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2x12 Bench #5: A Bad Day

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Blog entry by Tomcat1066 posted 02-19-2008 12:48 PM 1592 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Sexy Legs Part 5 of 2x12 Bench series no next part

Not much got done yesterday.

Did you ever have one of those days when nothing seemed to go right? Well, I did yesterday. After a much later start than I wanted, I find that I had forgotten about shaping the stretcher. So, I get to work on that. It kills a bit of time, but I finally get it in the rough shape that I wanted.

I then had to fix the tenons on the legs. They were really to large. Originally, I had thought to have the tenons be the entire thickness of the legs. However, the more I thought about it, the more I preferred the idea of the seat being supported by four sides, rather than two. While they didn’t cut like I had hoped, they did cut. I have some fixing to do there…hopefully. I got stupid, and now I have to fix stuff. Then, on to the mortises on the legs.

A typical way of making mortises is to use a forstner bit to do the bulk of the work, then use a chisel to square it up. There’s only one problem with this approach…I don’t have a forstner bit. I had originally planned on cutting out the mortise by drilling holes in the corner of the mortise area, then using the jig saw. However, since my jigsaw isn’t cutting square, I decided to drill the crap out of the mortise area, then use the chisel to clean it up. More or less, it worked. However, it made an ugly, ugly mortise.

After all that, I decide to see if my stretcher will fit. Well, it doesn’t. Apparently, it’s wider at the end than at the base where the mortise will sit. So, I break out the chisel to fix that. Unfortunately, apparently the chisel got dull somehow. It went right off the wood and into my thumb.

The bleeding was significant. I honestly wasn’t sure if I could stop the bleeding on my own, but luckily I did. It was, however, enough for the day. Just minutes earlier, I was considering calling it an early day, but I didn’t. I wanted to get farther along than I did. Oh well.

Unfortunately though…no blood got on the bench parts this time, so no new blood splotches. Sorry to disappoint ;)

The optimism I felt on Saturday was gone, replaced by a harsh reality. A reality where things don’t clip along as well as we’d like. A reality where things can go bad, even on the best of projects. I can’t say that I pushed to hard, since I had only put a couple of hours in and had planned to spend a fair amount more. But things just weren’t right from the start, and in hindsight, I guess I should have listened to that side of me.

This thumb hurts like Hell right now. I seriously had thoughts that I wasn’t cut out for woodworking. However, I’m a newbie. I have to remember that things happen. Sometimes, those things are unpleasant. I can’t let this bench beat me. I do, however, need to step away briefly. I have to figure out how to approach a few things, rather than trying to force the issue and screw something up.

Yesterday was a letdown. I felt like everything had let me down and many, many levels. In reality, things just didn’t go like I had hoped and an incident prevented me from either screwing things up, or from figuring it out (I can’t possibly know which). I can’t back down now though. I really believe I can make an awesome bench out of something most woodworkers wouldn’t look twice at. I just have to push through and do it.

So…this week will mostly be spent sharpening tools and cleaning up that mortise. The only other thing is for me to take a good, long look at how best to attack that stretcher so that it will fit correctly. I’ll make it work…somehow ;)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!



13 comments so far

View mrtrim's profile

mrtrim

1696 posts in 3346 days


#1 posted 02-19-2008 01:05 PM

hey cat , some days your the windshield other days your the bug ! lol sorry to hear about your bad luck .
somebody should have shot murphy before he had a chance to make all them stupid laws !

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 3261 days


#2 posted 02-19-2008 01:17 PM

I heard that! Some days are just meant to be bad!

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3287 days


#3 posted 02-19-2008 01:33 PM

Hey TC,

If it weren’t for these minor obstacles in our paths there would no “joy of victory” when we overcome them. I envy those who seemingly can pull a design out of mid-air, start making sawdust and end up with a finished product that is ready for the cover of a woodworking journal. But trust me that it not what I am capable of doing. I share your pain (not literally since I haven’t tried to chisel any body parts lately) and frustration.

Keep plugging away. You have a lot of support here and I am sure that, given your perseverance, you will overcome these minor setbacks.

I am glad that you weren’t hurt any worse than you were. To tell you the truth I really didn’t like the color of the “stain” that you were experimenting with on the bench.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 3626 days


#4 posted 02-19-2008 02:14 PM

you aren’t the first woodworker to have to call it a day and come back to a project at a later date.

Ouch re: the thumb

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Eric's profile

Eric

875 posts in 3249 days


#5 posted 02-19-2008 02:17 PM

And don’t forget to stop and enjoy the journey, bumpy as it may be. I’m learning that myself, as I re-cracked a pin I glued the other day and busted a tail on a different piece.

-- Eric at https://adventuresinwoodworking.wordpress.com/

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 3261 days


#6 posted 02-19-2008 03:34 PM

Thanks folks. It was really discouraging, to say the least. However, I have to realize this will happen from time to time.

I’ve always pointed out that pressure turns a crumbly piece of coal into a diamond, the hardest stuff on Earth. So to will the pressures and difficulties of this piece help me become better. If it went together easy, there would be no challenge to it, now would there? ;)

And Scott, the “stain” would probably look better after a second coat and some polyurethane :D

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View gizmodyne's profile

gizmodyne

1770 posts in 3555 days


#7 posted 02-19-2008 04:36 PM

I have had many days like that Tom.

Thanks for having the nerve to tell us about them.

Are you cutting through mortises?

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke." www.flickr.com/photos/gizmodyne

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 3261 days


#8 posted 02-19-2008 04:39 PM

Giz,

Yep…through mortises they are, both on the seat and the legs.

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View rpmurphy509's profile

rpmurphy509

288 posts in 3320 days


#9 posted 02-19-2008 05:39 PM

Can sympathize with you, think anyone who has been working
with wood for more than a minute or two can as well.

2 x material is notorious for being a pain to work with for
all but the sharpest bladed hand tools.

-- Still learning everything

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 3261 days


#10 posted 02-19-2008 05:55 PM

A lesson I’m quickly learning :)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View Zuki's profile

Zuki

1404 posts in 3542 days


#11 posted 02-20-2008 12:08 AM

Get yourself a pair of “mechanic’s gloves”. You know the type that are stretchy but have protection in the areas that need protecting. A $15 pair of gloves saved my finger from kissing a spinning TS blade. I was tired, a little frustrated and had two more pieces to cut. I was careless . . . but the gloves gave me a wake up call.

Yea . . . step away. When faced with a really complicated issue at work during the evening when I am not thinking about it . . . voila . . . I have a new plan of attack. Im not thinking about the problem . . . but the solution just shows up. Same goes for wwing issues . . . but I get my voilas during my day job. Hope that makes sence. :-/

-- BLOG - http://www.colorfulcanary.com/search/label/Zuki

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 3261 days


#12 posted 02-20-2008 12:13 AM

I might have to try that Zuki! Thanks for the idea.

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View GusRod's profile

GusRod

29 posts in 3214 days


#13 posted 02-21-2008 07:12 AM

Well dude, you gotta remember this is WOODworking right? You’re working with WOOD … so first off, tell it that if it doesn’t cooperate, you CAN always find other uses for it … like keeping you warm on a cold day! It CAN be replaced ….

Hey! It works for me! LOL. Someone once told me I had to be smarter than the wood … and if I couldn’t be smarter then I could be more dangerous …. Good luck!

-- Nothing says "I love you" like a new saw blade.

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