EVER out of square?

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Forum topic by rwe2156 posted 08-19-2015 01:04 PM 2294 views 0 times favorited 52 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2794 posts in 1383 days

08-19-2015 01:04 PM

I’ve watched a myriad of ww’ing videos.

I’ve NEVER seen one single video where a guy measured for square and it wasn’t square.

Particularly galling to me is when then add the comment “perfect”.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

52 replies so far

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195 posts in 2848 days

#1 posted 08-19-2015 01:30 PM

I have noticed the same thing. I think it’s probably the 5th take after they had as many failed attempts to get it square.

-- As if I needed another hobby!

View Luthierman's profile


203 posts in 989 days

#2 posted 08-19-2015 01:59 PM

Right. That’s when I feel like saying bullsh*t out of the side of my mouth. However, I have watched some Roy Underhill videos and have seen him acknowledge a clear mistake and then say good enough. For instance he cut something the wrong way or it was too short. I like that guy.

-- Jesse, West Lafayette, Indiana

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980 posts in 2720 days

#3 posted 08-19-2015 02:15 PM

On cooking shows, no-one ever tastes the final dish and doesn’t like it either.
I know someone whose uncle used to do a fishing show (in the 1970s or 80s). Camera time was so expensive that they couldn’t pay a crew to sit around and wait for the fish to bite. So they would arrive on location and go out fishing one day with no camera crew, keeping their fish alive. Then the next day they’d go out with a camera crew and “recreate” the previous day’s fishing within a short time span, with the fish put on the hook by a diver.

It seems like I’ve seen a few woodworking videos where they checked for square and then tightened or loosened a clamp to get it right.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View daddywoofdawg's profile


1028 posts in 1477 days

#4 posted 08-19-2015 02:36 PM

“On cooking shows, no-one ever tastes the final dish and doesn’t like it either.” I’d laugh if they tasted it spit it out and said it tastes like smit.

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Bill White

4853 posts in 3863 days

#5 posted 08-19-2015 02:50 PM

Now wait just a darned minute. Are you telling me that your cuts don’t yield perfect results? You just need to buy the latest thingamawhazzle with the super miter cracker addition. For only $650.00, you could have the results your fellow woodworker dream about. BUT WAIT….....................
Sorry. It was just too good an opportunity. :)


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1239 posts in 1133 days

#6 posted 08-19-2015 02:57 PM

Mario Batilli once cut himself bad on a can of tomatoes. It was something like his food net interview show so he shoved his hands into the bowl of tomatoes and “You want to crush the tomatoes, you can use your hands to do this….”

“On cooking shows, no-one ever tastes the final dish and doesn’t like it either.” I d laugh if they tasted it spit it out and said it tastes like smit.

- daddywoofdawg

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2012 days

#7 posted 08-19-2015 03:04 PM

I don’t think that’s as strange as you do…

I do make mistakes, but I’ll bet I get it right off the bat in the high nineties percent. All related to checking setups as I go for angles, and using sequenced cuts, and stops or setup blocks for multiple parts, and starting with properly prepared stock. Fix the errors along the way, and assembly is drama-free…

For example, I never trust 90 degree stops, tool tapes, etc… when a cut will be involved in joinery. Where it matters, all get checked with a square, steel rule, bevel gauge, whatever… as I go, before I start the operation. On the other hand, a typical table top that is exposed on all four sides is fine to cut using the 90 degree stop and the fence tape, as it doesn’t matter if the edge is 89 or 91 degrees, or if it’s 1/8” off size in either direction.

If I don’t hit it right on at assembly time, something has gone horribly awry with my tools.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5689 posts in 3097 days

#8 posted 08-19-2015 03:06 PM

I’m usually pretty much out of square most of the time, and hardly ever plumb….If you were square and plumb at the same time, what’s the fun in that…? If I wasn’t out of whack sometimes, well….!!!

-- " Don't pet the sweaty things, and don't sweat the petty things."

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1244 posts in 1632 days

#9 posted 08-19-2015 03:07 PM

Calling a cut “purrfect” is comical. Perfection is not achievable working with wood. There are too many people who obsess over this when it’s not necessary. Insuring your equipment is in square is a better option than checking what was just cut.

That said, with good equipment, slide boards and fences, you can get about as close to “purrfect” as the wood will allow. It’s been a long time since I needed to check if my cuts were square. I only check for square when I use my miter guide which has been dropped, stepped on and unintentionally abused over the last 40 years. ............ Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View SenecaWoodArt's profile


402 posts in 1522 days

#10 posted 08-19-2015 03:16 PM

And here I thought that it was just me. In the last few days, I have had to correct a huge mistake in squareness. Is that a word? Simple mistake on my part, but I missed it until things wouldn’t go together correctly. The mistake cost me several hours in backup time, but what can you do. I admit that practice makes perfect, but I don’t do the same thing over and over again.

-- Bob

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2349 days

#11 posted 08-19-2015 03:20 PM

When I call something “square” it only means it’s square enough.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View Ghidrah's profile


667 posts in 1124 days

#12 posted 08-19-2015 03:44 PM

That very same thing used to bother the living crap out of me until 1987, when 2 of the guys I worked with heard that This old house was doing a project this side of Boston, so they thought they’d be able to get to work on the site as laborers. They didn’t but they did hang and watch the production process for maybe 5 to 10 mins of the show. That 5 to 10 mins took most of the day and there were tons more people involved in the construction than are seen on the show.

I also noticed a few times while watching TNYW and Roy Underhill, a show of undamaged hands at the beginning of the show then band aides and blister later.

-- I meant to do that!

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19153 posts in 2585 days

#13 posted 08-19-2015 03:50 PM

Like this?


-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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3090 posts in 3429 days

#14 posted 08-19-2015 04:31 PM

Square and plumb are overrated.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

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2794 posts in 1383 days

#15 posted 08-19-2015 06:23 PM

Saw an episode of Rough cut a while back where Tommy Mac said he didn’t even care if it was square he was matching the doors to the opening.

Isn’t that what we do anyway?

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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