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 In Techniques

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It’s the design that matters most. Thanks to the use of precision patterns, the issue of part, joinery fit and dimensions being correct are separate from design.

Part Three: Design

Read: Part 1Part 2

Though digital woodworking tools may be different and the scales are finer, the importance of precision is the same for every woodworker. If you’re working to a precision standard and your processes reinforce it, then the only differences between digital and machine tool woodworking are the numbers. Essentially, digital woodworking is to .001” or better and machine tool woodworking is to .010” or better. As a practical matter, I can’t see .001” on a ruler, but I can program a CNC routine and get measurable results and perfect joints every time. The point here is to establish standards and stick to them in whatever form of woodworking you prefer.

Pure hand tool woodworking is different. It works with a different and often immeasurable scale. For the most part, you’re making one part at a time and despite it being just as important to establish standards for measuring and process, precision for you comes down to fit and appearance.


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