Cut twice and still too short!! What's yours?

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Blog entry by ocwoodworker posted 09-23-2010 05:48 AM 1969 reads 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Sometimes I feel like I am sleeping with the enemy (and I’m not talking about the wife) It’s that other person in bed. the one who snores…. I am plagued with bad penmanship and feel like using a calculator is beneath me, hence I suffer from “1’s” that look like “2’s” and half of 37 isn’t 16-1/2” !! Mix those two together and it is recipe for making firewood.
I tried to make cabinet doors for my wife and saw the error of my penmanship of 26-1/2” and cut it at the 16-1/2” length. It was when I tried mounting it did I realize that half of 37” isn’t 16-1/2!! AAHHHH! (I can hear the $60 being flushed down the proverbial toilet)
Am I the only one??....What is your disaster?

Come on fess up!!

-- I'd like to believe Murphy's Law haunts my woodshop, because if it's Karma it would mean I had something to do with it. - K.R.

18 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8539 posts in 3701 days

#1 posted 09-23-2010 05:54 AM

aaah, yess…. you are describing my work techniques.

I usually design my projects bigger, cause they parts usually get smaller somewhere during working on them :)

ok, not that bad- but occasionally there is a loss of focus and the numbers mingle up and the fence is put at the wrong distance, sometimes to be caught ahead of time, sometimes – not.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2888 days

#2 posted 09-23-2010 06:28 AM

Worst so far was finding a cherry board that had a figure that I apsolutely loved for the rails of the crib I was building, I needed two 4,5” boards that could be ripped down the middle and jointed giving me 4 2” boards and the board was perfect at 9” wide. Basic math, 4+5=9, just remember to add in the .5 and rip the board at 5.5”. Never found a piece I liked as much for the second set,

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2936 days

#3 posted 09-23-2010 07:06 AM

“Measure twice, cut once” Unfortunately, I measure twice, cut once and then go out and buy a new board.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View learnin2do's profile


889 posts in 2904 days

#4 posted 09-23-2010 07:11 AM

purplev is a riot -sad thing is, i really do, and sometimes still make scraps-like on my big mistake table project.

-- ~christine @ used2btrees

View canadianchips's profile


2602 posts in 3050 days

#5 posted 09-23-2010 01:35 PM

When I built cabinets every day, I used to be able to remember most of the cuts in my head, now as I get older I have to measure, write down the number, walk to the saw , find the piece of “whatever” I wrote the number on,(memory is failing) walk back to the place I measured, re-measure,write down those numbers AGAIN on the “whatever” I left sitting there from first time, set the fence on saw AND ….............still wrong size (My eyesight is getting poor). So far I am still able to remember where I left my table saw ! Pencils are another story !
“But I enjoy woodworking, I am a hearty woodworker !”

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View lew's profile


12149 posts in 3808 days

#6 posted 09-23-2010 04:27 PM

Being dyslexic wreaks havoc when reading a rule. I have had to train myself to ALWAYS re-read any measurement that falls between whole inch values. A measurement of 39 1/2 always turns out to be 38 1/2 which can lead to major re-design work.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3361 days

#7 posted 09-23-2010 04:28 PM

I keep a dry-erase pen and tablet with a magnetic back by my table saw and another by my miter saw. I have found it to be invaluable for writing notes and cut dimensions. Helps eliminate alot of memory errors. As far as penmanship goes…like everything else in life it improves with practice, practice, practice and repetition.

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3138 days

#8 posted 09-23-2010 04:35 PM

I measured the legs for my jointer stand and cut them to the correct length, but forgot that I was going to
inset the 2” top into them for more support, so the jointer table is 2 ” shorter than intended. I now have a
small notebook that I write all measurements in when I can find the notebook and a pencil to write with as
well as a 3 view drawing of the project with measurements on it. I am having problems with the hereafter
though, I come into the shop or a room and can not remember what I am here after. My wife informs me that
I have Oldtimers disease, because we can not afford Alzheimers, but the sun is shining and I know that there
are at least 2 or 20 projects out in the shop to play with. Enjoy life. The 71 year young kid.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View canadianchips's profile


2602 posts in 3050 days

#9 posted 09-23-2010 04:58 PM

Bluepine38.I love the Oldtimers disease joke.!
I am in same boat, cannot afford any of the GOOD diseases ! lol

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4178 days

#10 posted 09-23-2010 07:23 PM

I built a set of kitchen cabinets and doors assuming a 3/8” overlay when I really wanted a 3/4” one. Rather than rebuild the doors, I rebuilt the cabinets, the originals are now a bookshelf in my office.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View helluvawreck's profile


31696 posts in 2919 days

#11 posted 09-23-2010 08:11 PM

I have learned the hard way to sit down and plan everything out and make a sketch showing all of the measurements and then going back over everything a couple of times to check. Then I list all of my parts out on a parts list that shows the qty, the width, the length and what material. Then I check this a couple of times. I still make mistakes but they are not as drastic. Then I cut the parts and check them off on the parts list. I hate to take time doing this but I have talked myself into believing that it saves time and material.

One thing that I do is to use the metric system whenever it works better for what you are measuring. For example, if you need to find the center of the length of a part then you can simply measure the part in millimeters and divide by two. Suppose that we were talking about a part that was 15-5/8 inches long and we want to know the center. We measure it in millimeters and it comes to 397 mm. It’s not that difficult to find out what is half of 15-5/8” but it’s a whole lot easier to find out what is half of 397 mm. My tape measure is metric English.

However, I still make mistakes sometimes and always will. If you don’t make mistakes then you are not human.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4178 days

#12 posted 09-23-2010 08:19 PM

On center-finding: If I think I’m trying to cut a board in half, I also now always measure from both sides. Even I’m amazed at how often that catches me about to do something stupid.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 2993 days

#13 posted 09-23-2010 09:41 PM

No man! You dudes must go metric! At least then the mistakes don’t have fractions in them….;^)

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View helluvawreck's profile


31696 posts in 2919 days

#14 posted 09-23-2010 09:49 PM

Div, I used the metric system a lot way back when we made European cabinets with the 32 mm boring system. I liked it fine. Now I use both.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4178 days

#15 posted 09-23-2010 09:56 PM

I’m a computer geek. I spent a lot of time in base 2. I’d far rather find 1/2 of 5/8 (just multiply the denominator by 2) than 13mm.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

showing 1 through 15 of 18 comments

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