It's the biggest cliche in woodworking: “Measure twice, cut once.” But you can't deny the basic truth that measuring (and marking what you measure) is absolutely fundamental to successful projects. In “Marking & Measuring,” you'll find 11 articles to help you do better work, from how to use tools from simple squares to sophisticated dial calipers, to avoiding problems by marking your boards before you join them.
Robert W. Lang sets you straight by starting things off with “Measure, Mark & Lay Out,” an overview of measuring and layout. You’ll discover tips on getting the most from your tools, and how errors might be a matter of perspective. Robert shows you that one of the most important things to check are your assumptions.
A swoopy triangle or curly swirl can save you hours of work – in “Make Your Mark,” Christopher Schwarz teaches you how traditional cabinetmakers’ marks can help you keep the right face forward.
One of the rites of passage for woodworkers of the past was making their own squares and straightedges. Robert W. Lang shares some good reasons why you should make “Shop-built Layout Tools,” as well. You’ll discover some valuable skills, end up with a couple of new tools and learn the tricks of testing a straightedge and square.
That loose hook on the end of your tape measure? It’s not sloppy workmanship – it’s supposed to move a bit. Christopher Schwarz is the author of “Measuring 101,” an article that will teach you how to buy a square that is actually square, what to look for when buying a tape measure and why 16’ is long enough, thank you very much.
Discover how to sharpen and correctly use “Marking Knives,” with Christopher Schwarz showing you how this essential tool directly leads to cleaner, more accurate cuts. You’ll also read how Christopher turns old spade bits into marking knives for a fraction of the cost of buying.
Build a useful tool that’s easy to make, easy on the eyes and fantastic to use. Christopher Schwarz shows you how to build an “English Layout Square” that will give you practice cutting a bridle joint and adding decorative details to your work.
“The Mighty Compass” is no exaggeration. Robert W. Lang reveals how a swing of an arc can solve many of your layout and construction problems. Learn how to use this versatile tool to make perfect 45° angles, exact squares and even polygons.
Dive deep into the anatomy and use of “Combination Squares” with Robert W. Lang – he teaches you how to select and maintain this core woodworking tool. (And find out why Robert thinks you should have more than one.)
In “Dial Calipers,” David Thiel shows you a host of uses for this precision measuring instrument, from checking the depth of a mortise to helping tune a handplane.
“Try Squares” is a handy cheat sheet – everything you need to know about try squares; common sizes, how to diagnose and repair problems and more.
Quick – what’s 17 15/16 divided by 5? Step away from the calculator – in “Secrets of the Sector,” Jim Tolpin shows you how to make and use a traditional tool that can simplify your layout chores and help you avoid mathematical errors.