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Monday, August 19, 2013

Measure twice, cut once--with a twist!

You're probably familiar with the old adage cautioning you to re-check your measurements before you make your cuts.  One problem, however, is that if you made a mistake once, you're likely to make the same error when you repeat your measurements.

To help minimize the waste of time, energy, and wood, here are two suggestions:

First, use a different method to measure the second time.  For example, if you used a ruler the first time, use a tape the second time.  If you measured top down the first time, measure bottom up the second time.

Second, take advantage of another person's input.  Even if that person is not a woodworker, he or she can still help you measure.

Joe and I just replaced a rotten piece of fascia that had three angled cuts to make.  Joe made an error on length, and I made an error on one of the angles.  Between us, however, we managed to complete the job with only one minor re-cut, and no lost wood.  BTW, never be tempted to use pre-primed finger-jointed wood for the exterior, especially for horizontal applications--it's worth the extra cost of decent wood to avoid the risk of premature rot.


  1. I know what you mean Carole, I am a supervisor for a construction company, we just finished a job for Imperial Oil. We drove a bunch of steel piles for them with a crane and pile driver. After they are drove it's my responsibility to mark cut off on the steel for the welder. I measure so many times it's crazy. When all of the piles have been cut they must be exactly level with each other, so that large steel mod's can be mounted on them. So far I have been very accurate.( touch wood )

  2. Now those are some really high stakes! Can only imagine the relief you feel when everything comes out dead even. No wiggle room at all, I would think.