I don't necessarily subscribe to the .001" accuracy in woodworking espoused
in some of the threads floating around here lately (particularly when a 4"
wide board cut this morning at 65 degree/70% rh may well be a different
width tomorrow afternoon when it's 95/95), but with wood getting more
expensive by the day, it does pay to develop a method/philosophy of
measuring, marking, layout and cutting that can get you "consistency" in the
dimensioning of your parts ... which is what you should be shooting for when
things have to go together as a whole.
On the methodology side, no amount of precision measuring will get you this
needed consistency like the "batch" cutting/routing of parts, and the
meticulous and consistent "referencing" of faces and edges to fences and
cutting surfaces when machining/cutting ... particularly for a "production
run" of multiple pieces in a small shop environment.
On the measuring side, I find myself going back repeatedly to the following
tools for obtaining this necessary consistency, to the point that I even
keep these, and like items, on a large plastic TV tray, lined with a
non-skid rubber mat, so I can move them en masse around the shop as I need
Incra rule set (with the Bend rule the most used)
Veritas Saddle square (one of the most used items in the shop)
.05mm mechanical pencil (steal this from my shop and you're dead!)
Sliding bevel square
Starret combination square
With the above (and paying particular attention to maintaining reference
edges), careful layout, marking and subsequent machine setup can be done
with enough consistency to carry you from part 1 to part 101 with
confidence, regardless of how many zero's of precision you put behind the
FWIW/YMMV, etc. ...
Last update: 8/29/06
Click to see the full signature.