If you’ve done any level of woodworking, you’ve almost definitely heard the tip, “measure twice, cut once.” The importance of this philosophy cannot be understated—the biggest mistakes made during projects are often caused by inaccurate or flat-out wrong measurements.
With this in mind, here are some tips from a lumber yard in Houston to help you prevent these kinds of mistakes and make sure you are more quickly and/or accurately measuring and cutting your wood pieces.
The “sample board” method
If you’re interested in making quicker measurements while still maintaining at least a reasonable degree of accuracy, you can use the “pattern” or “sample” board method.
Measure and mark a single board with your tape measure and then cut it to the needed length. Rather than measuring and marking every additional piece of wood with your tape measure, you can instead use the pattern board, so long as you make sure the ends are flush and are using an extra-sharp pencil for the marking.
This is ideal for projects in which you need to cut a lot of pieces of lumber to the exact same length. You’ll find that as long as you are careful about lining up the sample board properly, it will maintain a good level of accuracy and you’ll cut a significant amount of time out of preparing these boards for their application.
The clamp method
Another process you can use to measure multiple boards at once is to lay all the boards out flat on top of a bench, square up all the ends and clamp them together. You can then measure and mark all the boards together and cut all of them at once.
If you have a whole lot of pieces of wood to cut and clamping them together will be impractical, you can also use your miter saw to make the process faster without sacrificing your accuracy.
Clamp down a strip of wood (which will serve as an auxiliary fence) to the miter saw’s fence—one-by-four or one-by-three is a good size of wood for this purpose. Once you’ve got the board clamped, cut off the end, and then put the measuring tape on the cut end and measure and mark the length of boards you wish to cut.
Next, add a piece of scrap wood on the mark and clamp it in place, which will serve as a stop block.
Once you’ve completed these steps, place the large piece of stock on the saw table and slide it until the end of the board hits the stop block. Hold that piece in place firmly and make the cut, and you’ll be able to repeat this process with identical results.
These are just a few examples of ways you can more quickly make accurate cuts with large numbers of boards for your various woodworking projects. Contact our lumber yard in Houston if you’re in need of more tips to make life in the shop easier for you.