I am a musician.
I play electric and acoustic violins, guitars, and mandolins.
Not as a professional. I rather view myself as a professional amateur, performing quite frequently in public, but rarely for pay.
As any musician is fully aware, live music performance is fertile ground for making mistakes. Wrong notes, missed notes, out-of-tune notes, mis-cues, wrong keys, forgotten passages, wrong tempos, the list goes on. And that’s not to mention difficulties caused by those pesky equipment issues.
Ask any pro recording artist. They’ve been there, done that.
Seasoned musicians are very adept at not letting on that they’ve made a gaff. They don’t let it bother them and just continue on. 99% of the time the audience doesn’t even notice.
The beauty(?) of making a musical mistake is, once the air molecules that vibrate that mistake throughout the auditorium stop, that particular note is lost forever (Unless, of course, someone is recording the performance). The musician never has to worry about that particular blunder again.
Not so with woodworking.
A mistake in a woodworking project, no matter how well concealed, hidden, or repaired, stays with the piece for as long as it exists. Most casual observers will never notice it. Other seasoned woodworkers may or may not notice it, but will tend to chalk it off as ‘character’. Take a real close examination sometime of any piece of fine hand-made antique furniture and you’ll see what I mean.
But, you can be dern sure that the craftsman that made the piece knows that mistake is there.
He knows all the details about it – the process and tool that put it there. He probably remembers his reaction when the error was made or discovered. He remembers the expletives he may have uttered. He may remember the tool or project piece that sailed across the shop.
Even though he may have corrected the error very nicely, he knows it’s still there, every time he looks at the piece.
And it gnaws at him.
So it is that the handsawgeek made such a mistake – right from the word ‘GO’, mind you – on the lathe stand.
After cutting the frame sides to length, it was time to saw out the notches for the corner joints on the ends of the pieces. By virtue of some unexplainable brain-fart, I laid out the first notch ninety degrees from what it was supposed to be – and cheerfully made the cuts!
No expletives were uttered…..
No tool or project piece sailed across the shop…..
Being somewhat lazy, I didn’t want to start from scratch on another piece of wood.
Instead, I put on my ‘Musician-Who-Just-Made-A- BooBoo’ face, and calmly resolved to fix the error later, and proceed to saw out the other three notches on the board (in the correct orientation of course).
I also reminded myself that this was a knockabout piece of shop furniture made out of North American Scroungewood, and not a fine furniture project.
Once the cuts on the two frame side pieces were completed, it was time to repair the initial mess-up.
A spare chunk of North American Scroungewood, some glue, a couple of clamps, and a little more saw work did the trick. And a lesson was learned:
“Pay attention, measure twice, cut once.”
The finished end pieces:
By the way, sawdustike is OK.
Now I think I will go upstairs and practice some Bach or something.