Art & Development

The delectable joy of precision

circular saw and alumicut

When M asked me to build a pedestal for his project, I asked him for a figure on the Barreto scale: Is this a 1 or a 10 project? Ten indicates a flawless level of finish. Five means be efficient and don’t let the details take more time than necessary. I like to uphold high standards, but rarely can everything can be 10s all the time in preparator work. That’s just the nature of changeovers: your deadline is the opening. Several perfect elements won’t make up for one unfinished element.

M paused. I remembered that I was talking to a Virgo, and knew my answer: 10.

The motor on my hand-me-down circular saw sometimes loses power mid-cut, causing a skip and an ugly cut. This was fine for things like crates (a 1 or 2 on the scale), not ok for a pedestal. It was time to get a new saw. I chose a Rigid because it looked well-made (the base plate didn’t seem like an afterthought), the guard spring was not obnoxiously tight, it was light, and it was moderately priced. When I took it out of its box, it seemed surreal how pristine it was.

As soon as I lined up my first cut, the kerf cutout (which indicates where the blade will go) lined up exactly with my cutline and the blade (see pic) and I felt a surge of bliss. So much certainty and confidence! I saw my (near) future and it was a cut exactly where I needed the cut to be. Push the button. Smooth sailing. For a brief moment, I experienced a kind of Virgo’s nirvana.


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