Mark Wallace's Black Skiff

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Is "Measure Twice, Cut Once" Enough?

Most of us who have made things from wood have used the adage, "Measure twice, cut once". Once in a while, I have forgotten and had to redo the work. Most recently, I did measure twice and cut once, and still had to redo the work. (Sat in my 'crying chair')...

That was when I created a new adage that included the building step I missed... be it boats, models, furniture, hanging pictures, whatever.

Here's the four-step process I now use... It's called "4M".
  • Measure; using metric, Imperial, or two tick marks on a stick.
  • Mark; use a sharp pencil, or if absolute accuracy is needed, I use a small utility knife (pictured below) to make the mark.
  • Mock-up; this is the new step I added. Mock-up means put the pieces together as best I can (for example, using tape to hold them together) to make sure that the result will really work. When I was making a folding table for my son, I discovered in the mock-up that the legs would not fold properly. My drawing didn't show the problem. Mock-up saved the day.
  • Machine; this is when I finally put drill, or saw, or chisel to wood.

My 'marking' knife

Since using 4M, I use my crying chair much less.

Write me, or comment below with adages that help you when building boats, equipment or 'honey-do' projects.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Hi Bukan, thank you for your kind words regarding the posts on this blog... I appreciate them...


      PS: I do NOT appreciate the links you included and ask that you no longer add such links to any comments on this blog.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.