Tip #7: Slow Down!
One of the reasons students aren’t looking at their layout lines or blowing off the sawdust is because they’re sawing way too fast. I always get at least one speed demon in each class, and even though they think they’re going faster, they are always the ones who take the longest to get straight cuts.
In addition to not being able to see your line at a fast speed, it’s really hard to correct a misaligned cut if you’re sawing too fast.
It’s just like driving a sports car too quickly around a curve in the road, and trying to correct when your heavy car wants to go straight over the cliff.
As you get more experienced, you can certainly speed up, and I do.
But when you’re first learning you should cut really, really slowly and watch your lines constantly.
You can see here that if I cut slowly, and I get off the line, I have the time to react and readjust my next cut to get back on the line:
And here’s an illustration of getting off the line and going so fast that I can’t get back on the line:
Just take it slow and during this exercise just cut until your saw bottoms out.
If you were cutting to a baseline on a dovetail joint, you would get extra slow as you approach the baseline so you don’t go over it.
Your finished furniture will look sloppy if you cut over your baseline. So slow down!