Murphy's Law in the Workshop.

  • Advertise with us

« back to Coffee Lounge forum

Forum topic by Karson posted 04-11-2010 02:58 AM 2243 views 4 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Karson's profile


35149 posts in 4603 days

04-11-2010 02:58 AM

Topic tags/keywords: humor

Murphy’s Law in the Workshop

Some of these were picked up from a Florida Woodworkers Association Handbook that I ran across (no date but it has the Officers Photos for 1987.) Others were found on George Walker Designs web page.

1. The first place to look for a lost tool is the last place you would expect to find it.
2. There is no woodworking task so simple that it cannot be done wrong.
3. It is a simple task to make a project complicated, but a complicated task to make a project simple.
4. Once a project is fouled up, anything done to improve it only makes it worse.
5. The person with the least experience has the most opinions.
6. Assumption is the mother of all screw-ups!
7. When looking for a reason as to why things go wrong, never rule out sheer STUPIDITY!
8. The location of all tools cannot be known simultaneously. COROLLARY: If a lost tool is found something else will disappear.
9. It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.
10. If you take something apart and put it back together enough times, eventually you will have two of them.
11. Cleanliness in the workshop in next to impossible.
12. Only someone who understands something absolutely can explain it so no one else can understand it.
13. Off square parts will assemble for maximum ill effect.
14. Your workshop is never big enough.
15. The workshop of your dreams won’t be big enough.
16. Mobile bases aren’t mobile in seven inches of sawdust.
17. Plastic wood isn’t.
18. A Safety guard hasn’t been invented that can prevent stupid.
19. Sawdust coating the laundry basket usually precedes a storm.
20. Finding one of your good chisels in the kitchen junk drawer is another sign of an impending storm.
21. The ideal number of clamps is two more than you will ever own.
22. The ideal sized clamp is two inches longer than the one you are making do with.
23. It’s time to sweep the shop floor when:
a. You start losing tools bigger than a router.
b. The kids start digging tunnels and building forts.
c. You start bumping your head on the ceiling.
24. Amateur woodworkers don’t have clocks in their workshops; professionals don’t have enough time in theirs.
25. Hammering a bent nail into a board will not make it go away.
26. A tool tray at the back of your workbench was the original inspiration for the discovery of “Black holes” in the universe.
27. The original cost of a router is insignificant compared to what you will spend on router bits.
28. The amount of years spent woodworking is directly proportional to the amount of extra lights and outlets installed in the workshop.
29. Flying objects are never a good sign in the workshop.
30. Smoke is never a good sign in the workshop.
31. A popping sound when removing clamps is never a good sign in the workshop.
32. Re-attached fingers never work as well as original equipment.
33. Lumber always costs more than you planned.
34. You never have enough tools until you have at least three of everything.
35. “Natural material – no two are alike” means this wood is full of knots.
36. Your biggest goof will take place nearest the end of a project.
37. Experienced woodworkers still make mistakes; they are also more adept at hiding them.
38. All blueprints contain errors; it’s your job to find them the hard way.
39. There are six different ways to solve any woodworking problem, and at least thirty six ways to flub it up.
40. Calling it a day after really screwing something up will not make it better in the morning.
41. A dull drill bit will not magically become sharp by throwing it back in a cigar box.
42. If you never scrap anything, you probably don’t make anything either.
43. No one appreciates a door that closes smoothly, but even a moron will crab about one that sticks.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

13 replies so far

View Lenny's profile


1616 posts in 3730 days

#1 posted 04-11-2010 03:08 AM

These are great Karson! Why is it I seem to relate most to number 40? And, does it make me an optimist or a dummy to think that just maybe it WILL get better in the morning? Thanks for posting.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View patron's profile


13640 posts in 3544 days

#2 posted 04-11-2010 03:08 AM

right on , karson .

as you know ,
way to much truth here !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View lew's profile


12434 posts in 3958 days

#3 posted 04-11-2010 03:52 AM

#19 sounds like our house!!

Good ones, Karson!


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

View woodspyder's profile


80 posts in 3833 days

#4 posted 04-11-2010 04:22 AM

Thanks for posting this Karson.
Lenny, no it never goes away in the morning, however for me walking away after screwing something up keeps me from making it even worse.

-- Measure three times, cut twice.

View jack1's profile


2117 posts in 4230 days

#5 posted 04-11-2010 04:24 AM

good sayings

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3683 days

#6 posted 04-11-2010 04:47 AM

How true they are.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View sawblade1's profile


754 posts in 3230 days

#7 posted 04-11-2010 06:40 AM

absolutely hilarious but so true
thanks for posting

-- Proverbs Ch:3 vs 5,6,7 Trust in the lord with all thine heart and lean not unto your own understanding but in all your ways aknowledge him and he shall direct your path

View ocwoodworker's profile


209 posts in 3207 days

#8 posted 04-11-2010 06:46 AM

I thought I was the only one who thought this way!

-- I'd like to believe Murphy's Law haunts my woodshop, because if it's Karma it would mean I had something to do with it. - K.R.

View nmkidd's profile


758 posts in 3376 days

#9 posted 04-11-2010 07:51 AM

Murphy permanently lives in my shop!!!........(except the days I don’t go in the shop)

-- Doug, New Mexico.......the only stupid question is one that is never asked!........don't fix it, if it ain't broke!

View sharad's profile


1117 posts in 4007 days

#10 posted 04-11-2010 08:07 AM

Karson, this is a very good collection of laws. I would add three more similar ones.

1. When you try to prove to someone that a machine won’t work, it will !

2. Any tool, when dropped will roll to the least accessible corner.

3. After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch.

These are quotes from “some Laws Newton forgot”. The above three apply to the workshop.


-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View clazman's profile


11 posts in 3212 days

#11 posted 04-11-2010 08:34 AM

very very good! It’s nice? to be able to relate to many of these axioms.

Murphy was an optimist

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3267 days

#12 posted 04-11-2010 12:53 PM

Karson you hit the nail on the head. ( of course it’s not bent) LOL..

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11067 posts in 3631 days

#13 posted 04-11-2010 04:41 PM

Those are great. It’s amazing how we all can relate to every one of them.
The “Brotherhood of the Grain”, maybe?

-- 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

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics