The Maker's Quest

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The Fudge Factor -Understand Accumulative Error – EP7

In this episode, the guys talk about The Fudge Factor and allowing for accumulative error in both your work and planning out your work.  Where do you hide the attentional errors or discrepancies, and how to prevent them?

 Audio Version

Video Version

 

Topics of Interest

Greg’s Guitar video With the inlay 

John Grimsmo Knives

James King Woodworking

 

Transcription

00:00:00:04 – 00:00:03:08

Brian Benham

But you’re listening to the Makers Quest podcast. I am Brian Benham.

 

00:00:03:21 – 00:00:15:20

Greg Porter

And I am Greg Porter. Today we are going to be talking about the fudge factor and how and where we account for and maybe even do a little bit of hiding of our mistakes.

 

00:00:16:19 – 00:00:35:10

Brian Benham

Yeah. So what made me think of this topic? That would be a good topic is I was watching your YouTube video as you were in laying the segmented ring into the top of a guitar and you deliberately set it so that where if there’s anything off that it would be hidden under the bridge.

 

00:00:36:09 – 00:00:59:01

Greg Porter

Yeah. That it’s a bit and it was interesting when you reached out to me, I knew exactly, exactly what you were talking about when, when you’re using several different machines or several different fixtures and trying to get things to fit. And when I say fit, I mean like a snap or press fit where it’s very tight tolerance stuff.

 

00:00:59:01 – 00:01:40:04

Greg Porter

I’m not going to say that it’s impossible to do, but it takes so many revisions to get it perfect that sometimes as designers and sometimes as builders, we need to build in or we need to find the place in that design that that we can adjust a little bit to make up for that tolerance and I think just thinking back to that, as I was as I was making those pieces and parts, I had my calipers out and I was within just a few thousands of an inch in terms of size for that rosette that I was making in that rosette was 24 different pieces glued together.

 

00:01:40:05 – 00:02:15:13

Greg Porter

No is more than that. It was 36 pieces glued together in a circle and when I was making those pieces, the tolerance between pieces to get a nice round circle and all of that was was its own sort of little math problem, or maybe not math problem, but a puzzle that I had to figure out. And then as as that fit back into the soundboard of the guitar that I was building, then it’s that soundboard was something I cut two months ago, probably something like that.

 

00:02:15:20 – 00:02:40:11

Greg Porter

And then you cut another piece on the same science machine, but maybe the temperature’s different. Whatever the machine has, it warmed up and the tolerances are just off enough that that there’s a little bit of, of variation in the dimension. And as I was starting to put it together, I was like, Oh, come on, dummy, you’ve got a fretboard extension that’s going to cover this.

 

00:02:40:11 – 00:03:03:15

Greg Porter

And it doesn’t have to be exact. So if there’s a place to hide it, let’s, let’s make it fit really, really well, instead of making it snappy and perfect and risk over standing apart or ruining apart because you’re trying to make it absolutely perfect, you’ve got an opportunity to to have a little bit of that fudge factor, as it were, use it.

 

00:03:04:00 – 00:03:28:18

Greg Porter

And I think it’s a it’s an interesting way to approach our work. I know in your carpentry, you have to you have to have similar situations where, you know, I’ve got these parts and maybe I’ve got five or eight or ten parts and they’re all going to make this whole. But I’d have to find a way that if there’s a tolerance error, that I can account for that.

 

00:03:29:15 – 00:03:53:09

Brian Benham

Yeah, it when you’re like fitting a draw. We were talking off line just before you hit record about fitting a draw to leave just a little bit of a gap all the way around. And if you’re doing a what’s the style? I’m thinking of where it’s all flat panels, a European style door front or something, where all the drawers are stacked on each other.

 

00:03:53:14 – 00:04:10:07

Brian Benham

If you cut all the drawers at the exact same length and then you go to install them, you might end up with this huge gap at the top just because it might just be less than a 64th of an inch off on each drawing straw face might be just a 64th of an inch smaller than what you thought it was.

 

00:04:10:07 – 00:04:29:18

Brian Benham

And that added up all the way up to the very top to where there’s now there’s a big gap. Another thing like when you’re cutting joinery, if you want your joinery to be really tight, use a marking knife instead of a pencil, because then you have an exact place to drop your chisel in to cut your joinery instead of this big, wide, thick line from the pencil.

 

00:04:29:18 – 00:05:04:16

Greg Porter

I feel like the older I’ve gotten, the more apt I am to pick up a marking knife or a scribe versus a pencil or a pen. And almost never do I pick the sharpie up anymore. And I look back when, you know, when I was doing work on cars and and but fitting panels together, which is one of the most difficult things you can do, you know, well, do panels that fit perfectly together out of a car skin that you had to cut a hole out of.

 

00:05:04:16 – 00:05:32:04

Greg Porter

Right. They have to the tolerances to fit them back are are incredibly small and I would use my sharpie to make my marks and and cut to the inside of the Sharpie line right. And and I think back to that now and it’s like, oh, man, what I wouldn’t give to go back and give 24 year old Greg some advice to buy a really nice scribe and forget the Sharpie markers.

 

00:05:33:01 – 00:05:59:01

Brian Benham

Yeah, for sure. That that Pitts line thickness of that sharpie marker, that thickness, that pencil, I can really screw up. And especially if you want to cut out a whole bunch of parts all exactly the same. And you, you measure mark each one, but if you mark it just a little bit to the left, to the right of the light on the tape measure that could throw it off or just the thickness of that pencil line and you go cut them all, and now they’re all a little bit different.

 

00:05:59:01 – 00:06:14:13

Brian Benham

So one thing that I’ve always started work into my work is use like a stop block so that every time I set that part against that stop block and make a cut, it’ll come out exactly flush with the last one. They’ll all be exactly the same.

 

00:06:15:15 – 00:06:43:19

Greg Porter

So what happens, Bryan, when you are doing a stack of drawers like that that have very tight tolerances and you get done and you do have that gap or you have an overage or something that that isn’t too planned, so to speak. What what’s your first course of action to get that back within tolerance, whether that’s visually or whether it’s from a measurement perspective?

 

00:06:45:02 – 00:06:47:06

Brian Benham

Yes. All our drawers like that are.

 

00:06:47:06 – 00:06:47:14

Greg Porter

All.

 

00:06:47:24 – 00:07:02:07

Brian Benham

Like a European style drawer where they’re stacked like that. I’ll start at the bottom drawer and work my way up to the very top and then the top drawer. I’ll build that separately last and I’ll just measure that space and custom fit that last straw to the very top.

 

00:07:02:16 – 00:07:06:08

Greg Porter

Oh, so the top drawer is sort of your shock absorber, so to speak.

 

00:07:06:08 – 00:07:21:09

Brian Benham

Yeah, yeah. So I’ll set up my jigs and I’ll build if it’s like a stack of four drawers, I’ll build the bottom three all exactly the same. And then that last drawer I might leave a little bit wide. So I have room to shrink it down or cut it down or fit it or whatever.

 

00:07:22:08 – 00:07:41:06

Greg Porter

And that’s, that’s something you do at the onset of that that work. It’s not something that as you get to the end of it, oh crap, they didn’t fit. Just like I thought they would. You’re expecting that you’re going to have to absorb some tolerance in there at some point.

 

00:07:41:10 – 00:08:05:07

Brian Benham

Yeah, my. My younger self would have not have thought of that, but I have screwed up enough things now that I can plan for that. And a good example of, of my journey of screw ups is how for a while I got into wood turning and segmented wood turning. And so the, the miter saw, the chop sage is a really quick and easy way to cut an angle.

 

00:08:05:15 – 00:08:26:22

Brian Benham

And so I built a little jig to safely hold the little parts, each little segment, and just set up my miter gauge and cut them all. And when I go to put that circle together, there’s always this big gap somewhere in that circle because each one wasn’t very wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t precise. And also the miter saw wasn’t very precise.

 

00:08:27:17 – 00:08:58:08

Brian Benham

So then I moved to the table, saw and got even more precise, but there were still always that gap and a lot of wood turners fudged that gap by. They’ll glue up half the circle and then look the other half the circle, and then they’ll send the two halves till until they fit tight together. And then now that I’ve even done even more research and have really tried to find wood turners that are just like master wood turners that really know their stuff.

 

00:08:59:03 – 00:09:21:24

Brian Benham

One guy showed me a jig called the wedgie jig and it’s basically a wedge that you cut out on a C and C machine. So it’s really high accurate angle. There’s no fudging this angle at all. And you cut one side, cut the angle of your of your segment on one side of the wedge, and then you move your piece to the other side of the edge.

 

00:09:21:24 – 00:09:37:21

Brian Benham

And so that angle, even if it’s a little bit off and not perfectly lined up with the blade, since you’re switching back and forth between the different edges, they cancel each other out. And since I built that jig, it come out perfect every time.

 

00:09:38:12 – 00:10:06:10

Greg Porter

Yeah, I. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched Frank Haworth or Kyle Toth do a segmented ball, and almost invariably they use the same approach that you’re talking about, where you make it in halves and then you sand the edge, those mating edges of the two halves in that way, whatever weird little fudge factor that you have, you’re able to absorb that.

 

00:10:06:10 – 00:10:35:03

Greg Porter

And quite honestly, with the with the rosette on the acoustic guitar, that was the approach that I took. I knew with that many segments and that many chances for error modes of failure, if you will. It’s like there’s no way that little, little Greg Porter is going to nail that sucker. And, you know, my my instruments, I guess when you’re when you’re looking at the angle.

 

00:10:35:03 – 00:11:01:07

Greg Porter

So it’s it was basically a 12 sided segment that I was working on. Right. And that’s a 60 degree angle or a 30 degree, whichever way you want to look at it. And you can measure that on a table saw, but you can’t measure it to the hundredth of a degree. And when you get 36 pieces that make up that 12 segmented piece, the margin for error is so small to get it right.

 

00:11:01:18 – 00:11:17:24

Greg Porter

And that goes back to yeah, you know, I stuck two halves on the on the table side and sanded them perfect and those edges came together and then it’s okay. Now that’s supposed to snap into a recess that I cut two months ago and got to have a little fudge in.

 

00:11:17:24 – 00:11:28:14

Brian Benham

There, especially since the humidity has changed. So that thing, the recess you cut two months ago is not the same size anymore because of what his eyes moving.

 

00:11:29:04 – 00:12:00:13

Greg Porter

That and you know one of the one of the interesting things that that’s always I don’t know if it’s perplex me but it’s it’s been interesting through through my I guess you would call it my major life which has been since I was a little kid. When you start out woodworking, you’re not gluing super small pieces together. You’re gluing larger pieces together, you’re making panels, you’re making boxes, you’re you’re gluing together things of some fairly large dimension.

 

00:12:01:02 – 00:12:36:00

Greg Porter

And I feel like the further you get into woodworking, the more likely you are to start gluing very thin, small pieces together. And the smaller your piece, the greater the expansion from the glue and that glue joint. Just the fact that there’s a joint there at all starts to affect the dimension of the piece you’re working on. When you get into some of those small things and we’re talking I’m gluing together, I think those pieces were less than a 16th of an inch thick.

 

00:12:36:00 – 00:13:01:00

Greg Porter

They were they were pretty thin pieces, just little wafers getting glued together. And just that glue starts to make that piece swell just a little bit, and it can swell over time as it’s drying as well. And one one common thing in the guitar world is, you know, people will buy rosettes that are already made and then they’ll do it just like an inlay.

 

00:13:01:00 – 00:13:21:18

Greg Porter

Right? So they’ll they’ll mark it out, they’ll root it and they’ll fit it in. And the second that it touches the glue that they’ve put into that recess, the whole thing starts to expand and it no longer fits. So it fit dry perfectly. No problem. And it’s not. It’s not because the glue took up room. It’s because the wood is expanding as it’s absorbing that glue.

 

00:13:21:18 – 00:13:35:01

Greg Porter

And it’s literally it’s a timed event for sure. So if you can get it down and in the recess, it’s going to stay there. But if you can’t, then it’s just going to explode on you and you got to pull it out and cry a little bit.

 

00:13:35:01 – 00:13:58:17

Brian Benham

Yeah, yeah, yeah. That reminds me of another example of leaving a little fudge factor. Like when you’re gluing up a border and tenon and you put the glue on on the board, it are in the mortise and and on the tin and you fit perfectly together. And then now all of a sudden, you have to drive it together with a hammer, pull that joint tie with the clamp, because that glue swelled up.

 

00:13:59:05 – 00:14:28:03

Brian Benham

And then sometimes other bad things happen is if you put a lot of glue in there and you force that tin and in that mortise and it’s so tight that there’s no place for the glue to go, that pressure from the glue will push that board back apart if you’re if you’re not careful. So sometimes I’ll go just maybe a 16th of an inch extra deep on the mortise just to make sure I bottom out and have room for any excess glue to go.

 

00:14:28:03 – 00:14:44:11

Brian Benham

And that way it doesn’t. There’s a name for that where it pushes that back out, but I can’t think of it. But yeah, you’ve got to have a little bit of fudge factor in your your mortise, but you still don’t want to be so loose that you don’t get a good glue bond because then your mortise fails.

 

00:14:45:09 – 00:15:12:24

Greg Porter

I, I did a series of inlays with my C and C machine several years ago, and it was me just trying to understand how to use the software, how to use the machine, how to get a good, tight fit and high tolerances. Because I wanted to do some type logos and type in inlay form that were, you know, fairly small, like maybe the size of a silver dollar.

 

00:15:13:07 – 00:15:39:24

Greg Porter

But there’s text inside of it, you know, really small detail stuff. And that was one of the things that I found is if you didn’t leave room for the glue, if you didn’t leave a cavity between the inlay and the baseboard, I don’t know what the right term there is, but the the plug in the hole, so to speak, if you didn’t leave room between those two, there wasn’t enough pressure in the world to squeeze those two pieces together.

 

00:15:40:16 – 00:15:43:20

Greg Porter

There is so much. I guess it’d be hydraulic pressure, right?

 

00:15:44:03 – 00:15:45:15

Brian Benham

Yeah. So whereas like if.

 

00:15:46:01 – 00:16:10:07

Greg Porter

You could, you could get the air to escape, but the glue couldn’t move through the pores of the wood. The, the hole is too small for the glue to get through. And, you know, I don’t remember how many clamps I had, you know, either. Oh, yeah, this is as tight as I can possibly get this sucker. And, you know, the next morning you go and unclip everything and it’s, you know, a solid eighth of an inch from bottoming out.

 

00:16:11:04 – 00:16:50:03

Greg Porter

It’s like, wait a minute, what happened? And it did it. It took some serious experimentation to finally land on a spot where it’s like you have to have enough glue to cover the mating surfaces or they won’t stick together. You know, you’ll you’ll get the inlay moving sideways at an angle, which is no good. And but you had to have enough glue, but then you have it had to have a large enough reservoir to account for all the extra glue and oh, what a, what a series of experiments that was what it takes a fair amount of time to cut one of those inlays on A, C and C, and then to see them fail

 

00:16:50:03 – 00:16:53:08

Greg Porter

over and over and over again is really frustrating.

 

00:16:53:08 – 00:17:22:09

Brian Benham

Yeah, that reminds me of a collaborative job I did with James King. Fine woodworking. I don’t know if you’ve seen his YouTube channel. He does some really cool stuff and he didn’t have a C and C machine at the time. He might have one now, but he wanted to inlay his client’s logo into the top of this humidor box, and he sent me there the logo for the file, and I was like, Yeah, I could do this.

 

00:17:22:09 – 00:17:38:03

Brian Benham

No problem. And it was my first time I’d ever done an inlay, but I’m on the C and C, but I knew I could figure it out. Like I’ve seen other people do it. It’s something I should be. I’ll figure out is generally higher approached most of my life. It’s a series of failures. Just because I saw someone else do it.

 

00:17:38:03 – 00:18:02:23

Brian Benham

I think I can do it too. But I. Yeah, I went to work at it and and it the first one, the task was so tight it wouldn’t go together. So then I cut another one and then that was too loose. I just I didn’t have a frame of reference of, well, how much should I leave? How much taller should I tell the C and C machine to leave so it’ll fit together.

 

00:18:02:23 – 00:18:17:13

Brian Benham

So it took me seven or eight tries of just slowly moving it in a half a throw at a time or a throw at a time until it finally just like popped in place. And then of course, then once I put the glue on there, I was like, Oh man, I’ve got to work faster here. It’s getting tight.

 

00:18:18:08 – 00:18:21:08

Brian Benham

But yeah.

 

00:18:22:01 – 00:18:49:03

Greg Porter

There there is a very steep learning curve to that process and definitely, definitely an area where you have to consider, again, that fudge factor, where can where can I let this go? And one of the one of the hard, fast rules that you’ll see in Marquetry and a lot of people who do C and C inlays is using tapered bits to cut the plug in the hole so that they they slide together.

 

00:18:49:03 – 00:19:08:00

Greg Porter

And you’ve probably got an overlap of, you know, 20 or 30 thousandths of an inch that if it doesn’t go in all the way because the fibers of the wood expand with the glue, well, you got enough you got enough of a fudge factor there to make it look right, even though it’s not an airtight fit when you’re when you’re cutting it.

 

00:19:08:20 – 00:19:26:18

Brian Benham

Yeah, that happens a lot when you’re doing like can cut dovetails or through boards and tendons that you’re doing the hand-cut are undercutting the the joint in the non-visible area is something that’s very common. So that way when you do push it together with glue, it doesn’t split out your your pin board or tail board or whatever.

 

00:19:27:13 – 00:19:54:20

Greg Porter

I’ve seen an awful lot of folks. I’ve made some really large box joints in my day, but I’ve never done the eight inch thick box joints that you see a lot of folks do. So they take the call it the width of their saw blade on their table saw and they make box joints to that. But I’ve seen so many people attempt that and not figure in the space for the glue or that they have to creep up on.

 

00:19:54:20 – 00:20:13:17

Greg Porter

How much room do I really leave? Is it 5000? Is it 10,000? What is it? And you know, you have this really great fitting box joint in the second you put glue in it. There’s no way in hell that you can get the two pieces put together. They’re just repelling each other like the same ends of a magnet.

 

00:20:14:01 – 00:20:34:02

Brian Benham

Yeah, that’s also a good example for middle of air. Like the first time I did a box joint, I. I was like, all right, well, a six inches wide. So if I make each box two and a half inch, it should all come out perfectly even. Well, it was just not quite a half inch gap between each finger.

 

00:20:34:09 – 00:20:59:22

Brian Benham

It might have been just a half inch plus a thickness of a piece of paper. And and I cut all of them. But then by the time I got to the end, that last pen was narrower than the rest of them because it just added up. That little piece of paper kept adding up over the six inches. So then all of a sudden, my, my last pen was like 3/8 of an inch wide instead of a half inch wide.

 

00:20:59:22 – 00:21:01:06

Brian Benham

So the whole box looked dumb.

 

00:21:02:19 – 00:21:30:02

Greg Porter

Well, it’s interesting. You mentioned a term called cumulative air. And in the machining world, you hear people talk all the time about stacking tolerances. And that’s very similar concept or the exact same concept, just ones probably applied to carpentry, ones applied to the machining world. And where you’ll see it in machining is every print that’s that’s drawn has a tolerance associated with it.

 

00:21:30:02 – 00:21:55:22

Greg Porter

So this part is plus or minus 1,000th of an inch or plus or -5007 inch and and sometimes to the 10,007 inch. So plus or minus one 10th or 2/10. And if you stack five parts together and they’re all plus or minus five thousandths, well, that’s a 10,000 of an inch range. I mean, that’s, you know, that’s as thick as your fingernail will.

 

00:21:55:22 – 00:22:16:07

Greg Porter

If you have five parts that are 10,000, well, all of a sudden you’re at 50,007 inch, which is almost a 16th of an inch. And in the machining world where things are very tightly fit together, a 16th of an inch might as well be a mile. You’re so far off from your target. Yeah. Things aren’t going to fit together.

 

00:22:16:07 – 00:22:38:22

Greg Porter

And, you know, you’re talking on the manufacturing side. If you have a nut or a threaded section of the piece you’re making and you stack these pieces together and it’s got to be tight, but not too tight because it has to spin within that. Or there’s some other function, a sliding function or something where it’s, you know, just got to have a thousand or two gap.

 

00:22:39:09 – 00:23:05:16

Greg Porter

There’s no way to get that tolerance without that fudge factor piece. And you’ll see a lot of a lot of factories. I think John Greensboro is a knife maker on YouTube. And if you watch Jon’s videos, he’s a machinist. He designs these incredible knives. And at one point he was making the I think it was the locking mechanism for his knife.

 

00:23:06:00 – 00:23:28:07

Greg Porter

And they would make parts and they would measure every part and they would put them into a bin. This one’s plus 1000. This one’s plus 2000. So this one’s plus three. And as they were making knives, they would start to fit one piece in there that took up that tolerance. So they would match the parts that they had made with the tolerance, different differences.

 

00:23:28:15 – 00:23:49:21

Greg Porter

And some of that would be, you know, when he spins up his lathe for the first time, it’s making parts that might be a little smaller. And then as the lathe heats up, those parts get a little bit bigger or vice versa. And all of a sudden, you know, he’s got this bin of parts that he can match the part with the tolerance that it needs after everything’s been stacked together.

 

00:23:49:21 – 00:24:10:23

Greg Porter

I don’t know how many parts he puts together to make a knife, but I would assume it’s the stack of somewhere between five and ten parts and you’ve got to be able to take that up because his selling point for his knives are just the precision. Like when you open them everything clicks, everything feels perfect. It’s very precise, you know, it’s like shutting the door on a mercedes.

 

00:24:10:23 – 00:24:28:11

Greg Porter

You know, there’s just a different click when you when you get to that level of of tolerance. And and that’s his way of accounting for that fudge factor. At least that’s the way I’ve seen him do it. I’m sure he has multiple ways of doing it. And he’s he’s probably much more sophisticated now than than what I’ve seen.

 

00:24:28:11 – 00:24:39:08

Greg Porter

But yeah, pretty interesting to see how that last piece in there, you’ve got to have a pile of different sizes and then you fit the size to the to the what the part needs.

 

00:24:39:16 – 00:24:55:01

Brian Benham

So is he making them all the the same at the same time. And then that tolerance is just changing as the machine in the material heats up and cools down. And then he sort some out as he goes. And it’s just like a production run. But sorts the sorts by tolerance.

 

00:24:55:19 – 00:25:18:18

Greg Porter

Yeah. So, and this is going back, way back in history in my memory, probably five years or something like that when I saw him. And my understanding was and when I say, you know, the parts might be a thousandth of an inch off, I think he was actually in the tenths range. So something might be minus two 10,007 inch something might be minus three, 10,000, seven.

 

00:25:18:22 – 00:25:32:22

Greg Porter

So very, very, very, very small differences, but when the parts would come off the machine, they would hit him with a micrometer and measure them and then sort them as the size they are. And I think he’s.

 

00:25:32:22 – 00:25:34:09

Brian Benham

The next level type of thing.

 

00:25:34:14 – 00:25:56:22

Greg Porter

Oh, he’s he is very next level. Everything that he does is so far above and beyond what other people are doing. And that’s what makes that’s what makes his product so special. And every time I have seen him post something for sale, it’s gone about 3 seconds after he hits the, you know, the inner button on the post key.

 

00:25:57:18 – 00:26:26:23

Greg Porter

There’s a waiting list a mile long for his knives. And and it’s because of that. It’s because he goes the extra mile and some of the details on his knives and the fasteners that he makes. You can’t see without a microscope. You know, he’s engraving logos with these tools that are, you know, the size of about three human hairs and doing things of that nature and really paying attention to the surface finish on things that are so small that you can’t see them with the naked eye.

 

00:26:27:06 – 00:26:50:04

Greg Porter

And it it is, it’s a whole different level, but but it doesn’t matter if you’re part fits in your hand or if it’s the size of a car, you’ve got to have that tolerance something to take that tolerance up if you want something to, you know, from a craftsman perspective, to be at that next level and visually appear to be almost perfect.

 

00:26:51:24 – 00:27:18:18

Brian Benham

Yeah, that’s there. That’s definitely some next level stuff, especially when you compare it today. Today’s stuff that’s manufactured overseas or whatever, like this is just a stupid example, but I ordered a pencil sharpener for the shop and I wanted it to sit above my table saw. So I ordered one that had batteries and then I have a whole bunch of rechargeable batteries that run the laugh make for my YouTube channel and the camera and all that.

 

00:27:18:18 – 00:27:40:08

Brian Benham

And I was just like, Well, I’ll just order some other batteries, though. I can just charge them and swap them out as if it dies or whatever. Well, the rechargeable batteries have just this thin little extra coating on them compared to like a Duracell or an Energizer battery. So the rechargeable batteries don’t fit in the pencil sharpener tolerances were just too tight.

 

00:27:40:08 – 00:27:43:05

Brian Benham

Someone measured at Duracell and then made it exactly that.

 

00:27:43:23 – 00:27:48:06

Greg Porter

You can bring it to my shop, will ream it out, will bring it to size.

 

00:27:48:06 – 00:27:48:15

Brian Benham

Okay.

 

00:27:49:18 – 00:28:32:07

Greg Porter

Well, it will make up for that tolerance issue that they have. But I think, you know, interestingly enough, when when I started looking at it and again, you know, my background as an architect, you have to design things for, you know, some people say designed with a caliper, drawn with a pencil beat, together with a hammer and, you know, and all of these things to really explain what it is we’re doing that, you know, we try and draw these perfect things and then expect somebody in the field who has a backhoe to keep a dimension of a thick end of an inch so that this building’s coming together perfectly at a 90 degree square corner

 

00:28:32:07 – 00:29:02:18

Greg Porter

or, you know, 22.4 degrees or whatever weird skew that we’ve designed. Right. And and all the time we’re dealing with materials when we’re designing in a shop and something that’s call it the size of a desk or smaller, we deal with expansion and contraction issues in tabletops and things like that. We we always make the drawer bottoms float a little bit so that they don’t crack over time and things like that.

 

00:29:03:05 – 00:29:29:07

Greg Porter

When you deal with something the size of a building, can you imagine how much that thing moves over time? And we have to design for that movement, whether it’s in brick, whether it’s metal panels, whether it’s stucco and drywall, you know, cementitious type products, or you’re going to see those, you know, cracks start to translate from wherever there’s corners and intersections because that’s the weak spot.

 

00:29:29:07 – 00:30:04:23

Greg Porter

Right. And we have to design both from a construction standpoint, some tolerance in and some fudge factor in. And then also from a material standpoint, we have to design it so that it doesn’t pull itself apart when it gets cold and everything wants to shrink. And one of the ways that it’s interesting how different it is today than it was when I started when I started, I was literally six months after the last guy drew a plan by hand in our office.

 

00:30:04:23 – 00:30:35:23

Greg Porter

So we were we were in the hybrid mode right before I started. And when I started, everything was being done on the computer. There was there was very little being done by hand other than conceptual drawings sometimes where we’re still done on a drafting table. And when we drew by hand, you would dimension an entire building. You would start at one end of the building and just go left to right in the last dimension you would leave out, because that was the one that you didn’t know.

 

00:30:35:23 – 00:30:58:14

Greg Porter

You know, these guys are stacking errors all the way through the building and they might be off three quarters of an inch or an inch or two or three inches by the time they get to the other end of the building, because they might set the first wall, but they can’t they can’t set the 10th wall away from your original dimension until you get that first wall set.

 

00:30:58:14 – 00:31:19:11

Greg Porter

So they may not be able to go back to the very starting point. Right. And they weren’t using lasers or hot sticks or any of the stuff that they use now. And so you had to you had to have a dimension in your plans that was that shock absorber. And you would give an overall dimension and people could work out the math if they had to have that dimension.

 

00:31:19:20 – 00:31:43:05

Greg Porter

But by and large, we were we were drawing walls four inches wide. There’s no two by four. And plaster drywall combination that equals four inches. It’s five and a quarter, five and an eight, you know, whatever, whatever it is, I think. Yeah, two pieces of drywall is an inch in an eighth, a two by four is three and a half inches, a metal state is three and 5/8.

 

00:31:43:05 – 00:32:04:06

Greg Porter

So you get all these dimensions that aren’t nominal anymore. And so we would allow for that. It was like, you know, hey, we’re going to design this loose and if there’s something in the field, if there’s a plumbing pipe that doesn’t get in the concrete exactly where it has to go, we’ve got to have that fudge factor. And that was always the last room for me.

 

00:32:04:06 – 00:32:28:18

Greg Porter

It was always on the right side of the plan and I would go from top to bottom. So right lower corner, that room didn’t have any dimensions on it. And you would go from there. But then out in the field, it’s very much the same way now. I think they can hold a much tighter tolerance over the the you know, the overall dimension of a building is probably within a quarter of an inch these days.

 

00:32:28:18 – 00:32:51:01

Greg Porter

It’s it’s very tight. And the reason being is everything has to integrate so well from all the different systems. And we don’t have the young kids. Right. I sound like the old man, the young kids who are drawing in the computer, they dimension everything because you click one button and it grabs every wall and dimensions at the same time.

 

00:32:51:01 – 00:33:16:05

Greg Porter

There’s no blank bay that allows for that fudge factor. So everything’s a much tighter situation interest and and what that leads to is exactly the problem you shared with with the drawers you get done. And there’s this one thing and you fight and fight and fight and try and figure out where the mistake was made. And by the way, it was made seven walls down and and there’s no way to push everything back.

 

00:33:16:05 – 00:33:38:09

Greg Porter

So now we have this room that doesn’t meet the tolerance that we’ve designed to, because we didn’t allow for that two inch filler panel in the case work in this final room. Right. The day the day the job was awarded, there’s no concrete poured. There was no strings on side or anything else to tell us dimensions. They went ahead and started fabricating cabinets because they knew they were going to fit.

 

00:33:38:09 – 00:33:56:09

Greg Porter

Right. So it’s interesting to see how how that fudge factor has gone away and how we deal with it. So we deal with it a different way. Now, they they remake that last set of casework or they do something to, to take up that, that fudge factor.

 

00:33:56:12 – 00:34:23:13

Brian Benham

Yeah. It’s it’s kind of funny to listen to you talk about that from the architecture side because we’ve we work on two different sides of of construction. You’ve spent most of your life drawing plans, and I’ve spent most of my life building the plans that you draw. And so there’s always this joke on the job site that the the architect, they don’t they don’t have any actual experience or the engineer doesn’t have any actual real world experience.

 

00:34:23:13 – 00:34:58:02

Brian Benham

He’s just book smart. So that’s why it doesn’t fit at the end. That’s always a joke. Now I will say 90% of the time it’s because some idiot had something upside down. Oh, somewhere along the line and, and we had to take it all apart to get it fixed. But yeah. So back to your, to your walls, having that little fudge factor that you left on the very end, leaving the last measurement off when I draw plans for people to build some of the things that I build or for like the wood whisper and stuff, we will always pick an end to start our dimensions from.

 

00:34:58:11 – 00:35:21:04

Brian Benham

So like we’ll start at the top of the leg and will lay out the first mortise and then we’ll measure again from the top of the leg to lay out the bottom mortise for the bottom paren. And then the toe kick is whatever is left over. So that way you’re always referencing off the same spot. Yeah. That toe kick or the leg or whatever is what takes up the air, if there’s any.

 

00:35:22:10 – 00:35:50:00

Greg Porter

That’s that’s one thing I think everybody learns in their journey is as they begin building things is you have to measure from the same you have to have a point of beginning is is what they used to call it in the draftsman world. And you have to have that and you have to reference that point of beginning over and over or as my grandfather, who he passed away when I was in high school, so I didn’t get to learn everything I could from him.

 

00:35:50:17 – 00:36:13:01

Greg Porter

He was a self-taught carpenter, bought the Time-Life books, taught himself how to build a house, built a house. And that’s where my mom grew up. And I was listening to a conversation he was having with my dad when he was talking about framing a roof. And I can’t remember what it was my dad was doing. Maybe my dad was building a garage, something like that.

 

00:36:13:21 – 00:36:38:22

Greg Porter

But he told him, he said, What you need is a pattern rafter start with that pattern and only use that pattern because if you draw the next one and use the pattern on the roof and then use the second one as the pattern, it’s going to start to grow or shrink whichever way. And by the time you get to the other end of your roof, you’re going to have rafters that don’t match one another.

 

00:36:39:05 – 00:37:03:13

Greg Porter

And it was, you know, a little bit of a I remember being young when I heard it, but it was a light bulb moment that how do you use a pattern or how to set something? Because those tolerance was those tolerances will stack up together and they’ll kill your project at some point. And it was this interesting to hear him sharing that with my dad and kind of getting to hear that.

 

00:37:03:13 – 00:37:14:10

Greg Porter

But I think all of us who build things have to have to have that light bulb moment at some point. And you hope it’s just as early in your career as it can possibly be.

 

00:37:14:15 – 00:37:34:03

Brian Benham

Yeah, that’s that has happened to me before. I had my pattern and I use it to mark my piece. I made the cut and then that work piece I use to mark the next piece and make the cut and that pencil line just kept growing instead of using the first one as my pattern and carried it all the way through that that’s that’s gotten me in trouble a few times.

 

00:37:34:23 – 00:37:44:05

Brian Benham

I just or I’ll get confused. I’ll forget which one was my pattern because I was lazy and didn’t arc it. And then I’m just guessing this one. This is the one. And then it was the one.

 

00:37:45:12 – 00:38:12:06

Greg Porter

I would love to, to have, you know, five or six guys in a shop and say, okay, we’re going to do this. We’re all going to cut ten boards and you’re going to start the first one’s going to be your pattern. And then you have to use the next one as your pattern all the way through and see who could get the tightest tolerance doing it that and see how far that how far off you get after touching so that that would be kind of a fun experiment to do.

 

00:38:13:09 – 00:38:49:05

Brian Benham

Yeah so another good example of the architecture and the builder or engineer and the builder relationship as well. A long time ago I was manager for a design build firm and we specialize in designing kitchens and baths and the tile layout. Most of the time we had just mark lay out from center of the shower, like from the back wall you build out from the center out to the sides and one day I went out to the job site and he had done exactly that, but the tile did work out very well.

 

00:38:49:05 – 00:39:09:21

Brian Benham

So there is a little sliver on both sides. And so I was like, Oh, not good. And luckily he hadn’t got the whole wall up. So I was like, Hey, let’s, let’s, let’s take these off and start over because that that little sliver on both is going to work out well. And so then I showed him like, let’s just shifted over a little bit.

 

00:39:09:21 – 00:39:27:00

Brian Benham

So you have a full tile on the wall that you face, like when you’re standing in the shower and the water is pounding on your back. Let’s put that fudge factor on the side that you’re not ever going to see. Or then maybe try instead of sitting on the center of the tile, centered on the center of the grout joy and see how that lays it out.

 

00:39:27:00 – 00:40:04:01

Brian Benham

So let’s play with the layout first before we start spreading the thin set. And then after I had that conversation with them, we never had an issue ever again because each is like, Oh, that was his light bulb moment. Like, there’s another way to lay it out, even though it says layout from center, because that’s just kind of the standard thing because of course you want to have it centered whenever you can, but sometimes that tile is not a perfect four inches or whatever, especially on some of those clay, like Mexican clay tiles that are handmade, they say four inches, but since they’re all handmade, they shrink a little in the sun or whatever.

 

00:40:04:01 – 00:40:10:15

Brian Benham

So. So yeah, after I showed him that, then he knew what to do every time. And then we had awesome showers every time after that.

 

00:40:11:10 – 00:40:39:24

Greg Porter

There there is a ongoing battle between architects and engineers when you’re designing or laying out a ceiling in any given space. And it’s exactly what you’re pointing out there when again, when you’re drawing by a hand, every line that goes down on a page is a decision. Right. You have to you have to start with something in mind and draw it and then look at it and go, okay, I do or don’t like this.

 

00:40:39:24 – 00:41:04:18

Greg Porter

And the fact that you have to erase the mistake like physically erase the mistake makes you think about things very hard before you put a line down and you have to erase it and redraw it using the computer. You don’t have to think nearly as hard, right? You can. You can actually in the programs we use, we can just say, put a ceiling into this room and it poof, appears.

 

00:41:05:02 – 00:41:23:12

Greg Porter

You don’t have to draw a single line. You just have to point at it and say, make a grid there and use two by fours in this direction and you can slide those lines around. And usually we do and we look for exactly what you’re saying. If you have a sliver of a tile at either side, then you move it half a tile off.

 

00:41:23:12 – 00:41:45:14

Greg Porter

The engineers come in and they want to light this room perfectly, just like they show in the textbook. And sometimes that means they want their light to not be just half a tile away. They want a full tile away. So they’ll they’ll come in and want to shift the grid over to where it has that thin little chick lit on the side of the grid.

 

00:41:45:14 – 00:42:04:00

Greg Porter

And it’s like, oh, man, this is just going to look wrong. Well, it’s going to be lit wrong if we don’t do it this way. And there’s this constant struggle with our design engineers to just say, you know what, it’s okay if the light isn’t textbook perfect. This this room has to look nice. It has to be visually appealing when you go in.

 

00:42:04:00 – 00:42:08:16

Greg Porter

So kind of an interesting, interesting battle that I see over and over again.

 

00:42:09:09 – 00:42:23:24

Brian Benham

Yeah, that is kind of funny. I’m sure there’s a solution there somehow to make it all work out, like maybe fudge it over three quarters of a tile or something, but then you got to have everybody to buy off on that and. That’s sometimes hard to get.

 

00:42:25:01 – 00:42:56:20

Greg Porter

We, we actually and I’ll share one more story and then we can get off of this topic. We actually are working on a school right now that they started at the exterior wall with a false ceiling tile and they laid out the walls, the studs, they laid out the studs to a four foot dimension. So these tiles kind of march across the ceiling and unfortunately, they had to put 5/8 of an inch of drywall on this wall.

 

00:42:57:12 – 00:43:18:22

Greg Porter

And so when they finally hit the wall, they were 5/8 of an inch shy of a full tile, and they wanted to put a light in that last tile and the light wouldn’t fit. And the way the room is laid out, there’s a there’s kind of a notch in the back of the room, and that notch is where this happens.

 

00:43:19:03 – 00:43:36:18

Greg Porter

And they needed a light to land there and they couldn’t get it. So they wound up for some reason I’m trying to picture it in my head and it’s just not coming coming to me. But they had to rotate the light fixture 90 degrees. So there’s one light fixture in the back of the room, rotated to 90 degrees to everything else on this wall.

 

00:43:36:18 – 00:43:58:13

Greg Porter

That’s all 5/8 of an inch. And it’s it’s a perfect example of one of our architects was there with us and she she’s got plenty of experience and understand why this happened. But we still had the conversation this is why you don’t design with with a full tile on an on on an outside wall and expect it to march across a room and fit perfectly.

 

00:43:58:17 – 00:44:18:24

Greg Porter

There’s no way anyone should have ever designed that. That way they should have designed it, you know, with the the edge tiles being equal on both sides so that it would make a nice lighting grid layout. So the conversation was we’re we’re renovating that building. And the conversation was, do we leave this one weirdo 90 degree fixture? Do we eliminate it?

 

00:44:18:24 – 00:44:25:14

Greg Porter

What how do we solve this problem so that for the next 30 years we don’t have people asking the same question?

 

00:44:25:15 – 00:44:53:22

Brian Benham

Yeah, everybody points up, look, that guy screwed up. He didn’t know what he was doing. It’s crooked now, they point out every time. Yeah, so I know you wanted to move on, but that made me think of another thing from a customer standpoint. Most everything I build is is custom. And I have being in the position where I’ve installed like those acoustical drop in tiles, those things are just snapped on there and then the acoustic tile rests in it.

 

00:44:54:04 – 00:45:15:04

Brian Benham

So you, you have a little bit of the person that installs that has a little bit of fudge to to move that snap over just a little bit. So they may not even intentionally mean for it to end up a 5/8 inch off on one side, but they could have possibly spread all those back out, but that would have taken a whole lot of extra labor to do.

 

00:45:15:18 – 00:45:26:12

Brian Benham

But there is a little bit of wiggle when you snap those cross beams on there because it’s just this little metal aluminum thing. They snap together, but each one has a little bit of a wiggle in it.

 

00:45:27:05 – 00:45:57:23

Greg Porter

Well, I know I’ve been on the rotten that in that my dad was an electrician. So growing up I did electrical work. I started working with him on commercial sites at 12 years old, which I can see that now because the statute of limitations has expired. But I started doing commercial work with him at age 12 and you know, a huge part of doing electrical retrofit repairs, things like that in commercial buildings is lifting up those ceiling tiles and getting above there and doing your work.

 

00:45:57:23 – 00:46:32:03

Greg Porter

And you could always tell when somebody had fudged the grid a little bit because that ceiling tile just wouldn’t push past it. It was always a trick to get it to sit back down in there because those are some most of those grids are fairly tight tolerance, you know, within probably an eighth of an inch or less. And that was always that was definitely a rite of passage as a young man understanding how to get a ceiling tile to sort of fold and taco and and laid back down in the grids that somebody had fudged a little bit.

 

00:46:32:10 – 00:46:47:01

Brian Benham

Yeah, the best ones to install were the ones that had like this texture in it because if you couldn’t get it to pull down tight, you could put a screw at one of the dark texture points and then pull on it to get it to come down tight. Did that a few times. We did a little tricks of the trade.

 

00:46:47:01 – 00:46:59:04

Greg Porter

I don’t think we ever did that. My my trick was always to bang on the grid so that the grid would go up and create a breakthrough and the tile would pop down. And as the grid came down, everything would sort of snap together.

 

00:46:59:21 – 00:47:03:22

Brian Benham

Yeah, that were that probably worked pretty well. And the grids that were suspended by the wires.

 

00:47:04:10 – 00:47:40:19

Greg Porter

Mm hmm. Yep. Oh, man. Yeah. A lot of fun. Holy cow. But, well, let’s see, we’ve. We’ve covered some good stuff. We’ve covered some. Some architecture, some carpentry, some guitar building. And I mean, it is it is very interesting. As you as you look at design and you look at construction, noting the fact that if you don’t plan for the chaos, so to speak, the chaos will happen to you in ways that you that you can’t control.

 

00:47:41:00 – 00:47:56:03

Greg Porter

So, you know, we always say at work, you can’t control all the chaos, but you can generally control where the chaos happens. And I feel like that’s definitely something that happens in the construction world, the making world, in the design world.

 

00:47:56:14 – 00:48:26:02

Brian Benham

Yeah. I think I have one more example that we haven’t really touched on and that’s order of operations. So this is something that’s that I’ve stressed a lot in my current work. I do a lot of built in bookshelves and the first time I worked with this one particular builder, he was worried about the tile guys scratching the woodwork, and so he wanted the tile guy to put in his fire, pray, place, surround.

 

00:48:26:02 – 00:48:50:19

Brian Benham

And it was this stone veneer and wanted me to excuse me, why don’t we describe the wood to the stone veneer? And I was like, that is that is a crazy amount of work to make that look good. Describe all those little bumps on my built in bookshelf is like, how about I come in first and then all the tile guy has to do when he wraps around the corner is cut a straight cut on each tile.

 

00:48:51:06 – 00:49:12:24

Brian Benham

And he was the contractor was really like pushing back on that because he was so worried about the scratching thing. And I finally had to tell him like, dude, if he scratches it, I’ll come back and fix it for free of all. Refinished that for free. It’s not a it’s not a big deal. It’ll be way easier for me to refinish that than it is for me to describe all those little bumps.

 

00:49:13:08 – 00:49:20:07

Brian Benham

And so that’s the order of operations I think is is a really good place to to hide your fudge factor.

 

00:49:20:24 – 00:50:04:11

Greg Porter

Well, and by the same token, one of the things that it’s sort of the unsung hero in the architecture world is the caulk joint. And if it’s an afterthought, it’s usually pretty terrible. People think that caulk is a waterproofing agent and it’s not. It’s a gap filler. It keeps bugs out sometimes. But but by and large, it’s it’s there to absorb a little bit of tolerance and give you give you some wiggle room and again, if you don’t design how those joints come together, they’re going to sneak up on you.

 

00:50:04:11 – 00:50:34:08

Greg Porter

And it’s going to create bad details and it’s going to create problem areas within your building. But if you really pay attention to how door frames and walls and bricks and all those things come together and you can plan for I’m picturing what you had in your head. But if I were, if I were designing tile coming around a corner into, into some wood detail of some sort, I’m probably leaving a quarter inch gap there to fill with some kind of flexible sealant to take up whatever that is.

 

00:50:34:08 – 00:50:57:21

Greg Porter

And it’s going to look great because you planned it. It’s going to be a nice straight line where where a lot of people fail in that design is they’re literally putting the two things up together and there’s no room for any soft joint. And when there’s no room for a soft joint, usually the painter or the finisher comes in and corks in the corner and those joints never hold up.

 

00:50:57:21 – 00:51:21:22

Greg Porter

A tight joint that has caulk in the corner does not hold up. It will be cracked and ready to pull back out in a month or two because you didn’t plan well for it. But interesting, you know, just I could think of a million different examples on on different jobs that we’ve done where I’ll be on a job site and something doesn’t fit together.

 

00:51:21:22 – 00:51:31:17

Greg Porter

Right. And, you know, you take a look at the plans and details and it’s like, oh, somebody forgot to detail this one little thing that could have made this joint really well detailed.

 

00:51:32:08 – 00:51:56:01

Brian Benham

So yeah. So now that brings another question. Is it could it is it possible for you to over detail to where you’re stepping on the craftsman’s shoes like he has his way that he knows? Like I’ve never gotten a callback doing it this way, but the architect is detailing it me to do it a different way. Do you get people sending you change requests?

 

00:51:56:17 – 00:51:59:13

Brian Benham

I’m sure there’s a industry standard term for that.

 

00:52:00:05 – 00:52:31:02

Greg Porter

Yeah. So the way the way that commercial architecture works, some residential does, but not all of it is during during the construction process, contractors are submitting shop drawings to us. And, you know, just to just to throw it out there, architects have to be experts on so many different varieties of whether it’s materials, details and systems and all these things.

 

00:52:31:02 – 00:52:49:08

Greg Porter

Right. You’re sort of the jack of all trades, master of none. And you really do have to rely on the craftspeople to tell you what’s the best way to do it. They’re the ones who have to honor the warranty. They’re the ones who have to install it and, you know, stand behind it at the end of the day.

 

00:52:49:18 – 00:53:12:24

Greg Porter

So we draw it in the way that we think we want to see. And in general, you want to account for all of those esthetic things that you know about. You want to account for any failure points to, you know. Shingles is a big thing, like shedding water and stuff like that. You have to design the building in such a way that it’s technically going to work after that point.

 

00:53:13:04 – 00:53:37:05

Greg Porter

When you get to a spot where it’s, you know, potato, potato, tomato, tomato type of thing, you really do have to rely on the craftsman. And that’s where the sharp drying process comes in. So one example that I would use when we do metal roofing details, whether that’s coping side or parapet caps or a metal standing seam metal roof coming together with a head wall or something like that.

 

00:53:38:06 – 00:53:58:01

Greg Porter

I can’t tell the guy how to bend the sheet metal. He knows how to do it. He’s been trained a certain way or he or she has been trained a certain way to make that detail work. So what they do is they look at our drawings, they look at the intent of our drawings, and then they send us back a set of drawings that says, here’s the details that we would like to use.

 

00:53:58:09 – 00:54:20:04

Greg Porter

And generally they will outline where there’s a large difference. If it’s a small difference, you know, hey, it’s four and a half inches versus four, three quarters, they’re probably not a big deal. But if there’s a large difference, they usually pointed out and they say where we think we can either save some time, some effort, give you a better detail, some value out of this difference in detail.

 

00:54:20:09 – 00:54:34:22

Greg Porter

And then our job is to review it and say, does it meet the intent? And then is it is it going to work? Do we think that’s really going to work? Sometimes that’s done in the field, literally, is as you’re walking out there, the sheet metal guy might be there and say, hey, can I bug you about X, Y and Z?

 

00:54:35:02 – 00:54:58:23

Greg Porter

Yeah, okay. Sure. Other times it’s through shop drawings and sometimes it’s through phone conversations. Hey, these guys are working on something you’ve designed something they can’t build. That happens all the time. And sometimes it’s it’s a simple explanation of, well, maybe you didn’t understand the drawing. And here’s what we really meant by it, because you’re drawing a three dimensional piece in two dimensions.

 

00:54:58:23 – 00:55:26:24

Greg Porter

And and that doesn’t always work. It’s not an easy way to communicate. And other times, you know, you explain it and you say, Yeah, this is how it’s supposed to work. Oh, okay. We thought you meant this. Okay, great. And other times you explain it and they go, yeah, that’s that’s the problem. It won’t work that way. And so you sit and and you rely on again, their expertize they’ve been doing, they do sheet metal 40 hours a week or 50 hours a week or 60 hours a week.

 

00:55:26:24 – 00:55:42:23

Greg Porter

And, you know, we don’t as architects, we draw it. And, you know, you take a series of days to draw all your sheet metal details on a project, but then you may not touch sheet metal for four or five months. So they’re definitely the experts and we have to lean on them quite a bit.

 

00:55:43:23 – 00:56:12:02

Brian Benham

Yeah, I have one more example of working with a contractor that got me in trouble that I it involves a cock and meeting a ceiling. I did this, built a bookshelf shelf and it was 12 and a half feet tall. So I couldn’t just get plywood. So I, I had to veneer up this long thing to make the, the in pieces and in caps work.

 

00:56:12:09 – 00:56:36:15

Brian Benham

And I wanted to hide my discrepancy in a little trim piece along the ceiling just to clean that up. And I could scrape to the ceiling and it would look nice and clean and neat. He didn’t like the piece. He wanted it like the wood just come straight up and and terminate into the ceiling. So it was a huge pain to describe all of that panel to the ceiling without a trim piece.

 

00:56:36:22 – 00:57:04:00

Brian Benham

And I got it all up there, looked great and fine. A year later, I came back to do some warranty work on a door that was sticking just because I custom built these doors for this house too, is a crazy job. And so I go back and I look at this at this bookcase and the weight of the wood had sagged down to where now there was this gap and it just looked like shit.

 

00:57:04:14 – 00:57:20:04

Brian Benham

But yeah. So while I was there, I just offered a call kit for him and got it taken care of. But I thought, yeah, that’s, that’s a situation where I wish the guy in charge would have listened to the guy that’s building the, the thing. But.

 

00:57:20:19 – 00:57:48:01

Greg Porter

Well, and I mean, just again, you know, any time that two materials are supposed to but together like that, you have to allow, especially in residential construction, you’ve got wood studs that were in a growing inside of a tree for 20 years. You cut them into these planks and then you put them into a house and then you turn on the air conditioning and the heating and everything else.

 

00:57:48:08 – 00:58:12:13

Greg Porter

There’s no way that’s going to be a dimensionally stable thing, right? We don’t generally build houses with metal studs. Those are fairly consistent. But, you know, the wind blows and everything else happens and those houses move around and, you know, a shadow line or a caulking joint or a trim piece or something. There’s a there’s a reason those have been around for thousands of years.

 

00:58:13:02 – 00:58:28:14

Greg Porter

And that’s because our buildings aren’t even concrete buildings move, steel buildings move, they all move. And if you don’t plan that fudge factor in, there’s there’s absolutely no way that it’s going to look good other than the day you put the last coat of paint on it.

 

00:58:28:23 – 00:58:50:22

Brian Benham

Yeah, that’s that fudge factor of movement is in everything. Back to my bridge construction days. When you’re driving down the highway and you drive over a bridge, when you enter the bridge and exit the bridge, you’ll hear your tires go thump, thump, thump, thump. And that’s because there’s an expansion showing at the start of the bridge in the end of the bridge, because that bridge is moving with the change of light and heat and humidity.

 

00:58:51:12 – 00:58:58:21

Greg Porter

Now and sometimes on bridges, the expansion is pretty massive, three or four or five inches sometimes. And holy cow.

 

00:58:59:14 – 00:59:04:16

Brian Benham

Yeah, I think we’ve I think we’ve beat this topic to death here with some good examples.

 

00:59:04:21 – 00:59:30:14

Greg Porter

We’ve had some great conversation about, you know, planning for and not ignoring and sticking your head in the ground, thinking that you could work through these these tolerance issues without planning for somewhere in your project to absorb that fudge, as we call it. And and acknowledging that and intentionally designing to it will make your project so much better.

 

00:59:31:17 – 00:59:37:21

Brian Benham

Yeah. All right. Well, thank you for listening. This is the Maker’s Quest podcast. Hi, I’m Brian Burnham.

 

00:59:38:13 – 00:59:41:01

Greg Porter

And I’m Greg Porter. Thanks for joining us.

 

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