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You don’t have to be a professional to create perfect-looking projects. While no project is free of flaws, there are specific techniques any project-builder can apply to create a project that looks “perfect.” Essentially, it comes down to learning the common points in projects where errors occur and why. Then you’ll be able to develop your own methods to avoid those mistakes. In this edition of Kreg Plus, we’ll look at problem points, and share a few tips you can use to produce your best projects ever.

More Than Meets the Eye

Wood by its nature is not always consistent. Even if your material looks okay to the naked eye, there still may be defects. That’s why it’s important to give your project pieces a thorough inspection. Be sure to check for flat faces, straight edges, and square corners.
The Multi-Mark™ can help you do both. In a previous edition of Kreg Plus, we discussed other common defects to look for.

Cutting Consistent Parts

Some projects require cutting multiple parts to the exact same length. An easy solution is to attach a stop block to your miter saw. Then you won’t have to measure each part individually. You can purchase a stop block, like the Kreg® Swing Stop or Production Stop, or cut one from a scrap of wood.

While stop blocks are helpful, they won’t necessarily work with all types of materials. When cutting sheet goods, for example, use tools like the Kreg® Rip-Cut™, that are equipped with built-in measuring scales.


Upgrade for Great Results

If you’re a table saw user and you’re committed to getting the best cuts possible, consider swapping out your miter gauge. Most saws come with a very basic gauge. Upgrade to a high-quality gauge, like the Kreg® Precision Miter Gauge System, and you’ll get easier adjustment, better accuracy, and a reliable built-in stop block. Multi-Mark

Check Your Progress

For many projects, the most important factor is consistency in thickness, width, or length from part to part. A simple solution is to line parts up side by side and check to see if these dimensions match up. Just make sure you do so on a dead-flat surface. Multi-Mark

Make Your Mark

It’s easy to get mixed up when working with a lot of parts. One smart approach is to mark each piece in order to keep everything straight. You can write corresponding letters on pieces that will be joined together, mark inside and outside faces, label tops and bottoms, and lay out locations for curves and other details. These markings will prevent mix-ups as you build, and can be sanded off later. Multi-Mark

Measure Consistently

Most of us have more than one tape measure lying around. But compare any two tape measures, and you may find that the readings vary slightly from one to the other. This is why you should always use the same tape to measure all of your project parts. Even if the markings on the tape aren’t totally accurate, your measurements will still be consistent. Multi-Mark

Cut to Fit, Not to Size

Many times, a project calls for pieces cut to a specific size. Sometimes, though, it’s more important to piece to fit, rather than worrying about if it fits a specified dimension. This is especially true when building things like doors or drawers that need to fit inside another assembly, or when you’re fitting the last piece in a group, like a floorboard or tile. Multi-Mark

Successful Projects for All

Perfect-looking projects are achievable for anyone who takes a proactive approach. All it takes is an awareness of avoidable mistakes, and reliable methods to overcome them.

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From Kreg and Woodsmith Magazine
©2015 August Home Publishing

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