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Perfect is the enemy of good

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Forum topic by endgrainy posted 08-17-2015 01:17 AM 840 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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endgrainy

237 posts in 1347 days


08-17-2015 01:17 AM

Topic tags/keywords: wood movement

A fun learning point from a recent project:

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/175002

Due to inexperience, I typically learn a lot with each project I complete. After the finish dried on my recent outdoor table, I moved it out to the back patio. After a couple days of basking in the sun, wood movement started to affect the top, which cupped slightly.

This created a slight ridge where the table top met the breadboard at the outer edge. I kept looking at the ridge, and although no one else seemed to notice it, I was out there at dusk with my block plane flushing up the top to make it even with the breadboard.

I then touched up the top with the same oil based stain I used on the project. Of course it didn’t match and the repair was glaringly obvious, even the next day after the finish dried.

So back into the shop to sand the top down, recoat with oil x 2. Three days later back outside.

What happened after the table sat in the sun again? You guessed it – a slight ridge appeared between the table top and the breadboard again! This time, it’s me who’s getting the fix – just let it go.

Lessons learned:
Wood moves, accept it
Don’t lose a good outcome chasing perfection

-- Follow me on Instagram @endgrainy


10 replies so far

View Pezking7p's profile

Pezking7p

3097 posts in 1111 days


#1 posted 08-17-2015 01:21 AM

Hahaha I e been there. Mrs Pez is always telling me to let it go because no one will ever notice except ME!

-- -Dan

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

684 posts in 1257 days


#2 posted 08-17-2015 03:39 AM

Sounds like a clear case of Wabi Sabi. Nothing’s perfect,Nothing’s forever,Nothing’s finished.
Congratulations end grainy you are moving up to the next level.
Don’t take me too serious just messing around because I can relate.

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2187 posts in 940 days


#3 posted 08-17-2015 11:05 AM

Thinking about it, there’s a reason why most out door table tops are planks, not solid panels.

How about cutting some 1/4” wide slots? Might that help with the problem?

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1648 days


#4 posted 08-17-2015 11:23 AM

My rule of thumb for such things is that only 10% or regular people will notice and that out of that 10%, only 10% will say anything. This rule goes out the window though if you say ‘I made this.’ ;-)

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

23113 posts in 2326 days


#5 posted 08-17-2015 01:03 PM

Something that is nearly perfect will always stand out in the world. It will usually also be more expensive.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- 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 Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

825 posts in 1189 days


#6 posted 08-17-2015 04:19 PM


A fun learning point from a recent project:

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/175002

Due to inexperience, I typically learn a lot with each project I complete.

Lessons learned:
Wood moves, accept it Don t lose a good outcome chasing perfection

- endgrainy

Grainy, I think this perfection attitude comes from people watching the woodworking shows that’s been around for awhile. Most of the woodworking “stars” throw out the word, “Perfect”, all the time, after each cut. I just shake my head as I learned on my very first woodworking job that in order to find “perfect or perfection”, you have to look in a dictionary. In my case, it’s found on page 1055 in my Webster New World Second College Edition dictionary. Nowhere in the definition did I find the word “Wood”. Apparently the 2 words don’t go together. Sounds like you now know when to quit looking for it. I believe you’ll become a better woodworker because of it. ...... .............. Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View oltexasboy1's profile

oltexasboy1

240 posts in 1164 days


#7 posted 08-17-2015 05:27 PM

I have learned to accept the fact that I am not Paul Sellers and have moved on. I like to do perfect work but good will do, until I can do better.

-- "The pursuit of perfection often yields excellence"

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2526 days


#8 posted 08-17-2015 05:41 PM

I like Charles Neil’s “Looks good is good”. I have some good historical furniture books, and if you see some of those pictures of pieces that are pricesless today, there are things not seen to the naked eye that are far from perfect.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View endgrainy's profile

endgrainy

237 posts in 1347 days


#9 posted 08-17-2015 10:25 PM

Good points everyone. I am kicking back today, happy to accept the table as is. It’s structurally sound enough to perform its job – we are eating dinner outside on the table tonight. And all the (non woodworkers) in the family are happy with the results.

Good life lessons – woodworking is a great hobby :)

-- Follow me on Instagram @endgrainy

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7472 posts in 1466 days


#10 posted 08-17-2015 11:15 PM



My rule of thumb for such things is that only 10% or regular people will notice and that out of that 10%, only 10% will say anything. This rule goes out the window though if you say I made this. ;-)

- Dave Rutan


.
. Good words to go by. Just tell people this …
.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

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