Frustration you can now laugh at

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Forum topic by rhett posted 01-18-2010 07:48 PM 1498 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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742 posts in 3632 days

01-18-2010 07:48 PM

Saw a post where someone said they were quiting WWing due to frustration. I am sure anyone who has tried taking wood and making it nice has had one of those days, or weeks. Thought it may be good to share some of the frustrations of WWing that we can now talk about without shedding a tear. They ultimately made us better woodworkers. This is my most frustrating story to date, but I’m still at it!

I recently made a coffee table and almost ended up throwing it out the door before it ever got finished. It started out simple enough, a little stain and a few coats of poly. Well upon trying to level out the top I ended up sanding completely through the finish and stain in some spots. Damn, I ended up sanding the top completely bare and started over. Well I guess reworking released some internal tension because the next day when I entered the shop, there was a split forming in one of the boards. Damn, Damn, now what. This piece was all from one tree and I had no more tree. Using new and different wood was not an option. I fixed the split and went on the fix the finish. I put down some more poly and thought all was good. Shined the light on it and boom, blaringly obvious is the “fix”. Damn, Damn, Damn, get out the sander and try fixing my fix. Put down some more poly and thought all was good. Go down to the shop the next day and my fix looks fuxed. Damn, Damn, Damn, Damn get out the sander strip the whole top down a second time and restain, repoly and finally with no more issues rewax. I haven’t rubbed anything that much since I was 13.

We all eat crow now and then, but as my old mentor used to tell me. Don’t judge a man by the problems that may overcome him, judge him by how he overcomes his problems.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

16 replies so far

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3492 days

#1 posted 01-18-2010 08:24 PM


-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4183 days

#2 posted 01-18-2010 08:26 PM

My top frustration story:

Click for details

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

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3250 days

#3 posted 01-18-2010 09:44 PM

Had a chance to build a monster fireplace surround for a multi-million dollar home. The designer had a very elaborate design and because of code and wall restrictions, the dimensions where critical. This piece was being built in my shop and to be delivered to the job site ready to install as a completed unit. All the crown molding (3 different sizes and styles) and decorative moldings where custom made by a custom mill shop. I carefully measured and double checked each layer of molding as it was applied. Everything was coming out exact and was quite proud of myself. Since everything was going exactly to size, each mitre joint was going together so well and everything was looking so good, I didn’t bother to check final sizes on the last couple layers of moldings. GLUED, NAILED, FILLED AND SANDED….......PERFECT! Untill I pulled the tape for the final time and realized it was 3/8” too wide for the overall width. Crap! No matter how long I stared at it, no matter how many times I rechecked the overall width, Still too wide!! Only one thing to do…....tear the last couple layers of molding off and do over. Easier said then done! Damn glue! Destroyed half the mantle trying to take it apart. Reordering custom moldings, rebuilding mantle and trying to regain my sanity, made for a busy week of lost time. Finally turned out great and the designer and the homeowner loved it….....Little did they know how much I hated it. LOL. All’s well that ends well.

-- John @

View Gene Howe's profile (online now)

Gene Howe

10353 posts in 3394 days

#4 posted 01-18-2010 09:57 PM

Got a similar story.
Client wanted a “U” kitchen with the sink cabs on the short part of the “U”. One of the legs was against the wall. The other was to be 8” inboard of a sliding glass door.
Using the blueprints and double checking with the builder and at the site, I built as per spec. Qtr sawn white oak, in a semi-craftsman style. Again as per specs with drawings.
Hauled them to the client’s home to find that his wife had changed the plan and put in a short wall 12” in from the Sliding glass window. No one bothered to tell me. A very expensive little alteration!

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3662 days

#5 posted 01-18-2010 09:59 PM

Frustration to me was one of my bedroom set the two end tables the tops both rolled up during the 1st winter, I have wood heat and sometimes it gets real hot, I had not turned my boards so the grain was all he same way that was because that was all I had left over I had to use the good side up, so in the spring I just got more lumber and made two more tops…that is the way to deal with frustration.

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3614 days

#6 posted 01-18-2010 10:02 PM

every day is a frustration to me. then I think about quitting… then I think about all the tools I’ll have to sell, and how long it’ll take to sell them – and that leads to more frustration… I end up sticking with wwing cause I’m lazy and dont want to deal with selling everything…

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Cher's profile


954 posts in 3059 days

#7 posted 01-18-2010 10:37 PM

now thats what I call determination…..patients and humour

-- When you know better you do better.

View jussdandy's profile


157 posts in 3172 days

#8 posted 01-19-2010 02:24 AM

about 3 years ago I built a poarch onto our new house, well the little woman wanted about a 10×10 porch, I built a 16 x 20, then ya know what hit the fan, I was so mad I was about to start tearing it off then the idea came to me , 5 gallons of gas will cure this prblem real fast, ive never told her all this and now she loves it, tell me shes glad I built it bigger as 10×10 would be to small, lol, I glad she dosn’t know what I was thinking. but my present frustration is just the current eccomy, right now I want a lathe, have never used or owned on but I got the bug bad lol just what I need something else to get frustrated trying to learn how to use.

-- Randy I have the right to remain silent, just not the ability ; )

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1567 posts in 3530 days

#9 posted 01-19-2010 02:56 AM

Ah yes the slightly less than perfect, project. I made a television/entertainment cabinet for my wife’s folks one Christmas, well I finished it, delivered it 2.5 hrs away and then had bring it back home to lower the TV shelf a couple inches…missed it by that much.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Chriskmb5150's profile


253 posts in 3041 days

#10 posted 01-19-2010 04:43 AM

Frustration – Trying to find a home depot within 200 miles that still has a Ridgid R4511 in stock.
Finally convinced my wife that we need one on friday evening, went to my local HD to pick one up but they were out of stock. Quick check revealed the HD across town had 3 in stock.
It was almost closing time so i figured id go the next morning. Get there the next morning roughly a half hour after they open to find them sold out. GRR lol.
Mustve been a stampede to the tool section as soon as they opened the doors. ;)
Guess the R4511 wasnt in the cards for me. Informed the wife that my birthday is in june and “we” owe me a better saw than that POS craftsman benchtop that im using or im going on strike from building her neat stuff. ;)

-- Woodworkers theory of relativity - the quality of your scrap is relative to your skill level

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18246 posts in 3641 days

#11 posted 01-19-2010 05:00 AM

I enjoy making a big mess, the frustration is cleaning or trying to keep the shop in some degree of working order :-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View PaulfromVictor's profile


228 posts in 3311 days

#12 posted 01-19-2010 05:15 AM

All you needed was a couple nails, glitter paint, and some seashells. Don’t you watch the Home and Garden channel ?

View Bovine's profile


114 posts in 3293 days

#13 posted 01-19-2010 06:35 AM

Who says that working alone doesn’t teach you patients? You think anyone would believe us when we say that it’s the tool’s fault?

-- Kansas City, KS "Nothing is as permanent as a temporary solution"

View Jeison's profile


968 posts in 3073 days

#14 posted 01-19-2010 06:46 AM

frustration is easy to fix. I just put everything aside, wait till the neighbor I don’t like comes home, pop open the garage door (lives right across the street) and go back to work hehe :D

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

View Bobby's profile


108 posts in 3017 days

#15 posted 01-21-2010 11:00 PM

Frustration??? Yep… been there, done that. Most recently last November. After years of thinking about it I finally got up the nerve to make new steps going down to the basement. Bought all the oak I would need, brought it home and milled it all down. Glued them all up, stained them and applied the Varethaine. The wife came down and went nuts – she thought they looked beautiful. The day arrived to rip out the old stuff. Worked all day on it and was dead tired once I finished. But… I just HAD to see what one of the new ones would look like. SOOO… took a measurment to see how wide it had to be. Went to the shop and ripped it on the table saw. Brought it back and discovered that I forgot to add the inch nosing. An inch too short. Curse and swear a bit and come to grips with the fact that I’d have to make another step. Next… took a measurment from side to side… I just HAD to see what it would look like. Cut it and brought it back. Dunno what happened between the saw and the steps… but was about 6 inches short. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Another step that had to be remade. I finally gave into the fact that I was dead tired and had no business being around saws. It took about 3 days to make, sand and stain the 2 new steps. I’m laughing now but it wasn’t very funny at the time.


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