A Primitive Victory

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Project by curi0usJack posted 11-29-2013 03:31 PM 1284 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am convinced that all woodworkers have a certain amount of stupid mistake cards that they are issued when they begin their woodworking journey. In awe, we watch the masters join together wood in flawless and even magical ways. They float over their shops, clothed in mystique and intrigue, dominating the wood a la Gandalf’s conquest of the Moria goblins. The truth is: Master woodworkers have simply used up their cards and now no longer make stupid mistakes (at least not as many).

I have not used up all my cards.

A couple days ago, I recently suffered a humiliating mistake that was of my own doing: Pattern routing an arc into a beautiful cherry apron piece. The pattern was not securely attached (just a couple pieces of blue tape), and I was routing against the grain instead of flipping the piece like even my wife said I should. The pattern moved, and the router grabbed the work and tore the apron literally in half. My kids were present to see the pressing of Dad’s “silent rage” button. Wise beyond her years, my wife said “Cmon kids, let’s go upstairs”. Pathetically, I tried to plane the chatter off of the pieces in effort to glue them back together, but the grain didn’t match. Denial. Rage. Tears. Grief. Lessons.

At work, my boss wanted a primitive looking “mug tree” to hang our coffee cups on, so I agreed to take it on. I couldn’t find the right base until yesterday when my father in law let me peruse his wood pile. I found what I was looking for and went to work.

I present to you “muglog”. Not as anything that I am overly proud of, but as a humble yet therapeutic reminder to myself that I can still connect two pieces of wood together in a way that is useful.

6 comments so far

View dansnow's profile


312 posts in 1991 days

#1 posted 11-29-2013 03:54 PM

I hear you friend, I’m a long way from using up my stupid mistake cards! :)

-- Snow's Wooden Toys & Gifts

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29877 posts in 2485 days

#2 posted 11-29-2013 04:50 PM

Even the masters still carry a few cards, they are, after all, still human. I have found that it’s not if I make the mistake, it’s if I can incorporate it into the project so that it looks like part of the plan. We all get humbled on occasion.

Great mug holder though.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View leafherder's profile


1542 posts in 2099 days

#3 posted 11-29-2013 06:17 PM

Primitive is very popular right now. Nice mug holder.

The wood was trying to tell you something – that particular piece did not want to be routed and this particular piece wanted a life beyond the wood pile. Everything happens for a reason.

-- Leafherder

View Oldtool's profile


2723 posts in 2337 days

#4 posted 11-30-2013 01:12 AM

Mistakes are really valuable learning experiences, accept and overcome them.
Stupid mistake cards! Mine are limitless. Or to put it another way, I “learn” something new on each and every project.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Diwayne's profile


265 posts in 2837 days

#5 posted 11-30-2013 08:40 PM

The fact that ur family was watching speaks volumes. My granddaughter would live in my shop with me. And in the end when you and the wood are gone, what you were really building, no mistake cards there.

-- What one man can do, another man can also do.

View curi0usJack's profile


21 posts in 2906 days

#6 posted 11-30-2013 10:05 PM

@Diwayne – Very true. Thanks for the encouragement. Like your granddaughter, my kids are permanent fixtures in my shop (unless I’m doing something particularly stressful). My 9 year old has been band saw and sander “approved” by Dad. He’s been making swords, crossbows, and airplanes from my scraps. I only wish I was doing that at 9 instead of video games. Hopefully he looks back on these times fondly when he’s older. I don’t know any other 9yo with a cherry & walnut “pick axe”. :-)

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