Accuracy - general hints and tips ? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Default Accuracy - general hints and tips ?

Hello,

Was wondering how other people approach making accurate cuts.

If I am making some sort of 3d object and I make relatively small errors in my cuts then by the time I have either "gone round a loop or a carcass" or gone around a few 90 degree bends in different orthogonal directions then I find that bits dont quite meet up with other bits and things arent quite square.

I try to be as accurate as possible in my cuts but I can mess something up - it seems to me there are 2 issues

1. How do I organise myself top make measurements and cuts as accurately as possible ?

2. Ways of correcting or even hiding things - for example - I noticed when I was owner builder of my house that I could hide a poorly cut plaster edge with the final architraves and skirting boards - ie the very last thing done is the most visible and needs to be perfect but the stuff underneath has some "slack"

Any good general tips or threads or web sites or hints for measuring and making accurate cuts when doing normal jobs in the shed ?

ie use of story sticks instead of rulers ?

empirical measuring rather than using a tape measure or ruler - ie take the thickness directly off a piece of timber rather than measure thickness (possible error) and then mark up using ruler ( another possible error) ?

use of a marking knife or gauge rather than a pencil ? How many people do this ?

use of jigs to make all relevant pieces the same length, width, holes in the same place etc

I often think to myself things like "cut so that you can still see the edge of the pencil line"

How do the rest of you organise yourselves to be as accurate as possible ?

Regards

Bill
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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 07:52 PM
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I learned early on that pre-cutting every piece to a plan or drawing, then going on with assembly was (for me) a disaster. Cutting mortises to a measured dimension is fine but trying to measure and cut the tenon and expecting it to fit didn't work for me. But do the mortise then cut the tenon a little big and "sneaking" up on the correct dimension slowly seemed to work. Now when ever I can I use existing elements to ID where and what to cut. Basically I cut what I need to get started then use that (when I can) to mark and cut the rest. Over cutting and trimming to size with a pattern following bit; some folks will call it a cheat but it works in some cases.

When I need to be very accurate with something I can't afford to get wrong, like when I was making my acrylic sump filter insert for my aquarium, I'll make templates, get them right, and rough cut the final piece and trim to size again using a pattern following bit.

For correct angles I rely on accurate alignment, careful setups, and the best technique I can manage.

GCG

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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 07:52 PM
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 07:56 PM
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Yeah, but you're you and the rest of us mere mortals have to struggle for a 64th or a 32nd even.

GCG

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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by steamingbill View Post
Hello,

Was wondering how other people approach making accurate cuts.

If I am making some sort of 3d object and I make relatively small errors in my cuts then by the time I have either "gone round a loop or a carcass" or gone around a few 90 degree bends in different orthogonal directions then I find that bits dont quite meet up with other bits and things arent quite square.

I try to be as accurate as possible in my cuts but I can mess something up - it seems to me there are 2 issues

1. How do I organise myself top make measurements and cuts as accurately as possible ?

2. Ways of correcting or even hiding things - for example - I noticed when I was owner builder of my house that I could hide a poorly cut plaster edge with the final architraves and skirting boards - ie the very last thing done is the most visible and needs to be perfect but the stuff underneath has some "slack"

Any good general tips or threads or web sites or hints for measuring and making accurate cuts when doing normal jobs in the shed ?

ie use of story sticks instead of rulers ?

empirical measuring rather than using a tape measure or ruler - ie take the thickness directly off a piece of timber rather than measure thickness (possible error) and then mark up using ruler ( another possible error) ?

use of a marking knife or gauge rather than a pencil ? How many people do this ?

use of jigs to make all relevant pieces the same length, width, holes in the same place etc

I often think to myself things like "cut so that you can still see the edge of the pencil line"

How do the rest of you organise yourselves to be as accurate as possible ?

Regards

Bill

Bill,
You are dealing with, what for me, is the fasinating part of woodworking. I'm new at it and am enjoying very much finding ways to accomplish what you are addressing in your thread on this forum. For me anyway, having accurate tools and knowing their limitatition and/or boundries is a must. I am not sure what you mean by the term 3d projects. My challenges have been primariy with cutting angles. The answer in doing the angles has been with the use of the Incra Miter Gauge, getting it exactly calibrated, and dealing with the flutter of the blade in the TS. This was accomplished, again for me, with finding that first of all I had to use a full kerf blade with a stabilizer. A thin kerf blade would not work for me. This was not true for simple 90 degree cuts, but when it csme to 30 degree cuts for example it was different story. I know that other members that read this will be tired of hearing me talk about my quest for that level of accuracy, I'm just saying that learning about such things is part of what has made woodworking so interesting and challenging for me. There is indeed a difference between being a carpenter and a fine woodworker, at least that is so in my view. I'm just starting to learn how to make toung and mortise joints. Making one is easy but am waiting to see how making eight of them so that the project stays squard and level is my present challenge. If it were easy, being very accurate with everything I mean, anybody could do it. It's not easy and that is what makes it so interesting.

Wishing you the best in your quest for accuracy,

Jerry
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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 01:20 AM
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I have found that marking knives while accurate are at times difficult to see. I have a drawer full of sharpened pencils with very fine points. I change pencils as needed to keep my lines as fine as possible. I have been testing a Bic mechanical pencil which uses leads that measure 0.7 mm and at this point I am still undecided on it.

I have been using the triangles shown in the following link for layouts and adjusting set ups and they work very well. See them here: http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?p...1&site=ROCKLER

With most routing jobs I use brass set up bars.

For calibrating machines I use the Betterley Unigauge.
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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike View Post
I have found that marking knives while accurate are at times difficult to see. I have a drawer full of sharpened pencils with very fine points. I change pencils as needed to keep my lines as fine as possible. I have been testing a Bic mechanical pencil which uses leads that measure 0.7 mm and at this point I am still undecided on it.

I have been using the triangles shown in the following link for layouts and adjusting set ups and they work very well. See them here: http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?p...1&site=ROCKLER

With most routing jobs I use brass set up bars.

For calibrating machines I use the Betterley Unigauge.
I'm with you on the mechanical pencils only they are Pentels in .05, .07, and .09mm complete w/ slip on triangle shaped silicone grips... Have a .03mm but that doesn't get used much.. the leads are too fragile for woodworking..

Drill sizing gauges to verify diameters... (wait till you try and figure out the true dia of an off shore bit)... different from bit to bit even with the same size declaration..
A wide array of drafting triangles, circle templates, protractors, (adjustable and not) curves, compasses, dividers, (IS/OS) Wixey..

Squares, saddle squares, machinist squares, speed squares, machined rulers from 6" to 72", centering rulers to 48", straight edges, trammels, folding rulers, calipers, marking gauges, brass gauges, cutting gauges, array of marking knives, set up dial indicators/bases, thickness gauges, fixed angle gauges and on and on....

What do want for four generations of tools/machinery...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 04:32 AM
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I'm with you on the mechanical pencils only they are Pentels in .05, .07, and .09mm complete w/ slip on triangle shaped silicone grips... Have a .03mm but that doesn't get used much.. the leads are too fragile for woodworking..

Drill sizing gauges to verify diameters... (wait till you try and figure out the true dia of an off shore bit)... different from bit to bit even with the same size declaration..
A wide array of drafting triangles, circle templates, protractors, (adjustable and not) curves, compasses, dividers, (IS/OS) Wixey..

Squares, saddle squares, machinist squares, speed squares, machined rulers from 6" to 72", centering rulers to 48", straight edges, trammels, folding rulers, calipers, marking gauges, brass gauges, cutting gauges, array of marking knives, set up dial indicators/bases, thickness gauges, fixed angle gauges and on and on....

What do want for four generations of tools/machinery...

Stick, you and Mike talk in terms that absolutely foriegn to people like myself which just makes knowing how very much there is to be learned about woodworking. It's good thing that the enjoyment that one gets out of woodworking is not based on one's knowledge, but rather learning about such things as you two wizard and others on the forum like you already know. Sure do appreciate your vast knowledge and willingness to help folks like me.

Jerry
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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 04:49 AM
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Stick, you and Mike talk in terms that absolutely foreign to people like myself which just makes knowing how very much there is to be learned about woodworking. It's good thing that the enjoyment that one gets out of woodworking is not based on one's knowledge, but rather learning about such things as you two wizard and others on the forum like you already know. Sure do appreciate your vast knowledge and willingness to help folks like me.

Jerry
How so on the foreign terms???
How may I break down what I post to benefit you or make for a better understanding???
Be happy to, just ask...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”
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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 06:56 AM
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For me it comes down to how accuate it has to be. Miters have to be exact so for that I use a powered miter saw and cut the piece a little longer, maybe just a wisker but none the less longer. I then will check the fit and go back two or three times to get it dead on. I like using a knife instead of a pencil if the cut has to be really accurate. I will also use a Lion miter trimmer and shave the edge. I also use "sticks" at times to take the measurement to eliminate any error that a tape measure might give me. As last resort I may undercut a piece a little so that only the very tip of the edge is in contact with the mating piece.
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