Error in Cutting Lists
Gordon Humphrey writes: As (you are) past-editor of Woodworking Magazine (which I am more than a little sorry to see disappear), and still editor of Popular Woodworking Magazine and designer of the sideboard on the cover of the Summer 2009 issue of Woodworking Magazine (the featured project of that issue), I wish to call you attention to what I believe to be an error in the cutlist on page 12. The web frame stiles are said to be 33″ long. Given that the interior measurement of the table is 34″ and you state (page 15) that the “guts” should be “a little too tight” with respect to the interior of the base, this listing of 33″ should appropriately be more like 34″, preferably 35″, or so.
As a “intermediate beginner” woodworker, I jumped ahead and made the “guts” before reading your statement on page 15: “Measure the inside of your base and make the web frame so it fills that space exactly,….” This sentence may serve to absolve you of responsibility, I suppose, but I don’t see why a cut list should be wrong. If it’s wrong, what’s the point of it? I wasted lots of time making the mortises and tenons for the “guts” and assembling the “guts” before gluing up the base (and therefore before measuring or looking at the 34″ interior dimension shown in the schematic. That was time and effort wasted. I don’t understand why that should have happened, since I don’t particularly like making wasted mortises and tenons with wasted wood. (Does this disqualify my from the realm of woodworkers, I wonder?).
I shall take 20 percent of the blame and let it serve as a lesson to me, but I suggest that as editor you need an editor or a proofreader or a reader stand-in who builds your stuff and checks your figures before going to press.
– Gordon Humphrey
Editor Christopher Schwarz responds: Sorry for the error. We don’t make too many of those and we do have proofreaders. However, this is a human endeavor, and we make mistakes.
I will say this (and I’ve said this before), that woodworkers should never (and I rarely use that word in woodworking) cut out all the pieces from any cutlist. Even their own. Even from a cutlist that has been checked 1,000 times.
The proper procedure is to build the exterior case and base all your measurements off that as you proceed. Heck, I think that providing parts lists for drawers is a waste of valuable ink. But when we remove them, we get phone calls.
In any case, I hope you can find a use for that extra wood.
– Christopher Schwarz