Author Topic: Sneaking up on cuts - can one go too far?  (Read 1091 times)

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Offline Deke

  • Posts: 188
Sneaking up on cuts - can one go too far?
« on: October 10, 2017, 04:20 PM »
I have been thinking I am too cautious on sneaking up on cuts. I find myself starting way too long vs taking a chance. Am I just a wimp, or is this common and/or smart in the long run? Having to climb four stories back and forth to my saw on a recent project started all this. I do trust my saws (my miter saw has a whole Kreg thing and is super accurate), it is my measurments with the tape measure that I find myself doubting.

To make this somewhat meaningful and worth your time, anyone have advice on how they get more accurate cut measurements and end up making fewer trips to the saw (of any type)?

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Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 5147
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Sneaking up on cuts - can one go too far?
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2017, 04:56 PM »
Try a digital tape measure to take the room readings, good tape measure to mark for the cut.

Tom

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: Sneaking up on cuts - can one go too far?
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2017, 05:48 PM »
Use a story stick.

Offline Master Carpenter

  • Posts: 41
Re: Sneaking up on cuts - can one go too far?
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2017, 06:46 PM »
Just make the mark and cut it.

Nothing more

Don't be shy

What's the absolute worst than can happen if it's too short? You'll have to cut another piece. It will cost you less in the long run to cut a new length than spend hours walking back and forth to your saw.

Perfection can be approached but never achieved. Your probably more critical of your work than anyone else.
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Offline HarveyWildes

  • Posts: 552
Re: Sneaking up on cuts - can one go too far?
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2017, 07:02 PM »
Yes - I have gone too far when sneaking up on a cut more than once.  Then the piece is too short.  (yes I realize I'm changing the meaning...)

Last time I did trim, I used a hand miter saw to cut reasonably close, and then used a miter plane with a shooting board to sneak up on cuts one thin slice at a time.  Worked great!  It is very difficult to go too far, and it saved me multiple trips downstairs to the miter saw.

Offline harry_

  • Posts: 1145
Re: Sneaking up on cuts - can one go too far?
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2017, 08:12 PM »
I found that paying attention to what you are doing is important. I don't mean that in any sort of sense that you are being careless.
it's just that I have found that I have days where I run long, and days where i run short. Don't know if it is a refusal to wear glasses or sharpen my pencil. Typically I know within a cut or two which day I am having and by how much, and adjust accordingly.

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Offline Tim Raleigh

  • Posts: 3459
    • Oakville Cabinetry
Re: Sneaking up on cuts - can one go too far?
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2017, 09:13 PM »
To make this somewhat meaningful and worth your time, anyone have advice on how they get more accurate cut measurements and end up making fewer trips to the saw (of any type)?

If you find that you need to sneak up on cuts, cut a slight bevel and then use a hand plane to fine tune the fit at the site. After a few times you will find how much you are measuring under or over and compensate.
Use a story stick as often as is practical. They are much more accurate than a tape measure.
If you can get into the habit of using a folding rule, they are more accurate than a tape measure when transferring a measurement to the piece and making accurate cuts.
As Tom indicated, electronic laser measuring devices for long distances are very accurate, but using a tape measure to make a mark for your cut defeats the accuracy as tape measures are not as accurate.
Tim

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 3449
Re: Sneaking up on cuts - can one go too far?
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2017, 09:51 PM »
Use the same tape measure on every job and make a mental note as to where you made the mark on the piece versus how well it fit. All tapes vary, just use the same tape and you’ll gain confidence in your judgement. A little bit more...a little bit less, you’ll figure out the Kentucky windage you need to apply if you continue to use the same measurement standard.

Offline DB10

  • Posts: 879
Re: Sneaking up on cuts - can one go too far?
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2017, 12:07 AM »
When I learnt my apprenticeship back in the early 80's we had to cut everything with a hand saw, We just didn't have mitre saws to use on sites back then so you soon learnt to cut everything once and cut it right, having to go back and take another quarter inch off of a 4x2 was a pain & having to sharpen and reset the saw every few days was an even bigger pain. Thinking back how we used to just frame houses with a saw and a hammer leaves me feeling very tired.

Offline Rob-GB

  • Posts: 1006
Re: Sneaking up on cuts - can one go too far?
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2017, 06:30 AM »
Use one tape measure for the whole job.
Check that it is still accurate against a trust 1mtr/36" steel rule when measuring both internally and externally.
As the rivets on the tab wear it can change or the tab gets bent bouncing down the stairs when you dropped it last week [wink]
Carry a sharp block plane to take that half pencil line sliver off.
On stuff like baseboards/skirtings, facings /architraves cut the coped or mitred end first then use the piece as the storyboard. On architraves I pin the header up first then spin the legs upside down and mark the length that way.
Last, but possibly, most important....... BIN THE FLAT CARPENTERS PENCIL. Worst thing ever designed for accurate working.
For carpentry, 1st fix/roofing an HB Staedtler will be good enough
Joinery a 2h Staedtler or 0.5mm self propelling pencils works well.
Fine joinery and furniture  then it's a mix of 0.5mm spp and/or marking knife for setting out.

Rob.


Problem? No such thing! Only a solution waiting to be found:- RJ

"A $2 guppy swims......" Deke

Offline Tim Raleigh

  • Posts: 3459
    • Oakville Cabinetry
Re: Sneaking up on cuts - can one go too far?
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2017, 11:17 AM »
Last, but possibly, most important....... BIN THE FLAT CARPENTERS PENCIL. Worst thing ever designed for accurate working.

Yup, I have never figured out how to use those things.
I am sure there is a use for them I just don't know how to do that.
Tim

Offline Rob-GB

  • Posts: 1006
Re: Sneaking up on cuts - can one go too far?
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2017, 01:08 PM »
Last, but possibly, most important....... BIN THE FLAT CARPENTERS PENCIL. Worst thing ever designed for accurate working.

Yup, I have never figured out how to use those things.
I am sure there is a use for them I just don't know how to do that.
Tim

Wedging open elevator doors while removing the back panel to load an occupied coffin....standing the coffin up is frowned upon. Germany 2001 and you need to really check the smallprint when taking a joiner's job over there!
Rob.
Problem? No such thing! Only a solution waiting to be found:- RJ

"A $2 guppy swims......" Deke

Online Rick Christopherson

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Re: Sneaking up on cuts - can one go too far?
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2017, 04:53 PM »
When marking a precision cut, I use a utility knife instead of pencil. Especially if I'm marking the length by holding the piece in its position.

When I sneak up on a cut, I will cut just barely past that knife cut, and then with the blade stationary, press the workpiece into the side of the blade to deflect the blade slightly. Then I'll raise the blade and make the shaving cut. The harder I press sideways, the deeper the slice, and I use that to gauge how much more I need to slice. When the cut is right on the knife cut, it is very obvious because the knife cut edge is still present on one side but not the other.

Offline rizzoa13

  • Posts: 545
Re: Sneaking up on cuts - can one go too far?
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2017, 07:13 PM »
More often than not with trim I measure, add my miter cut and then another 2 inches. Cut the piece wedge it into place and then use my pencil to mark where the backside of my miter goes.  After that if I screw up cutting it I chastise myself for being stupid and cut it a little smaller. It takes times but not having enough crown on a kitchen install because the designer was cheap and didn't send me another length sure takes a lot longer.

I don't mind being the slower, higher quality guy who never needs to beg for more material because he screwed up.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 3449
Re: Sneaking up on cuts - can one go too far?
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2017, 10:51 PM »
When I sneak up on a cut, I will cut just barely past that knife cut, and then with the blade stationary, press the workpiece into the side of the blade to deflect the blade slightly. Then I'll raise the blade and make the shaving cut.

For critical fits I also use this method. Just some light pressure against the stationary saw blade will deflect it somewhere in the .005-.007” range. Deflect...raise blade...shave.