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I'm planning to build a simple stool from pieces of 2x3 wood for the legs. It's my first foray into woodworking as an adult so I'm trying to plan everything to aim for a decent result.

Bearing in mind I'm inexperienced with a saw and not gifted with my hands. How can I make the straightest cuts possible?

My current plan is to

  1. Mark the lines to cut with a set square and sharp pencil.
  2. Mount the wood to a Mitre box with a G clamp.
  3. Clamp the Mitre box to an adjustable workbench.
  4. Make the cuts on the 'waste side' with a tenon saw using long 'back strokes' to make each cut.
  5. Sand down any excess with an electric sander.
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2  
Sounds like you've got it all figured out. So what's the question? –  Tester101 May 22 at 11:58
    
Well, I'm inexperienced so maybe there is a preferred method for newbies, or something to lower the chance of error. –  blarg May 22 at 12:03
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A miter box is the preferred method for newbies. And remember... Always cut long. You can always remove more material, but adding material is difficult. –  Tester101 May 22 at 12:15
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Ahh, reminds me of my favorite joke...I cut it twice and it was still too short. –  aphoria May 22 at 13:04
    
Mark each line to cut on just prior to cutting. Each cut has width, and that'll make second, third and fourth legs shorter unless you account for that width in your marking. –  Wayfaring Stranger May 22 at 13:59

1 Answer 1

One of the most important things about making a stool is getting the legs the same length. I would suggest you modify the miter box something like this:

enter image description here

Keep everything square when building the stop piece. Then when you actually go to cut the legs, butt a square end to the stop, clamp it down, and cut. You will get three or four legs precisely the same length.

Keep the stop piece. You can move the stop around easily, and you will use it again.

Time spent making a jig or a stop is never wasted.

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I made the mirror image of a jig I wanted once. That was a waste of time. –  Wayfaring Stranger May 22 at 13:54
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Just rotate it through the fourth dimension and everything will turn out fine. –  Chris Cudmore May 22 at 14:07

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