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18 August 2012 | Category: Building | Author: Clare

Part of me wishes I had studied Mathematics at University.

The sensible part of my brain understands that would have rendered me even
less likely to be able to live remotely as I do now.

Still, as a subject it is fascinating. Particularly the more advanced math,
any substantial knowledge of which I do not have. But the concepts that you
read about that occupy the periphery of mathematical science border on
philosophy, and are fascinating.

The relationship between philosophical thought, religious belief and
scientific endeavour and research is truly interesting. But a subject for
another now.

My hope here is to identify basic geometry and trigonometry as necessities
for any builder, or carpenter.

This stair project has required numerous angles and distances to be
calculated, and an absence of knowledge in either of these fields would have
slowed the progress significantly.

Not only does using these tools help you craft the required piece more
quickly and accurately, but being able to determine exactly where something
should go really encourages you to cajole, jiggle, and manipulate a little
more than you probably would otherwise. The result is a tighter, stronger
more level structure, with a much smaller accumulated error as you go than
you are generally accustomed to.

I am finding working with a jigsaw puzzle like the stair case, you really
have to minimise 'the creep' (as I refer to it). Anyone who is an amateur
like me, will most likely know exactly what that is!

That lethargy at each stage of something that allows another 1/16" to wander
into the future calculations, another little bit off level. It might be
resignation at using a slightly cupped board, or working with rough lumber
and not having a planer handy. It might be simply a lack of time, or

Whatever the reason, I am finding more and more with this timber framed, or
properly jointed method of construction, there really is limited tolerance
for error. There is a renewed effort at every stage to remove anything
layered in over the course of that chapter.

Anyways, for those of you relatively new to this, or scratching your head at
how to determine the angle to set your chop saw off edge, or the length of
the opposing side of an angle you already know, borrow a high school math
text book and read up the chapters on geometry and trigonometry.

You will be amazed how many times you will short-cut the dead reckoning
process by nailing the angles right away.

Knowledge worth it's weight in gold : ).

Good luck!

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