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View richgreer's profile

Will I ever stop making dumb mistakes?

by richgreer
posted 08-26-2011 04:13 PM


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116 replies

116 replies so far

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15960 posts in 1556 days


#1 posted 08-26-2011 04:16 PM

Rich, anybody that doesn’t make mistakes doesn’t do anything.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5351 posts in 1288 days


#2 posted 08-26-2011 04:22 PM

Everybody does it, however cutting aboard exactly in half can be trickier than it sounds. Missing by the kerf stinks, but as i was reading the post, I thought you were about to say you missed four inches or something. The quest for perfection in woodworking is a subjective and endless one, the fun is in the journey.

View crank49's profile

crank49

3458 posts in 1660 days


#3 posted 08-26-2011 04:25 PM

At least you didn’t drop an inch to get to a clean line on the tape and then forget to add it back at the mark.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1114 posts in 1749 days


#4 posted 08-26-2011 04:25 PM

The person who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything

View Greg..the Cajun  Box Sculptor's profile

Greg..the Cajun Box Sculptor

5180 posts in 1998 days


#5 posted 08-26-2011 04:36 PM

I never make dumb mistakes…just smart mistakes.

-- We all must start somewhere in our journey of doing what we love to do.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3674 posts in 1854 days


#6 posted 08-26-2011 04:39 PM

My most common mistake in cutting, is cutting the wrong piece, when there are multiple pieces of similar dimensions.

The second most common is making a cut…......and finding that it has no relationship whatsoever to what I measured….......meaning, I don’t even know what the world I was thinking!

The first type of mistake is avoidable, the second is not…......because I can’t figure out what I did…..(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Manitario's profile (online now)

Manitario

2363 posts in 1572 days


#7 posted 08-26-2011 04:46 PM

my dumb mistake this week involved cutting 8 maple drawer fronts too short; ie. not long enough to cover the drawer hardware. Good thing I’m not getting paid to do this work.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Cory's profile

Cory

723 posts in 2109 days


#8 posted 08-26-2011 04:52 PM

I never make mistakes, I just have course corrections and design changes. ;-)

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

7099 posts in 1993 days


#9 posted 08-26-2011 05:01 PM

yea rich your the only one….lol…...no buddy, i still make some like that to, im making a project now and mis measured the walnut i was using for the drawers….so i had to re do it, ill find a use for the messed up wood sometime later….some things have just been smashed and thrown into the wood stove if it was a winter mistake…it felt better to smash and burn it, then it did to lay is aside…must be the animal in me…i guess it makes sense…as i am the grizz…..lol…...sorry you messed up…but each mistake hopefully helps us to not do the same one again…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

725 posts in 1647 days


#10 posted 08-26-2011 05:05 PM

What’s funny is the truth that we feel so good when our mistake doesn’t cost us anything. If they just made wood that we could cut back together again we wouldn’t have to put up with this!

Ok, I admit, I got A LOT of firewood.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3184 posts in 1365 days


#11 posted 08-26-2011 05:10 PM

Jim has been watching me. Last year I was building a chest of drawers. I built a complete drawer that was too narrow. No idea where I got those numbers. If it had been too short no one would have ever known but it was too narrow! What did I do?? Oak face, dovetail corners, the whole bit! I had to build something like 10 of these drawers the same width. This was not the first not the last but it was WRONG.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112325 posts in 2266 days


#12 posted 08-26-2011 05:14 PM

Your not alone Rich
The old joke is ” I keep cutting it but it’s still to short” If you watch some of the shows on TV guys like Roy Underhill say things like” well you get the idea” or some of the on line guys (if there honest and don’t edit mistakes out) say things like ” do as I say not as I do”. What mistake mean is you working on something instead of just thinking about your project.
As time goes on and we learn more about woodworking we don’t stop making mistakes we just learn how to fix them better :) Cory Like said you now have an opportunity to make a design change.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

2536 posts in 1466 days


#13 posted 08-26-2011 05:18 PM

Rich
Been there done that. My ruler was changed so that the inital board is at least 1” longer so I must do two cuts – one rough, second cut is the finish cut (slower and precise).

This is for more than one reason, other than the quaulity of the cut, it allows for movement or placement to make the grain to be where it looks the best. If grain is a real issue, I leave 6+” on each board for adjustments.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View TimL's profile

TimL

36 posts in 1464 days


#14 posted 08-26-2011 05:19 PM

My Dad told me ” a master craftsmen still makes mistakes, but he knows how to fix them.”

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

2536 posts in 1466 days


#15 posted 08-26-2011 05:21 PM

I wouldn’ know, have a long way to go before I can see that light.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4524 posts in 1764 days


#16 posted 08-26-2011 05:26 PM

Has anyone else noticed that Norm never made a mistake?

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

2536 posts in 1466 days


#17 posted 08-26-2011 05:30 PM

No, he always built an MDF version and used this for a cut list – showed this on a show. He also wore bandades a lot.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 1612 days


#18 posted 08-26-2011 05:34 PM

Rich…I watched a movie on Norm and he actually has a board over a door in his shop that he made. It says “I make missteaks too”
Norm is fortunate that he can use wood that cost $20 a b/f and if he makes a error he just gets another piece.
The only one I’ve ever seen make a mistake is Roy Underhill. He pointed it out,laughed and moved on. Cool guy in my book.
Frankly,I thought I made a mistake once but I was wrong…....

-- Life is good.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3473 posts in 1884 days


#19 posted 08-26-2011 05:45 PM

Yep…..I’m afraid you’re the only one that’s did this….Just remember….”we don’t make mistakes…we have happy accidents”.....Bob Ross, painter. If that guy was still alive, I’d write him and give him a piece of my mind. But I can’t afford to give any of it away….I need all of it and more….lol. Welcome to our world…!!!!!

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View OhioMatt's profile

OhioMatt

11 posts in 1176 days


#20 posted 08-26-2011 05:49 PM

Speaking of Norm, where is he now-a days?

-- Matt from Ohio

View lew's profile

lew

10094 posts in 2445 days


#21 posted 08-26-2011 06:07 PM

If only

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View pariswoodworking's profile

pariswoodworking

380 posts in 1174 days


#22 posted 08-26-2011 06:24 PM

Speaking of Norm, where is he now-a days?

His shop :)

We all make mistakes and I have made the vast majority of them. Luckily, I can fix them most of the time without altering the design of the project. I have done everything from cutting in the wrong place to routing the wrong side of the board. I’ll probably still be making these stupid little mistakes 40 years from now. Not much you can do about them but learn from them.

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1382 days


#23 posted 08-26-2011 06:29 PM

I don’t know if you’ll stop, but I’m pretty sure I never will! I laid out some nice dovetails this week and when it came to chopping them, all my chisels were too big.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View DaddyZ's profile

DaddyZ

2415 posts in 1730 days


#24 posted 08-26-2011 06:30 PM

DOH !!!!!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1382 days


#25 posted 08-26-2011 06:32 PM

DOH, indeed!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Greg In Maryland's profile

Greg In Maryland

403 posts in 1687 days


#26 posted 08-26-2011 06:35 PM

I seem never to make the same mistake once, I have a deep seeded need to make the same stupid mistake over and over and over again. I feel your pain.

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1382 days


#27 posted 08-26-2011 06:43 PM

Greg, do you pull sharp router bits out of the table with your bare hands? I’m up to about two dozen of those injuries.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Chipy's profile

Chipy

374 posts in 1283 days


#28 posted 08-26-2011 06:49 PM

I was told once the real art of woodworking is your ability to hide or correct your mistakes.I don’t know if any of you LJ’s do this but for some reason when I show one of my finished pieces to someone I point out all the misstates!I will say… here is were I drove the bit in too deep or I glued this in backwards and covered it up!

View ken_c's profile

ken_c

263 posts in 1852 days


#29 posted 08-26-2011 06:52 PM

you are alone my friend… I NEBER make mestakes… :-)

But just know these two things. Caulk and paint makes the carpenter what he ain’t and i lie A LOT!!! :-)

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

2536 posts in 1466 days


#30 posted 08-26-2011 06:55 PM

Al – Thats what a bandsaw is for. We never make mistakes, it was a hidden flaw in the grain that requires the change

-- David in Damascus, MD

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15706 posts in 2908 days


#31 posted 08-26-2011 06:56 PM

Just last night I went to cut the lid free on a box I’ve been working on for a while. I set the fence, made the first cut, flipped the box over 180 degrees and made the opposite cut…. on the wrong edge of the box!!!! Somehow I manged to rotate the box at the same time I was flipping it.

Needless to say, I’m having to come up with some serious design modifications. The really sad part is that this is the 2nd time I’ve done the exact same thing.

To quote Al: “DOH, indeed!”

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1467 posts in 1204 days


#32 posted 08-26-2011 06:58 PM

Don’t feel bad. I spent almost ten hours making a beautiful guitar body, and then drilled the holes for the bridge EXACTLY one inch too far away from the neck pocket.
When my wife came home from work, she had to drive around it as it lay in the drive.
Never made that mistake again, but we all do it.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

2536 posts in 1466 days


#33 posted 08-26-2011 06:58 PM

Or – We built it to the drawing but that looked like crap so we fixed it.

-- David in Damascus, MD

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dbray45

2536 posts in 1466 days


#34 posted 08-26-2011 07:16 PM

Something to think about————

In doors and windows we use moldings – they are not for decoration – they are to cover the garbage.
In cabinets, we use spacers (i’m sorry – moldings) – to fill in the voids.
For ceilings – we use crown molding.
For furniture – we use veneer and various patterns.

If we did everything exactly right, we probably would never have had these design elements.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1382 days


#35 posted 08-26-2011 07:22 PM

Charlie, I can better you on that one. I was once doing the same thing to a square box. I rotated the box 90 degrees then recut the same side, intersecting the previous cut. Wow.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15706 posts in 2908 days


#36 posted 08-26-2011 07:27 PM

LOL, Al. You win. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View jim C's profile

jim C

1455 posts in 1788 days


#37 posted 08-26-2011 07:29 PM

I have never, EVER made a mistake cutting wood. The project just got shorter.

-- When I was a boy, I was told "anyone can be President", now I'm beginning to believe it!

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3863 posts in 2352 days


#38 posted 08-26-2011 07:35 PM

OK … as long as we are fessin’ up …

I was turning a bowl out of a nice piece of walnut. I drilled a 1/2” hole in the center of what was to become the inside of the bowl, and was just positive that I had drilled to the correct depth to give myself a little leeway in the bottom to cleanup.

I mounted the blank on my face-late and turned the outside of the bowl … got just exactly the shape I wanted … and made a nice tenon on the bottom. I mounted my 4-jaw chuck on the headstock, mounted the blank on it, and started wasting away the inside with the bowl gouge.

I had it just about perfect (I thought), with just a little more cleanup in the bottom of the bowl, when the gouge went right through the bottom. When I measured the blank, I had mis-read the ruler by a full inch!

So, what would have been a beautiful bowl is now a somewhat odd-looking funnel.

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

11139 posts in 1696 days


#39 posted 08-26-2011 07:37 PM

On my most recent project i had a brain fart and transposed my numbers .. needless to say a 24” bench seat is a little short for 2 people. It happens …

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1848 days


#40 posted 08-26-2011 08:13 PM

I do this all the time on my table saw, Rich. I usually recognize the center of the blade issue, but my dyslexia kicks in when I try to figure out which way I need to move the fence that 1/16”.

OR, I will use the Incra fence to create a multiple-pass dado with my full kerf blade and make one pass too much because I can’t remember to include the kerf width or not.

I did this the other day with an under-extension wing TS storage cabinet I built. No big deal since the widened dado would receive a center drawer partition that would be concealed by the drawers. I could just wedge in a snug strip of wood to account for the extra width (cutting a 1/8” strip is impossibly easy with the Incra). HOWEVER, when I tried to glue it all up, I had the cabinet upside down…so I glued in the center partition and glued in the strip. When dry, I turned it over to see that I put the strip in on the wrong side.

So now, I have a drawer partition that sits cock-eyed. Doh! It wont be too obvious since it’ll be covered by a face frame…but I’ll have to figure out a way to conpensate for that slanted board when I put in the drawer slides.

Sometimes, I just feel really stupid when I do this stuff!

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View tom427cid's profile

tom427cid

294 posts in 1160 days


#41 posted 08-26-2011 08:33 PM

Mis steaks happen….........that’s why I have friends who burn wood…...................qiuet friends….
My favorite error of choice is the dropped inch. Make the cut and wonder what the _
just happened-(it’s the rulers fault)! you would think after 40 years I’d learn,nope,well…....till next time.
keep practicing they (mistakes)will get smaller, least that’s what I was told.
tom

-- "certified sawdust maker"

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

2536 posts in 1466 days


#42 posted 08-26-2011 08:38 PM

Hey those shorts are the “longs” for the other part. It just means that you have to find a better piece for that location – maybe a contrasting wood???

-- David in Damascus, MD

View ChuckC's profile

ChuckC

698 posts in 1624 days


#43 posted 08-26-2011 08:55 PM

Most of the significant things I make have at least one “design change”. It’s bound to happen and we all do it. Don’t beat yourself up over it.

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

7099 posts in 1993 days


#44 posted 08-26-2011 09:09 PM

wow charlie…that must have hurt…i almost want to cry with you…well i would think your crying..if not, you want to join me…lol….....well after all these…i think im going to go glue up a cutting board…a simple cutting board…..if anything goes wrong…im going to blame all of you for hexing it with all this mistake talk….oh sorry i forgot its misssteak…....grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

7099 posts in 1993 days


#45 posted 08-26-2011 09:10 PM

meeeee neener

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Richard's profile

Richard

968 posts in 1380 days


#46 posted 08-26-2011 09:35 PM

I agree that we as woodworkers never make mistakes. We just alter the plans as we go along. And I have altered a LOT of plans.

No I did not cut a gouge in the side of that dado for the T-track. It’s a finger hole so you can remove the track easy.

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3184 posts in 1365 days


#47 posted 08-26-2011 09:41 PM

Did you put your measuring tape on the charger last night? When I charge mine these things keep cropping up.

View Greg In Maryland's profile

Greg In Maryland

403 posts in 1687 days


#48 posted 08-26-2011 10:09 PM

Since this is a general confession time …..

About a year ago I was making my router table base and it was a thing of beauty—at least for anything I possibly could make. It was 36×24 and 39 inches tall and made out of 2×4 laminated legs, rails and stiles, with mortise and tenon joinery and drawbolts for extra measure. It had panels of ¾ inch MDF, as well as a large drawer, a shelf with space for more drawers and dust collection. I had a lot of fun building it, and of course, made lots of small mistakes and learned a lot.

So imagine my surprise and I put my superduper router table on top of the base and realized that the top was only 30×24. Yes, I built my base too big. Boy did I have some colorful language beginning with “F” and ending with “k” that day. It took me months to get that far and I completely blew it.

The four solutions I came up with were:

1) Get my sawzall out, give it some gentle persuasion to get it dissembled and then put it back together the right size.
2) Ditch the top I had and make my own
3) Add extension wings to the existing table top
4) Build a new base.

I opted for option number 4 making darn sure that the dimensions were checked, double checked and triple checked. Did I make some more mistakes? Yup. Nothing that a lot of clamping pressure couldn’t cure, however.

So, I have rock solid 36×24 base just waiting for me to build a top. I am thinking that workbenches are just like clamps, you can never have too many.

View bubbyboy's profile

bubbyboy

137 posts in 1382 days


#49 posted 08-27-2011 12:46 AM

I have been awake for almost 2 hours and have not made a mistake yte!! WOO HOO!

-- I just don't understand. I have cut it 3 times and it is still to short.

View bubbyboy's profile

bubbyboy

137 posts in 1382 days


#50 posted 08-27-2011 12:46 AM

Never mind just reread what I wrote. Damn I was doing so good.

-- I just don't understand. I have cut it 3 times and it is still to short.

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