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Measure and mark for better accuracy

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More ways mark accurately
Ruler on board with pencil
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Striking lines across several pieces
with one setup ensures that the
marks align. Labels help you place
the marks on the correct faces.
Red round numbers on board
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Rest a knife flat against the rail,
then press the cutting edge against
the workpiece. Use a square to help
transfer the mark to the face.
Knife on side of inside angle of board
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Don't get hung up on difficult
division of fractions. Instead,
lock the rule at about half of the
panel's width, then measure in
from each edge and make a light
mark. Adjust the rule length as
needed until you end up with
overlapping marks that confirm
the center of the workpiece.

More ways mark accurately

Maintain the proper orientation of nearly identical parts as you mark them by indicating which surfaces are the top, bottom, left, right, front, back, inside, and outside as needed. For several pieces needing identical layout marks, such as matching mortises in opposing table legs, save time and improve accuracy by clamping the pieces together and marking across all of them at once, right.

Finding the center of a workpiece is simple: Measure the width, then divide that number in half. To confirm your math, measure in that distance from each edge and make a mark, center. If the marks fall on top of each other, you've found dead center. If not, adjust the measurement by half of the amount between them and try again.

In some instances, the most accurate measurement comes from avoiding a ruler or tape. For example, when fitting a divider between two rails in a face frame, bottom right, measuring and then transferring that dimension to the workpiece invites at least two chances for error to creep in. Instead, place the workpiece against the opening and mark the dimension directly onto the workpiece.

Apply these methods to your work and watch the improvement.


 

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