The unworthy - projects too bad, trivial, or uninteresting to make it to the projects page #1: Part 1

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Blog entry by KnickKnack posted 09-22-2009 08:36 PM 1620 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I take the site RSS feeds, and every morning first on the list is to look through all the newly posted projects.
Woodworking requires all kinds of skills I don’t have, and all kinds of personal qualities I don’t really have either – and, although it may seem strange, this is one of the reasons I do it – to fight those demons. At the moment, the demons are a few goals/points/runs ahead.
I start every project thinking “Right, this one is going to be perfect, absolutely perfect. I’m not going to cut any corners (no pun intended) – I’m going to go slow and steady – I’m going to sand it until it’s flat – etc etc”. The first cut usually puts paid to that and my target lowers.
Perhaps I should explain that my background is in software programming – a lovely sport where you can do, and redo, and redo again, and again and again, until it’s right. Nothing is ever finished – there’s always a tiny tweak, a small improvement, a subtle shading, or new command you can add. Ah, now if only you could do that with woodworking then I’d be brilliant – I have, you see, the dogged determination – I never quit – I use programmes I’ve been working on for over 20 years, and problems I haven’t solved in 10 years, but, once in a while, I revisit them, and sometimes they sucumb.
Anyways, I’ve done some stuff that really didn’t make the “post it to the projects page”, so I thought I’d put it here for your amusement :-)

Let’s start with the “trio of trugs” – I’ve made 3 of these over the last 2 years – you’d have thought you’d be able to tell from the picture which came first etc, since I’m supposed to be getting better!


Mostly pine – the bent handle is bent laminations of beech – mahogany details.
Oh – it’s sitting on a big slab of cedar attached to an old sewing machine base.

Next up – racklet for the bathroom…


I confess – it’s a broom handle. In my mind it integrated nicely with the sides, but, of course, everyone knows (except me, it seems) that you can’t have sharp edges like that and expect them not to splinter.
She who must be obeyed decided, after the first coat of varnish, that she wanted it dark to match the toilet roll holder, so the finish is kinda weird. I tried rebating the pieces together, but that requires that the wood be straight, I discovered.

Fresh from that “success”, a somewhat similar one for the kitchen…


The moral here, I learnt, is not to try and build things bigger than you can clamp! The garage looked like something from a Heath Robinson sketch with clamps tied to bits of string, tied to bits of wire, tied to other clamps. Then, of course, the string broke! Still, the mahogany spliney bits came off OK, I thought. But this frustrated me – it’s sooooooo simple, but with so many bits that simply “aren’t quite right”.

We end with the second thing I ever made – it’s in ash …


The joy of moving house and having no furniture is that you have to make some (well, that’s what I tell the wife). It’s hard to tell from the picture just how big this is – I’m 5’11” and I can just about stretch out on it. Part of the design allows it to be unbolted since it won’t go through the door – at least I thought of that before I built it!

There was/is a forum discussion about design types – G&G, rustic etc etc. I’m currently trying to work out whether my “chunky” stuff is because that’s what I like to design, or whether I design for my limitations, and, whether, on that basis, I’ll ever be able to do more subtle things since I avoid trying them. The jury is out.

The demons and I continue to chatter as I fall asleep…

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

13 comments so far

View Trikzter's profile


42 posts in 3222 days

#1 posted 09-22-2009 09:17 PM

Yep, I know how ya feel.

-- Rick... A tree knows more about wood then I do.

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3307 days

#2 posted 09-22-2009 09:40 PM

the fact that all these things are in use ,
suggests to me that you done good !

in 45 years , i have learned many thing s in my work ,
my problem is remembering them when i need them again .

it’s usualy ,
” damn , i forgot that i learned that years ago ,
well , maybe next time “

in my shop its like the Olympics in reverse ,
the losers are honored before the winners !

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

View Derrek LeRouax's profile

Derrek LeRouax

129 posts in 3260 days

#3 posted 09-22-2009 09:46 PM

I feel the same way some times. You look over my projects, and I see a lot of stuff that is long on function and short on pretty. O well. I guess it gives me something to keep striving for…

Thansk for the post.

-- Derrek L.

View rustfever's profile


751 posts in 3276 days

#4 posted 09-22-2009 10:07 PM

Not one of these problems have ever visited my shop or projects! By the way, can I sell you a bridge?

-- Rustfever, Central California

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3492 days

#5 posted 09-22-2009 10:15 PM

Each step is a learning thing and some are little steps and some are whoppers but each is a learning thing. Some projects just don’t turn out the way would really like them to but then I did build it and no one I know has built one so…

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3300 days

#6 posted 09-22-2009 10:55 PM

You certainly have struck a common note. Yes, we have all been there and done that. None of my projects are worthy for project posting either, but I don’t let that bother me, because this website isn’t about who’s best or perfection, it’s about sharing our experiences and our projects good or bad just like we would with our other friends. Michelangelo was a perfectionist, but he was a tormented soul too. Who needs it? I just want to enjoy my hobby and have fun. I’ll bet you do too.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3492 days

#7 posted 09-22-2009 11:49 PM

I just read what I had writen earlier and it sort of didn’t sound right… It’s the trying and enjoying that really counts, everything else will fall into place when its time…

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3251 days

#8 posted 09-23-2009 03:02 AM

KnickKnack, Join the club. Been there, done that! All your projects look fine to me. I think you’re too hard on yourself. These should be posted on the project page. Keep up the good work.

-- John @

View scrappy's profile


3506 posts in 3396 days

#9 posted 09-23-2009 08:24 AM

Never be afraid of posting your projects. We ALL need to improve. that is one of the reasons we are here. I post (almost) everything I do. I like the feed back and want to know what about the design is good or bad. Did I get the finish right? did I sand enough? I welcome all criticizm and critiques. They all help me to improve my skills.

The biggest thing to remember is one thing you mentioned, ”patience” There are things that go fast, and things that need more time. Not all the world can be as fast as a computer. haha

Your projects are nice and worthy of being on the projects page.

Thank you for sharing with us.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View KellyS's profile


78 posts in 3198 days

#10 posted 09-23-2009 06:52 PM

I like all the projects. They must be pretty good, they’re all being used! The one “trug” even has the grain “wrapped” right. Heck, I get in a hurry and miss that detail almost every time. I hear the demons some times too, Woodworking helps me tremendously. Every time I work on something my skills improve. I’ve also self diagnosed myself with OCD, it’s GREAT! as long as it’s pointed in the right direction. Right now it’s pointed at hand planes. I guess it could be worse, but I don’t think my wife will handle me bringing home another one though. I have the dogged determination that you do, I’ll bounce off the same wall a dozen times until I get it right. I like programming too. I’m an engineer by trade, but I do like to dable in programming. I prescribe to the “Malcom X” approach to programming. “By any means necessary”. Every once in a while, I use that approach to woodworking and then have to smack my hand for doing it. The woodworking teaches me the patience and “self-pacing” that I really need to master both in woodworking and other matters. Keep up the good work and keep sharing your projects. I’ve yet to see someone say something nasty about someone elses work.

-- He who dies with the most tools wins!.....Just wait, I'm going to win!..ERR my wife will at least.

View NedB's profile


659 posts in 3531 days

#11 posted 09-23-2009 10:49 PM

I dunno, those all look perfectly fine to me, make them some projects…they’re no worse (or better) than a lot of work others have shared. We are always our own worst critic.

-- Ned - 2B1ASK1

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4126 days

#12 posted 09-29-2009 10:32 PM

I think these are fantastic and aren’t you proud that you made them yourself?? !!!!

Your story of “go slow – get it perfect” reminds me of the time that I focused on this and I slowly, carefully glued the wood on backwards … but it was perfectly glued! backwards.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6851 posts in 3945 days

#13 posted 03-01-2010 02:20 PM

Hi Knickknack,

I suspect we have all felt that way more than nce about out projects. But the good news is we learn far more from the failures, than we do the successes. At least I do.

Now if only I could remember it.

These projects look fine.

I think Stefang said it best with: “Michelangelo was a perfectionist, but he was a tormented soul too. Who needs it? I just want to enjoy my hobby and have fun”.

I have to agree with that.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

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