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Accuracy - general hints and tips ?

8950 Views 40 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  steamingbill

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 ?


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For making multiples, that is exactly how I do it.
Sometime in the near future I will be doing a small octagon of 1/2" plywood, just that way.
I made an octagonal "pipe" once just for fun

After making the 22.5 degree jig I came up with a cheat.

Make the octagon in 2 halves each one being a 4 sided piece.

Dry fit the 2 sections together, if they match exactly give yourself a pat on the back .............

If they dont match exactly, then prior to gluing them together you can run both of the 4 sided sections along some sandpaper glued to a flat piece of wood or glass, ensuring that the angle between the first edge and the 4th edge of the octagon is exactly 180 degrees.

This helps to eliminate the accumulated inaccuracies from the multiple cuts.

This will work with any 4 6 8 10 12 (etc) sided figure, as when you are half way around the polygon the first and last edges should be in the same plane.


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What are set up bars ?

Machine angle set ups are verified with Wixey or draftsman's plastic triangle.
To verify an angle on the miter gauge I use a MITERSET.

Have googled Wixey and Miterset and set up bars - they look to be very useful.

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