Reply by jdmaher

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Posted on Feeling despondent

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461 posts in 3063 days

#1 posted 09-22-2018 05:12 PM

I’ll talk just a little about the sled and bit more about “perfect”, but the important message is: “You’re doing fine – even great – just where you are.”

You’ve already been told that you’re probably going out of square when you screw down the fence. That’s kinda inevitable. As jmos said, you might need to adjust to square after you screw down the fence. There’s probably a video or two out on the interwebs to guide that effort (and there’s more than one way to skin that cat).

A perhaps better technique is to use a shooting board, after you’ve cut as square as you can. That’s the kind of thing I do: use a machine to get close, then handwork to make it even better. But there’s a gotcha: “perfect” is both relative and transitory. What I used to consider “square” 20 years ago, now seems sloppy. And I often find that a cut I measure as perfectly square Friday night is noticeably off Saturday morning – because wood moves.

It don’t matter! Pay attention, do the best you can, adjust as you proceed and realize the absolute truth that only you will notice the imperfections. Everybody else in the world looks at the finished whole (which you should try to make appealing), and their interest is more functional than aesthetic.

Keep trying to make it as perfectly as possible. That will virtually ensure that you make it perfectly acceptable. But DO try really hard to “get ‘er done”!!! An imperfect result (which is all any of us will ever achieve) is infinitely better than no result at all.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

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