The Learning Curve #1: Glue The Right Side!

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Blog entry by GlennInTx posted 05-13-2013 10:42 AM 1247 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of The Learning Curve series Part 2: Measure? Who Needs to Measure?? »

My first Blog Series is what I’ll call The Learning Curve! It’ll contain “Oops – Did I Just Do That” – “Trail and Error” – “Close Enough, I Guess” type commentary as I learn about woodworking.

So, this weekend I wanted to add another layer of MDF to my work table – already topped with MDF. I cut the MDF (all the dust made my wife’s car look like it had been sitting in a barn for decades) to fit the size of my work table top (not 100% square). Applied the glue to the work table top, then applied the glue to the MDF addition to add to the top, slapped it on the work table. Went to match up the corners and discovered I had applied the glue to the wrong side of the MDF I was going to add to the work table! So, since the original MDF on the work table was not 100% square…and I cut the NEW layer of MDF to match the un-square existing table top…needless to say, it didn’t line up!

Lesson learned – use something to mark the side to be glued BEFORE you forget!

-- Glenn In TX

8 comments so far

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 3435 days

#1 posted 05-13-2013 11:57 AM

Glenn, In any subject matter “Trial and Error” is the essential tool to learn by. No other method brings home the lesson learned that will stay with you forever, it is all a valuable experience.
We all never stop learning, hopefully our trials and errors don’t break the bank or turn you off, maybe slow down and think it out beforehand.
Welcome to reality world Glenn.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View JoeinGa's profile


7736 posts in 2007 days

#2 posted 05-13-2013 12:12 PM

So tell everyone (aka THE WIFE) that “This piece didn’t hafta look good. It’s just the filler for strength. I’m gonna add another piece on top so it’ll be extra strong and it’ll look great then too”

YEAH, I PLANNED it that way!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View MrFid's profile


874 posts in 1905 days

#3 posted 05-13-2013 01:25 PM

Hi Glenn,

Thanks for making me laugh today. I often encounter such frustrations. It’s good to see someone else doing it too. Ill be following your blog as long as its this entertaining. Post a picture of your bench! :)

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1834 posts in 1970 days

#4 posted 05-13-2013 01:39 PM

You can be a disciple of my new woodworking style, and say to your wife what I I say to my little wife; I call it “Unintentional Rustic”. Geez if I had a nickel for every time I have screwed up I would have that Powermatic table saw I’ve been wanting…........ and a few thousand other tools. I like this blog, keep it coming

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View Gary's profile


9331 posts in 3433 days

#5 posted 05-13-2013 03:42 PM

I’m one of those folks that’s gotten caught up in doing things for free….. Two school districts call me every year to build something for them to auction off. Well, this past season, I built a pie safe with the punched tin panels. Just before I had started the finish, after the door was hung, I noticed one tin panel was backwards…the punch side out instead of in. Stuff happens. Would have been funny if it hadn’t been so stupid

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

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3335 days

#6 posted 05-13-2013 04:35 PM

If what Roger said was completely true, then I am now a master woodworker, but I’m not (sorry Roger). Everyone makes mistakes and we don’t always learn from it. True, many mistakes are due to inexperience/lack of skill, but most mistakes in my experience are due to how we organize our work. Marking glue sides and edges, cut lines, sequence matches, and many other helpful markings. And of course organizing the parts and work flow as well. Taking the time to do these things will save you a lot of grief in the long run. Having said all of this, I have to admit that I don’t always practice what I preach and that leads to my my making many unnecessary mistakes. One benefit of making a lot of mistakes is that you learn how to fix things really well. Coincidentally this is where my true talent lies! It pays to think these things through before you begin a project, write them down and try to follow your plan or revise it when necessary.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View shipwright's profile


7980 posts in 2798 days

#7 posted 05-13-2013 04:49 PM

I feel your pain Glenn.
There’s no sure cure for it. At first it’s because you’re unfamiliar with the problems that can crop up and after you’ve been doing it for forty or fifty years, it’s because you’re too familiar and just get over-confident. I had to comment because I just made virtually the same mistake. It can be seen in all its glory in this blog entry.

As the others have said …. learning to repair is the true art.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View GlennInTx's profile


11 posts in 1845 days

#8 posted 05-13-2013 11:32 PM

Okay – here’s the gem! (Look in my projects…the pics will be in there) One thing I forgot to mention was that I did have to trim one side of the MDF prior to gluing, so I suppose it realistically it was never going to truly fit the way it should have…gluing it on backwards certainly didn’t help. The reason I had to trim one end is because I asked my 17 yr old daughter to hold/support one end of the MDF as I cut so that it didn’t just drop and take out a nice hunk of the underside. Anyway, as I came close to finishing the cut – she decided to “drop” the end because she was afraid once the cut was done, the board would swing towards her and cause “irreparable damage to her freshly painted toe nails! Anyway – pics also in the project. On another note – I’ve attached a pic of my wife’s car with the dust on it. I came home from work today and she compared the amount of dust on her car to the same type of damage a sandstorm would have done in Iraq. I vacationed in Iraq, three times, and on one tour I sent her a pic of an oncoming sandstorm (pic in project) – she seriously liked her car to that sandstorm…I love her!

-- Glenn In TX

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