Measure Twice…

24 . 05 . 15

The maxim “Measure Twice and Cut Once” is heard so often in the Otter Surfboards workshop that we thought we’d go ahead and paint it on the wall (at least, the latter part of it) underneath an old two-man saw that we found in an antique store recently.  It’s a nice reminder to consider and check everything that we’re about to do before committing, and has been a motto of craftsmen for centuries.

The origins of the expression have been lost in the mists of time – the English proverb states to measure twice, however a 1785 book of Gaelic proverbs and phrases attributes it to an older Gaelic expression “Better measure short of seven, than spoil all at once”, which refers to the yardage of material required when making a kilt.

“Why do this?” you may ask.  Well, sometimes things get busy here and, when they do, the worst thing possible would be for any of us to rush.  We pride ourselves on doing the best possible job and making the most of the materials that we use – if a mistake is made then it is likely to take more time to put it right than would have been saved in the first place by hurrying.  Everything gets done, and it gets done well.  It’s really not a bad philosophy to carry through to the rest of your life, although it can be challenging at times when time is tight.

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