“MEASURE TWICE – CUT ONCE”

From the “Wisdom” Book:

Oh, the difference

between nearly right

and exactly right.

Dad (H. Jackson Brown, Sr.)

 

Years ago a woodworker told me to “measure twice and cut once.”  I didn’t realize the wisdom of that statement at the time. 

I am working on a very special project now.  I spent a couple of months “in the dugout” because of surgery on my hand.  The doctor finally told me “no restrictions,” but I am still in physical therapy.  I have only two more visits left…then it’s graduation day.  Anyway, back to my story.

Any project takes proper planning.  First, you have to put your “vision” on paper with all the measurements.  The next step is to determine the materials needed.  In my case…lumber.  Lumber comes in various widths, such as 1″x2″,  1″x4″, 1″x6″, 1″x8″, 1″x10″, and 1″x12″.  Pretty simple…right?  One inch thickness is only 3/4″.  Lumber 12″ wide measures 11 – 1/4″ and 8″ width is only 7 – 1/4″…and so forth for all the rest.  There are exceptions.  All widths of 6″ or less, you only take off 1/2″.  The standard lengths are usually 4′, 6′, 8′, 10′, and 16′.  In some lumber stores you may find different lengths. 

Now that there is no confusion on the TRUE measurements of lumber, it’s time to look at your plans and make a “cutting” plan.  In my current project I need to have 23 boards of varying measurements.  I have determined I need boards with widths of 6″, 8″, and 12″.  So, now I determine the most efficient and cost-effective “cutting” plan that will give me the proper materials with very little waste.

Maybe now you are beginning to understand “measure twice – cut once.”  If you measure only once, there is always the chance that you measured wrong.  This is not always bad.  If you cut a board too long, you can measure again and cut it shorter…then you have scraps to make bowls, etc.  If you cut the board too short, it is almost impossible to re-measure and cut the board longer.  So, then you have a lot more scraps to make a lot more bowls.

I love to turn bowls on my lathe, but Pam doesn’t need any more bowls in the house.  Enough is enough!

Last weekend I cut all my boards for this special project.  After cutting the proper lengths I had to glue the boards together to achieve the right width for the top, sides, shelves, etc.  The next step is the fine-tuning.  I will need to “measure twice” the joined boards to get the exact measurements I need.  Now, theoretically, all the pieces will fit exactly right. 

The next step is drilling screw holes in the proper place for connecting the individual pieces.  Yes, it is necessary to “measure twice” again.  Then, before joining the pieces, comes the really exciting part.  Sanding.  I always like to cover my screws, so I will need to cut plugs from dowels to glue in the screw holes.  After the pieces are screwed together, the plugs are glued in, and then sanded.

Now you can see how important it is to be exactly right rather than nearly right.  The project shoud be plumb, square, etc.  Every piece fits in the proper place.

Now it’s finished except for the painting.  This post is about finished also.  I didn’t mean to get so involved when I began writing.  When I read back from the top, I realized how boring it was.  There were just too many details.  I think I got myself in a trap.  Once I started explaining things, I felt I needed to explain my explanations.

Pam has learned to live with my detailed instructions, especially when she is traveling.  She will call me for directions and tell me she only wants to know where to turn…she doesn’t need to know how many traffic lights, hospitals, shopping malls, convenience stores, etc. she will pass before her turn.

Hearing from God is very similar to the title of this post.  When we believe we hear from God, that is the “first measure.”  It is never as misleading as lumber measurements.  But, at the same time, we still need to “measure twice.”  This “second measure”  is checking The Scriptures to see if what you believe you heard lines up with what God says.  Now, if both measures agree, it is time to “cut” or take action with full assurance you are doing the right thing.  The “second measure” is when we depend not on ourselves, but on God’s Word.  Now comes the “fine tuning” as we act in faith and obedience.

 

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