Life Pro Tip: Always triple check material thickness

I wanted to get a jump start on a project for Christmas, and didn’t pre-plan that my project very well…

I bought some 24x36x3/4 pine project boards, and like a dummy put in the piece as .75 deep… because why wouldn’t you want to make sure it cuts all the way though, even if it’s a smidgen thinner (in this case only 0.692" thick)… that’s why we have a waste board.

All well and great til I forgot that my tabs were only 0.08 thick, so it basically left no room for error and cut though all of them, breaking the piece free…

I walked back out to my shop, which was filled with smoke, to find my project with huge burn marks. Thank god it was a single outline job and it wasn’t still trying to cut more pieces making things worse and worse…

What I walked into:

Back side:

Could have been 100x worse, but it’s a good life lesson - always, always, triple check your thickness, and tab sizes

…and don’t leave the machine alone! They like to get into trouble. :wink:

Yeah, I’m with Tony. I’m never very far away from the machine when I’m cutting. To many things could go wrong and be disastrous! I usually go on the safe side when I set tabs. I add .02 to material thickness so I’m sure to cut thru and add .03 " to tab height. It’s safer to make sure your tabs hold and sand them off than ruin the piece.

Back in the ShapeOko days, there was an operating checklist, one point of which was to not leave the machine running unattended:

If the cut isn’t important enough for you to have time to watch and monitor it, it’s not important enough to hit start.

Put it up on Ebay as an ISIS flag wood carving. Glass half full.

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