The Wood Whisperer: Throw Away Your Tape Measure


Sometimes it’s best to let your project supply the answers.
By Marc Spagnuolo
Pages: 28-30

From the February 2009 issue #174
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You’re at work on your latest masterpiece and everything seems to be going great. After days of planning, measuring and cutting, you are finally ready to do the glue-up. Just as you start putting the pieces together, you come to the painful realization that some parts just don’t fit perfectly. Maybe a stile is too short or a panel is too loose.

How could this happen? You followed the plan to the letter! But somehow, for some reason, the fit is less than optimal. Well don’t despair my friends. What many folks don’t realize is that there is a certain amount of error naturally built into measuring, marking and cutting. That error is something I like to call “being human.” And until we can all get a bionic-eye transplant, we have to figure out ways to work around the error.

If we forget about the tape measure and let the work itself dictate the locations and relative part sizes, we are able to build with a level of confidence and accuracy that we previously thought was the stuff of dreams.

Online Extra

Click here to view the video, “Throw Away Your Tape Measure.”


From the February 2009 issue #174
Buy this issue now