remembering dimensions

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Forum topic by amagineer posted 09-01-2014 09:04 PM 1333 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1415 posts in 2618 days

09-01-2014 09:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip trick

I have been renovating a three story home with my brother and after taking dimensions on the third floor and by the time I get to measuring and cutting in the workshop, I either misinterpret the dimensions I put on the paper or forget which board the dimensions go. If anyone has a system that works for them I would appreciate the help.
Thanks Don

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

18 replies so far

View jmartel's profile (online now)


7950 posts in 2171 days

#1 posted 09-01-2014 09:10 PM

Write dimensions on the boards themselves with either pencil or chalk depending on whether it’s a light or dark wood.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2430 days

#2 posted 09-01-2014 09:11 PM

Would a camera/ipad help out any? Pics help me out a lot when I am doing something like that.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View FellingStudio's profile


93 posts in 1704 days

#3 posted 09-01-2014 09:21 PM

More details might help, but here are some tips …

- When cutting framing material, make a list of lengths to cut.
- When cutting an irregular shape, make a drawing of the shape with dimensions.
- Come up with a measuring convention/standard. (For example: measure to the nearest 1/8”, communicate measurement in inches and eighths. So, a measurement of 41 and a half inches would be communicated as 41/4.)

-- Jesse Felling -

View robscastle's profile


5070 posts in 2226 days

#4 posted 09-05-2014 07:44 AM


Not much help but I can relate to the issues you were having.

I was helping No 1 son renovate his bathroom in a Villa so the saws etc were located in the Garage and as such required all the items to be measured and then cut in a remote location.

This situation also provided confusion of which part was which by my son,

As a result it required me to do many passages through the house to verify as I was not sure then either.

His wife Vanessa was not impressed as there was gyproc dust and other crap everywhere along the polished floors !!

So sadly I dont know the solution either !!

-- Regards Rob

View Sylvain's profile


708 posts in 2521 days

#5 posted 09-05-2014 09:21 AM

As Robcastle experienced, it would make less problems to make the cut in the room with a handsaw and something like a workmate.
Otherwise, make a sketch with dimensions for each piece and label the pieces.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View RRBOU's profile


176 posts in 2314 days

#6 posted 09-05-2014 10:10 AM

I got in the habit of:
1: Wright the measurement on the piece that is to be cut.
2: wright the measurement where the piece is to be put.
3: Make a drawing of something that has multiple cuts.

-- If guns cause crime all of mine are defective Randy

View dhazelton's profile


2771 posts in 2318 days

#7 posted 09-05-2014 11:22 AM

Move the workshop to the third floor. Or an abbreviated version of it anyway. You can do a lot with cordless tools.

View ducky911's profile


237 posts in 2811 days

#8 posted 09-05-2014 03:27 PM

Problem I have sometimes is I measure “twenty one and a quarter”...get to the saw and cut “twenty and one quarter” Sounds the same but one is a inch short. I write down on a scrap of wood and if a angle is being cut, I draw which direction it goes.


View waho6o9's profile


8204 posts in 2598 days

#9 posted 09-05-2014 04:57 PM

Draw a picture with measurements, angles, left and right etc…..

The last b molding job went like this, dimensions are made up but
you get the idea.

View MrRon's profile


4793 posts in 3265 days

#10 posted 09-05-2014 06:00 PM

Waho609 has the most foolproof method. I worked in the shipbuilding industry and that is how I did it. It takes a little bit longer, but it avoids expensive mistakes.

View Earlextech's profile


1162 posts in 2712 days

#11 posted 09-05-2014 06:13 PM

I’ve always used the waho6o9 method.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View amagineer's profile


1415 posts in 2618 days

#12 posted 09-05-2014 06:36 PM

Thanks to all for the help, I will try Jimmy’s (waho6o9) idea and see if it will improve my remembering dimensions.


-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View diverlloyd's profile


2769 posts in 1879 days

#13 posted 09-05-2014 09:59 PM

I draw them out and I also have some dry erase tape on my tape measure. Write down the measurement on the tape and I’m ready to go. I also label with letters and put the measurement beside letter.

View waho6o9's profile


8204 posts in 2598 days

#14 posted 09-05-2014 10:37 PM

Fast Cap has a tape measure that does what diverlloyd mentions above.

It’s more of a want instead of a need for me, but it would be nice to
have I guess.

Thanks for the affirmation folks.

View MrRon's profile


4793 posts in 3265 days

#15 posted 09-06-2014 04:04 PM

Waho609, I have one of those Fastcap tapes. I use it all the time, but it never occurs to me to write on it. it even has a built-in pencil sharpener and again, I never use it.

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