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.

  • But I suspect most of your dilemma is stock management, not lack of gizmos.

  • 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...

  • ... etc. et al...

    Get my drift?

  •   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....and
  • 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.

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    Good-Lyddon Data Systems

    Copyright © 2004-2007 Joe Lyddon,