Scosch or tad

  • Advertise with us

« back to Coffee Lounge forum

Forum topic by richgreer posted 09-17-2011 03:01 PM 4252 views 0 times favorited 39 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3274 days

09-17-2011 03:01 PM

FYI – This is not intended to be a serious topic, but we may get some interesting responses.

I’ve had an assistant helping me on a project at the church. He’s very helpful (and he likes to do the clean up).

When we are checking measurements and he finds that we are off by a very little bit he will say that we are off by “a scosch”. I would describe how much we are off in a similar situation as “a tad”.

In my mind, a tad is less than 1/32nd of an inch and more than a hair. I’m not sure what my assistant’s definition of a scosch is other than “a little bit”.

As an FYI – I am also prone to talk about how far off I am by reference to the with of the saw blade (on a table saw or miter saw). I will say 1/2 or 1/4 of a saw blade.

How do you talk about being off by a little bit? What terms do you use and what do they mean. Of course, some of you are never off so you probably don’t have a term to use.

Related – Sometimes, when trying to get the fit right we will “inch up” on the final size. I find that to be an odd phrase since when I am “inching up” I am usually taking cuts that remove something that is a LOT less than an inch. Do people who use the metric system “millimeter up”?

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

39 replies so far

View GaryW's profile


125 posts in 2663 days

#1 posted 09-17-2011 03:17 PM

your both just ” a hair off ”, this can be seen when you fit together two pieces, if you can see into the joint then it a “hair line” off, so you sand the end of the tennon, just a ’ hair ‘ to fix it so its tight, GaryW
( I just don’t understand. I cut it off twice and its still too short )

-- GaryW, Edgefield SC, Too old to start over, can't remember why...

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3258 days

#2 posted 09-17-2011 03:21 PM

Well, people have told me that I was about “half a bubble” off from time to time. Also, there was that time that I cut that board 3 times and it was still too short. :)

In answer to your question, I have been known to use the word “fudge” for being just a little off. And when trying to fit pieces in an existing structure that isn’t exactly square or level, I have been known to use what we call “fudge factor number 9” to refer to that little bit of adjustment used in making something fit. On occasion, that means applying the technology of “if it doesn’t fit, get a bigger hammer” – or whatever weapon of persuasion seems appropriate at the time.


-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3122 days

#3 posted 09-17-2011 03:43 PM

scosh,tad,inch(sneak)up,half a bubble,fudge…I’ve heard all the descriptions and I think it depends on what part of the country you are in. The thought intended is carried over. I tend to have to “tweak” a little.
Good post Rich

-- Life is good.

View saddletramp's profile


1180 posts in 2838 days

#4 posted 09-17-2011 03:47 PM

My answer to this question is not family friendly so I will cease and desist. ;^)))

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11063 posts in 3628 days

#5 posted 09-17-2011 04:01 PM

Same here, Bob. :-)

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4418 days

#6 posted 09-17-2011 04:17 PM

Gene and Saddletramp: You guys must have been thinking of the famed RCH.

It ain’t offensive if you don’t know what it means. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View RockyTopScott's profile


1186 posts in 3678 days

#7 posted 09-17-2011 04:20 PM

Saddle is that CH?

-- “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” ― Thomas Sowell

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4251 posts in 3364 days

#8 posted 09-17-2011 05:00 PM

“Micro-milli-tad” anyone?.......picked that up from a friend a long time ago…....

In my mind, I “sneak up” on things, I don’t inch up on them…..........(-:

..........does that make me “sneaky”?

I also use “tad” and “scosch” and “a wee bit”.......... I ask my wife what she and her quilting friends say, when they are off a bit…expecting something typically feminine and cute…......

She answers “Oh S…”


-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3274 days

#9 posted 09-17-2011 05:28 PM

While I am quite familiar with the off-color phrase “CH”, it never seems appropriate when working at the church.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View pierce85's profile


508 posts in 2762 days

#10 posted 09-17-2011 06:15 PM

Doc – “I have been known to use the word “fudge” for being just a little off”

I’ve also been known to use a term similar to ‘fudge’ for being more than just a little off… ;-)

View ChefHDAN's profile


1180 posts in 3049 days

#11 posted 09-17-2011 06:28 PM


-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View WrathOfSocrus's profile


24 posts in 2652 days

#12 posted 09-17-2011 06:28 PM

While I haven’t done much in the way of fine woodworking with other people, I have done a lot of rough framing and several wood floors and a tiny bit of trim work. Most of the time people use the ‘blade’ increments to describe small amounts. A ‘fat blade’ is usually about 1 1/2 blade widths and a ‘skinny blade’ being about half a blade. In rough framing I would say a ‘fat eighth’ would be the most common phrase I hear being told to cut. I have heard a lot of the things above including cutting the same board 3 times and it still being too short. Or cutting a 5 common 3 times and it still ending up a 5 hip.

The same could be said about angles when trying to match new work up to existing walls, roofs, and ceilings. Whether it is rafters or molding, sometimes the angles don’t add up to a perfect 90 degrees. For instance if you have a miter that has a gap at the ‘point’ someone might say to take a blade off the ‘heel’. Or they might put a mark on the board and hand it to you saying to cut it ‘from here to nothing’ which means cutting off at the mark and ending the cut at the existing angle across the board. This can also apply to bevels.

I think the important part is understanding each other no matter what you call your measurements. As long as you can convey angles, bevels, and lengths to each other to get the cut right then that’s a good system for you. I have ended up working along side different crews and they all tend to have different ways of saying things. If you don’t understand someone’s system you may have to pose the question a few different ways before you get an answer you understand. Being a cutman for a framing crew I find it absolutely critical to look at what someone is trying to do before cutting. Many times I can get pieces lined up on the workbench or sift through cut offs to make the most of our materials. Another trick I use is to cut a bunch of shims out of a scrap block and keep them in my tool pouch. If someone is working out of view of the work bench I will give them the shims to write on and make lists of block sizes or draw plywood cuts they need.

If all else fails you can make it fit by beating it into submission!

-- "To do is to learn. A brilliant man once said that... I think he had a beard, too." - Joe Burns, HTML Goodies

View higtron's profile


244 posts in 2877 days

#13 posted 09-17-2011 08:39 PM

When I use to hang dry wall you you refered to measureing things in terms of 1/8, so if you said 17&6 you where talking about cutting a piece 17 3/4”. If you wanted a piece 17 13/16”, you would say 17&6 heavy. If you wanted a piece 17 11/16” you would say 17&6 light. CH’s weren’t addressed until after work.

-- A friend will help you move, a good friend will help you move a body

View cloakie1's profile


204 posts in 2754 days

#14 posted 09-17-2011 11:40 PM

my term is usually a ‘nat’s knacker’, which can be either to long or to short…..when fitting a piece i ‘niggle it in’,one of the guys i work with says ‘a fleas foreskin’ or ‘within a fleas’ if we are using the bubble stick for checking our levels. have also been known to ask for a measurement and then term it 367mm full which means ever so slighty oversize so you have something to ‘niggle’ with. these terms are kiwi orgin but it interesting to hear what you guys up top say when things aren’t quite going as they should…great post rich

-- just get stuck in and have a go!!!

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3274 days

#15 posted 09-18-2011 03:47 AM

Thanks to all for your participation in this discussion. I was hoping from some input from foreign shores and cloakie1 came through. I must admit that “a fleas foreskin” is an expression I had not heard before and it is one I will not forget.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

showing 1 through 15 of 39 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics