Saturday, August 16, 2014

Measure twice, and then cut once

Measure twice, cut once is an old proverb that cautions us to check our work. There are several ways to put the pieces together when designing and building any project. That includes writing a speech. Making the transitions between them smooth (gap free) is an important detail.

In October 2012 Diane Windingland blogged about how Transitions in Your Speech Bridge the Gap. In August 2013 Andrew Dlugan blogged about Speech Transitions: Magical Words and Phrases such as:





Norrm Abram used Measure Twice, Cut Once: lessons from a master carpenter as the title for his 1996 book of essays. (One essay is even titled Measure Twice, Cut Once, but Don’t Measure at All if You Can Avoid It. Fitting the last piece of siding in a row on a house is a situation where you are better to just hold it in place and mark it).  

For the cat scratcher box I discussed on August 1st, I used butt joints on the sides.  I chose to make both visible on the long sides. As shown above, I also could have put them both on the short sides, or one on each side. Or, I could have gotten fancy and cut 45-degree miters on all four corners to almost hide them, like for a picture frame. 

By the way, the oldest version of the proverb I could find comes from the Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini (1500 - 1571), who said to the Pope that:

“It must, most blessed Father, be allowed that in those cases where men are risking all upon one throw, it is not wrong to do as certain poor and simple men are wont to say, who tell us we must mark seven times and cut once.”

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