your diagonals as you fit each internal component to your squared-up square casework.
-- -- Neil