First Box #3: Starting over....

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Blog entry by Bret posted 11-25-2009 11:34 PM 987 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Decisions, Decisions Part 3 of First Box series Part 4: Cut to size »

A number of things have gone wrong so far….

First, I (a mathematician by training) miscalculated the size of the box I could make from the stock I had. Came up almost one side short. Figured I could make up the difference by finding another piece of curly maple and cutting it down to match. The grain wouldn’t match up, but I was willing to live with that.

Then, I discovered that my )(*&^@)%^ cheap table saw (A 10” Craftsman portable that Wood magazine recommended but for which I wouldn’t give you $.02 but that’s a story for another day) couldn’t cut a straight line while the blade was tilted, so I ended up with some of my mitered corners curved.

No problem, I decided. I can cut them square again and use a miter lock bit to create the corners. No problem. Got the bit set up and turned my attention back to the stock I had.

Realized I had cut the miters before planing to thickness. Took each piece to the jointer then the planer.

My planer decided that it doesn’t want to reliably move stock through itself any more, which likely means that I need to clean the rollers. Not sure how to do that but will give it a try this weekend. Anyway, a piece got stuck and so I fed in another piece behind it to kind of push it out. Used a piece that had been planed all the way down in the hope it would be below the knives. No such luck. Sniped the heck out of the leading edge of the board (which was planed just a shade thin anyway, so it’s now unusable). I’m almost certain as well that this was a bad idea from a safety standpoint and normally will just power the planer down in this situation, lift the knives up and away, and remove the board by hand with the unit unplugged. Got lazy and impatient this time.

So I now have one side and one end of a curly maple box. Ends squared off and ready to be routed. After I go find another piece of curly maple and try again to cut the right size pieces so they’ll match.

I love learning, I just wish the lessons weren’t so painful!

-- Woodworking is easy as 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510...

6 comments so far

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4112 days

#1 posted 11-25-2009 11:54 PM

“Tell me and I might remember. Show me and I’ll never forget.” ;-)


View Blair Helgason's profile

Blair Helgason

169 posts in 3441 days

#2 posted 11-26-2009 12:43 AM

I don’t know what your individual reactions were to these problems but I would have completely lost it for sure. I’m glad that you kept your patience and stuck with it. I’m looking forward to seeing the final product, Good Luck!

-- Blair

View patron's profile


13608 posts in 3368 days

#3 posted 11-26-2009 01:02 AM

what are the odds ?
hang in there and learn .

and yes ,
we all been there ,
sometimes we find ourselves back there too !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Gary's profile


9333 posts in 3460 days

#4 posted 11-26-2009 01:33 AM

That’s one of those, “glad it’s over” days.

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3312 days

#5 posted 11-26-2009 03:45 AM

Oh that sounds so familiar! Can’t wait to see the final product though. If we’ve never made a mistake, then we never did anything. Good luck

-- John @

View king's profile


71 posts in 3974 days

#6 posted 11-26-2009 05:32 AM

Slow down,check your equipment,check your measurements and then check again then cut.good luck.


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