Cutting Diagrams

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Much of woodworking involves making the most of what you've got. This was the guiding principle for building the storage box shown on page 14 of this issue.

Right from the beginning I knew that the cutting diagram for this project was going to be the toughest part to work out. In fact, I spent hours trying to get all of the pieces dimensioned and laid out so there would be a minimum of waste. The result is a cutting diagram that is my pride and joy.

I think working out a cutting diagram for each project is important. Whenever I start to build something, one of the first considerations is the cutting diagram. Very often I find that a few little changes in the design make big changes in the amount of material needed, and especially in the amount of waste.

We try to show cutting diagrams for almost every project. However, I must admit that they are really just guidelines for the amount of material you'll probably need. We show the boards that are needed based on the sizes of dimension (softwood) lumber.

This might be a little misleading when hardwood is used for the project. Most hardwood is sold 'random width and length.' (The exception is hardwood sold through mail-order catalogs, which is almost always cut to specified widths and lengths.) Although you may not be able to buy boards at the exact dimenions shown, the cutting diagram should still be helpful — and at the least, a good starting point.

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Wood Working 101

Wood Working 101

Have you ever wanted to begin woodworking at home? Woodworking can be a fun, yet dangerous experience if not performed properly. In The Art of Woodworking Beginners Guide, we will show you how to choose everything from saws to hand tools and how to use them properly to avoid ending up in the ER.

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