Use the right solvent to clean up paint equipment. Check the paint can label. Generally use a mild detergent solution for water-based paints, mineral spirits for alkyd enamels, mineral spirits or turpentine for oil paints, alcohol for shellac, and mineral spirits for varnish. When you are reusing solvent for cleaning equipment, occasionally rub some between your fingers. When it begins to feel sticky, dispose of properly.
When you need to duplicate multiple measurements on a larger project, it can be helpful to use a length of 1×2 or similar stock as a story pole. Cut or select a piece that is longer than the longest cut required. Carefully mark the height, width, depth and length of various parts onto the 1×2. The story pole will speed up marking for cuts, and matching parts will be cut the same.