The Golden Rule of the workshop is: Measure twice, cut once. It sounds simple, but is profound. Even NASA has suffered from not observing this rule closely enough. Multi-million dollar projects have been lost because plans were misread and a small component was machined to the wrong size.

Always allow for error. This is never truer than when drilling holes. Drills tend to wander when they first meet the metal they're supposed to cut through, and once a hole is started in the wrong place, it's extremely difficult to correct. This is why a center punch was higher in the list than the drill bits. With a center punch, you can take your time and make sure that the drill will start cutting in precisely the right place.

Rulers and careful measurement are fine, but nothing beats holding two pieces together to check they really will fit, and to keep doing this as you gradually cut or file them to their final form. This is a "handcraft" hobby, not a production line, so if you are drilling matching holes, use the holes in one piece to guide you when drilling the second piece (see "templates" later on).

Brew Your Own Beer

Brew Your Own Beer

Discover How To Become Your Own Brew Master, With Brew Your Own Beer. It takes more than a recipe to make a great beer. Just using the right ingredients doesn't mean your beer will taste like it was meant to. Most of the time it’s the way a beer is made and served that makes it either an exceptional beer or one that gets dumped into the nearest flower pot.

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