Measuring Correctly; Router Table Tops
Issue: Issue 347
Posted Date: 3/11/2014
Can't Seem to Measure Correctly from Woodworking.com
The original poster in this discussion said he does measure twice, cut once -- but something's still off about his measurements. He sought help. - Editor
"I love woodworking. The thought of going to the garage when I get home gets me through the day at work! Here is an example of my problem: my wife bought a nightstand to refinish and it was missing one of two drawers. I measured the existing drawer, marked my wood and began to cut. After assembly, I wanted to check the build, and my drawer was almost a half inch too long. I seem to do this just about every time. I know this is the very basics, but does anyone know what I could be doing wrong to end with such out of whack measurements? By the way, I do measure twice and make the witness mark." - Electronflow
And received some advice -- about both math and methods. - Editor
"'Measuring twice' is only a good start. There are times when I take the same measurement 4,5,6 times -- and write it down. If I'm figuring where to cut, drill...whatever, I'll do the math two or three different ways, add it all up, subtract it back down. Whenever possible, I eliminate measuring altogether. Hold the piece in place, then mark what I need." - Dave
"Another alternative is a story stick." - Frank C.
As well as some insight into where he could have gone wrong in taking his measurements. - Editor
"Some cabinets or tables have drawer stops in the rear of the drawer to keep the front flush with opening. So, depending where you measured the depth, you can get an incorrect depth reading."- Jseverance
What's your measuring method? - Editor
Router Table Help from Woodworking.com
A woodworker has built his own router table and wants to know what kind of top to put on it. - Editor
"I built a router table and want to know which top to install. What material and thickness is the best? The skin on my old top buckled and is no use, probably because of the humidity. Any advice?" - Willie
He received opinions based on others' experiences. - Editor
"That's a loaded question. Best? Probably machined cast iron, or maybe granite. Too expensive for me, though. Second best, probably solid phenolic; still pretty expensive. Do you have a budget? High-pressure laminate (like Formica) on MDF is a good choice, but is not impervious to moisture issues. Low-pressure laminate (melamine) would be the low-budget choice, but not much improvement, probably, from what you've got now.
"I've got a melamine router table, and a HPL table. Both work fine for me. Thickness really only matters in terms of reducing/eliminating sag -- structure under the table will influence this (better, flatter sub-structure = less need for thick top and vice versa)." - Jerry M.
"I used half of a solid core door; turns out 'solid core' means it's particleboard. But that was about 12 years ago and it's still flat. I think the more common material is MDF, 2 pieces 3/4" thick laminated and covered both sides with HPL (I did that to mine). But the real key to keeping it flat (in my humble opinion) is to have a grid work built into the cabinet supporting the top." - Fred H.