Mark, rather than measure, for perfect cuts
Woodworking plans sometimes say to cut certain parts oversize before later cutting them down to exact size. Why not just cut them to size to start with? Wouldn't that waste less wood?
—Jeffrey Walker, Odessa, Texas
Paradoxically, Jeffrey, cutting parts oversize helps you cut the part perfectly the second time.
In cases where parts have unusual angles or must fit perfectly between two other parts, it's important to size the part based on the project rather than using a numerical measurement. Leaving a little wiggle room to mark, rather than measure, the exact dimension, as shown below, eliminates the potential for frustration over an imperfect fit. Pictured are two examples where it might be necessary to size parts down from oversize blanks.