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Step 7 – Cut to size

Now we need to get these babies down to the correct length.  It is the difference in lengths that, once boards are laminated together, will form our joints – so it is obviously quite important to get these measurements as accurate as possible.

Try wherever possible to eliminate the error that is involved in measuring. To do so what we want to do, is not measure twice (or even ten times), but instead cut the boards using other boards and stop blocks as away to control the lengths.

Obviously the very first board you cut requires measurement with a tape measure, but after that, we want to try and use it as a reference for the size of the others.

With laptop on hand and SketchUp loaded, it is time for some serious head scratching. We don’t want to cut anything shorter than we should.

Cut to size

By clamping pieces together like this, it is possible to make perfectly similar length planks.  Here I am using my Bosch mitre saw to make accurate 90degree cuts.  You could also use a handsaw and mitre block, but with all the bits we need to cut that would take a while…

Cut to size

If you have a good idea of how the joints are going to be while you are cutting, there is no need to rely on the tape measure (though it is a good check). Instead use pieces you have already cut and clamp on appropriately sized stop blocks, like so.

Cut to size

Working out the lengths this way also helps you visualize how the joins are going to work.  For example, in the pic below the long piece on the right is already cut to size.  We know that the piece clamped to it (the piece to be cut) needs to be shortened by the width of the two stop blocks, because they are the width of the pieces that will eventually form a 90 degree joint with it.

Cut to size

I have a code (printed out on the cutting list) for all the bits of wood I need. These are ‘B longs’, and I draw a little smiley on them when I am happy they are all correct and ready.

Cut to size

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