13

After doing a fair bit of research the general consensus is use whatever you have available and you feel comfortable with. That being said, there are several points worth making about all three tools and it's important to note the differences. Dial Works mechanically and usually in 1/1000th of an inch increments. Assuming the rack and pinion are free of ...


11

A board foot is a volume of wood 1 inch by 12 inches by 12 inches; i.e., 144 cubic inches. If the board is 1/2" thick and 12" wide, one board foot would be 24" long. If the board is 2" thick and 6" wide, one board foot would be 12" long. Note that although rough lumber closer to advertised size than dimensional lumber, it is still often sold in nominal ...


11

When I don't want to make messy marks, it's blue painter's tape all the way. (There are various options, in terms of how long you can leave it on. Just remember to peel it in time.)


10

What is the significance of the numbers? They represent ratios that determine a dovetails angle. So in the case of 1:6 - for every unit you move up you also move 6 units over. These ratios are not usually mixed or changed on a single project. A simple trick to getting perfect angles, and to illustrate my point, uses a bevel guage and square. The always ...


10

Finding the center Using Geometry There are a couple of ways to do this. Since your dowel is big enough you can do this by hand relatively easy. First would be to make 3 lines on the outside of the dowel the cross 2 different points along the circumference (each line). Then draw 3 perpendicular lines from the center of those lines. The point where all those ...


9

The confusion comes from nominal vs. actual dimensions of dimensional lumber. Typically a solid wood board sold in customary/imperial units is slightly smaller along its thickness and width, the thickness being the smallest dimension. For example, a "2x4" is actually 1.5in x3.5in and a "1x3" is actually 0.75in x 3.5in. To convert from customary units to ...


9

If you were given a choice between dial, digital and vernier calipers which one should you pick? When I went looking for a caliper I wanted a dial type, based on the following comment in Andy Rae's book Choosing & Using Hand Tools, "A plastic dial caliper is plenty accurate for a woodworker's needs, and costs peanuts compared to more expensive metal ...


9

My final solution was to just use a drill press to drill a 2" hole with a forstner bit partway through a block of wood, then a 5/16" hole the rest of the way, centered on the pilot hole from the forstner bit: Then I just stick it on the end of the dowel and use it as a drill guide: This worked well. It's not really sensitive to imperfections in the ...


9

I think I wrote an answer some time ago that addresses this, but I cannot find the link... The simplest way I know to get the correct geometry is to do what cabinet shops do to make and install countertops. Get some long lattice strips approx 1/4" x 2" (+/-). Create a temporary platform at the elevation you want to fit the slab to and arrange the strips ...


8

This is another example (of many!) where terminology is used irregularly in the woodworking world. To me witness marks or witness lines mean lines such as you'd quickly pencil over a board face prior to planing or scraping, they then witness the progress you've made so that you can see where you have and haven't worked the wood yet. Marks such as the ...


8

How can I create a tight mitered frame around a fixed size, pre-existing object? OK I'll tackle this one first as it's actually most important: in this context you don't want to. To pass on some sage advice I read only recently: new woodworkers should resist the urge to picture-frame a panel made from solid wood [of any significant size]. Just to add a ...


8

For this gauge, I would imaging that you scribe with both beams individually instead of scribing with both points active at the same time. So, if you're setting up the inside cheek of the mortise, you scribe with the shorter beam. Then rotate the tool slightly and scribe the outside cheek with the longer beam. This is a similar system to the Veritas Dual ...


6

I was taught to measure to the inside (mainly because it was important to fit the frame to the glass, which went on the inside) and to cut via a mitre box to the outside of the line marked, that is is to say, less than half mm proud of the full length. Then take a shooting board and trim with a nice tuned hand plane. In practice, you can skip the mitre box ...


5

There are distinct sets of traditional marks for several purposes. At least some of the sets of marks have regional variations. Reference face and edge marks One common set of marks is a loop like a cursive lowercase l and an inverted v. The loop marks the reference face which is the first face that has been flattened and levelled. All subsequent ...


5

Often in woodworking the best practice is to cut slightly over the final size, then sneak up on the final dimension. One great solution for getting perfect miter joints is to use a miter sled. Once you build the sled, you'll be able to cut square miters every time. Here are some examples: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H00prACPflw http://www....


5

What is the quickest way to set it to a precise depth for e.g. cutting slots or dados or clean looking rabbets? I think you're already pretty close to doing it. Usually what I do is get it close to the measurement that I want using a tape measure, spacer block, test piece, or something else just by looking at it. Rotate the blade (power off!) to see where ...


5

As rob pointed out a board ft. 144 cubic inches. When dealing with rough cut lumber that is always how it is calculated for sale. Partially because it is NOT the final dimensions of the board, you will need to plane and join the sides making it smaller. Boards you find in Menards and Home Depot already have had this finishing process done and are ...


5

Does the UK have a piece of wood that is universally commonly used for hobby / domestic projects that it is simple referred to by a common name and is this typically a suitable substitute for the US 2 x 4? If Paul Sellers is any yardstick for how things are done in the UK, you use a 2x4 in the same sense that Americans would. There are plenty of instances ...


5

I believe that it is a brass masonry square. After looking up what you said was marked on the antique it's seems this is true as there are links to other antiques being sold under the same name. In addition if you wish to look up antique masonry tools(squares) you will find devices that look similar the one you have. Oh also everything I found about the ...


4

Construction grade lumber can be pretty bad. I would pay particular attention to the milling process and to the calibration of your tools (i.e. fences): The standard milling process: Jointer: Face joint one face Edge joint one edge You now have a clean 90 degree angle on the board. Check it in multiple places down the board. Planer: Place one of ...


4

The things I have learned that have been working fine: Dry fit always, then trim until it's good enough. You can stop at good enough. Err on the long side since you can't add some back after you remove it. Measure to what you've actually built instead of what you've designed. Order your cuts so that things that match can be done in bulk. If you need two 20"...


4

If imperial measurements were not so ingrained in my mind, I'd do everything in metric. Quite a few of the tools here in the US that are labeled as "inch" are actually metric. A few of my 1/2" chisels are actually 13mm - slightly larger than one would expect, which can cause difficulties. My favorite tape measure is metric only - Talmeter. As to 1-2-3 ...


4

It's certainly possible to damage squares and/or levels by clamping. So if you're looking for a yes or no answer, it would have to be yes. However I can think of plenty of situations where I would clamp either of these and do so in a way that does not degrade their accuracy. I would say the risks are these: Clamping directly (without a pad of some sort) ...


4

If it is a picnic table no problem if it is in the face of a fancy hutch maybe, maybe not. Sometimes the project can be modified to fit, sometimes it really does not matter, and I have had to scrap a large part from expensive wood for a small error (ouch). Sorry for the clear as mud answer. Anyone have a good board stretcher for sale? (no such thing) One ...


4

First, cut a measuring jig from half-inch plywood. Make it U-shaped, 12 by 12 inches with a large notch to match the wall thickness. Use the jig to quickly scan each door opening. If the notch is cut medium, then you can gauge thin wall (jig fits loosely) and medium wall (jig just slides over.) A thicker wall will prevent the jig from sliding over. Then ...


3

I use maths from school for this sort of thing. (I can't believe this stuff actually came in handy!) All you need is a ruler and a square. You draw two or 3 base lines and then a perpendicular line from the exact centre of each - the intersection will be the centre of the circle.


3

It really depends on the project. If you're gluing up a wide panel, acccumulated error from a series of non-square edges can become significant, unless you take steps to counter that by balancing the errors against each other. A joint might not come together well, showing gaps. On the other hand, in some places the difference may not be visible, or may be ...


3

Not an exact answer to the question but this should help you get precise in 2 cuts but should be very helpful in this situation and would also help you get to know your table saw. This information should also partner well with other answers here. I cannot speak for all table saws but many are dial/wheel based for vertical adjustment. Turning that wheel a ...


3

Don't worry -- almost nobody builds perfect furniture the first time out. (Certainly not me!) To your specifics: You need your drawer assembly to be parallel. Seriously. It'll be no end of woe if it isn't. I'm not entirely sure how it's in there, but if you can take it apart, temporarily brace it dead parallel, then re-integrate it with the box, your life ...


3

Back to your original question: This led me to wonder, is it more important when building a shelving unit that my shelves be at the same height, or is it more important that the interface of the rails to the stiles is square? The plan is to screw in a sheet of MDF on each rail level. My answer: you need both. Let's say you have a board that is bowed ...


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