Captain's Table

Mark Austen

I need to explain something about measurements at this point. Usually, when working with wood, I use imperial measurements since there are fewer inches in a given length than millimetres, however, most things are sold in metric with exceptions. An 8' x 4' sheet of plywood is sold as 2440 mm x 1220 mm. In reality it is 8' x 4' just converted to metric to satisfy the idiots in Brussels as we are forced to sell things in metric despite being able to buy things in imperial in the rest of Europe. Confused? Me too! However, you can by half-inch plumbing fittings, for example in the European Union, just not in Britain. Anyway, the wood used here for battens is rough sawn to 3" x 1", then planed smooth ending up as 70 mm x 22 mm. Neither of these are easy imperial measurements which is why you will see later on measurements like 24" minus 44 mm. This may seem odd, but it isn't really.

I'm using a power jig-saw to cut the wood as the circular saw I have requires two hands to hold it and therefore two people to do the cutting. However, a jig-saw, by it's very nature is designed to cut curved lines so I use a guide clamped to the work piece to ensure that the cut is straight. Firstly I make a small cut on a piece of waste wood using a guide so that I know exactly how much to allow when making the real cuts.

I clamp the guide to the work piece at the correct point and then make the required cut using the saw resulting in a straight cut.