Years ago, my son asked for help on an arithmetic story problem: “A 16-ft. long board is sawn into four pieces of equal length. How long is each piece?” I recommended he answer “3 ft. 15/16 in.” He did and was marked wrong. That’s because the textbook authors, and the teacher, didn’t know that the three saw cuts will shorten the length of each 4 ft. measurement by 1/16 in. when you saw directly on the cutting line. Keep in mind this elementary tip when cutting boards to length or width: Measure, mark a cutting line, then cut just beside the cutting line on the waste end of the board so your board doesn’t wind up short. Finish-sand your board to the exact length needed.