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Is any project really "perfect"?

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Forum topic by Cory posted 1222 days ago 1730 views 1 time favorited 58 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Cory

720 posts in 1924 days


1222 days ago

After completing a few projects lately and complaining about their imperfections, my wife said “you do know that you’re the only who sees this stuff, right? Everyone else can’t believe you actually made it!” I’m not sure if that was a compliment or an insult, but her heart was in the right place and she is right: We are our own worst critics.
I guess those imperfections are what makes a handmade item different than a CNC’d or factory made item. I just wish that my creations were a little less imperfect :-) Even after critiquing my “best” work, I find things that I should have done differently or could have done better.

That got me thinking: Is any project ever really perfect?

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.


58 replies so far

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lew

9832 posts in 2260 days


#1 posted 1222 days ago

Even after critiquing my “best” work, I find things that I should have done differently or could have done better-

You are growing as a woodworker!

We all feel that way.

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

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DaddyZ

2332 posts in 1545 days


#2 posted 1222 days ago

Amen Brother !!!

Due to the complexities of Mother Nature, It is impossible to be perfect !!!

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

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souichiro

369 posts in 1851 days


#3 posted 1222 days ago

you know I have to agree with you Cory, we are our own worst critics. And I’m inclined to say that absolutely none of my projects would I ever call perfect…... but I have a very select few items that I have made, and not completely loved when in the garage. But then my kids have gotten ahold of them and played with them as if there were nothing better in the world. And weeks, or months later they can still sit on the floor and play with them for hours. And in my heart, I really do think they are perfect. The projects, and the kids :) Actually the projects because of the kids…..so maybe it’s just because of my bias :)

Anyway, maybe it’s just what others can get out of it that can make it all worth while. Trust your wife :)

-- Dale, Oregon

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8iowa

1489 posts in 2266 days


#4 posted 1222 days ago

Perfect projects are extremely elusive – for me anyway. I’m presently completing a sewing table for my daughter and I can think of a half dozen things I would have done differently, or how I could have improved on the design.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

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albachippie

532 posts in 1540 days


#5 posted 1222 days ago

If it were perfect, it wouldn’t be wood!!

I’ve been woodworking for nearly twenty years, and am yet to find a way to reach any kind of perfection. My wife has a similar attitude to your own Cory, with very similar words! We are our own worst critics, but that’s because we know where the mistakes are, and sorted. We tend to see the mistakes in all their disappointing glory, even though we have successfully overcome them.

Great topic Cory, I will watch with interest!

-- Garry fae Bonnie Scotland - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Garry-Macdonald-Woodwork/425518554215355?ref=hl

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Gregn

1642 posts in 1488 days


#6 posted 1222 days ago

The only projects that I find perfect are the ones others have made that are more talented than myself. Yet they are just as critical, as myself and others when it comes to our own work. When I look back at the enjoyment and pleasure I have in the shop making them. Its then do I realize the perfection of my work. I also feel less critical of my work when I see the pleasure and enjoyment that others get from the projects I have made. So welcome to the world of the woodworkers heart. You can’t get that kind of satisfaction at Wal-Mart. LOL

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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helluvawreck

14625 posts in 1372 days


#7 posted 1222 days ago

I don’t think that there are any projects that are perfect – as a matter of fact I know there are not. Human beings do not do anything perfectly and never will, nor is wood perfect. However, I also know that some human beings are capable of making some beautiful things that I sure do like to look at.

-- 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

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shipwright

4670 posts in 1303 days


#8 posted 1222 days ago

I agree with the others that there is no perfection. You (we) are being too hard on yourself (ourselves). I find that only after a project has been out of my shop and out of my constant concentration for a month, sometimes more, can I see it as others do and not just as an unending series of minor flaws. This goes for my best projects as much as it does for my “average” stuff.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

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ellen35

2547 posts in 1937 days


#9 posted 1222 days ago

All my projects are perfect – ROTFL !!!!!!
I know every imperfection in my work… and it makes me crazy!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

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Millo

543 posts in 1555 days


#10 posted 1222 days ago

what is perfection?...

“PErfect” is whatever reaches its goals in terms of form and function, I think. The other “perfect” you might be thinking about doesn’t exist in anything, any field.

However, if you don’t strive for perfection, in anything in life, your product might be rather crappy. I think we should all go for the ideal, calmly knowing that it might be unattainable. When you see the “imperfections” on your work w/o getting depressed about them I think is a sign of maturity in your discipline and good work ethics.

To me, wood is perfect, and nature is perfect. We just need to learn how to use it and/or live w/ it. It’s silly to have “molded-plastic-minded” expectations of what “perfect” should be.

Most molded plastic is far from perfect ;-)

I remember going to a winery hearing the tour guide saying how they “cleaned” certain residues that people considered “imperfections” in a specific white wine, but this market did NOT realize that the best specimens of that particular wine USUALLY HAD THAT RESIDUE, and it made it richer. That famous blond chick from Baywatch, the one that married that glam rocker from Motley Crue, looked DISGUSTING to me in her “perfection” attained in the operating room. So, what is perfect?...

What is hip? :-p

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Millo

543 posts in 1555 days


#11 posted 1222 days ago

oh, I’ve heard many times that quote that a “great craftsman is the one that knows how to hide/overcome mistakes”... w/ my little experience, this makes PERFECT sense to me.

I expect to make MANY MORE mistakes in my little (and so far not very fruitful) woodworking adventures…

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SnowyRiver

51451 posts in 1985 days


#12 posted 1222 days ago

I agree with everyone…I think there is seldom, if ever, a project that is perfect in your own personal mind. I sometimes keep studying something after completion and keep finding things I might have done differently or better, even though friends and relatives say I am obsessed with perfection that the projects look perfect to them. I will sometimes spend days after I complete something just tweaking and changing things that I can just to try to get to that perfect state. I think the longer you do woodworking the more you expect from yourself and the hunt for perfection becomes even more obsessive and illusive :-)

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

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Builder_Bob

160 posts in 1564 days


#13 posted 1222 days ago

The role of the amateur woodworker is to make custom furniture that has character, meaning, and value to the people who build and live with it. Stuff you won’t find on the showroom floor.

Don’t chase after the factory, it’s a losing proposition.

What would rather have in your wallet, the perfect pictures that came with it, or pictures of the people you love?

-- "The unexpected, when it happens, generally happens when you least expect it."

View JuniorJoiner's profile

JuniorJoiner

443 posts in 1945 days


#14 posted 1222 days ago

it’s called the craftsmans curse, and we all have it. one thing to remember is that as large as that flaw seems now, in a week it will be less, in a month less, and if someone asks, it never existed.

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

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Mogebier

170 posts in 1538 days


#15 posted 1222 days ago

I’m never completely happy with anything I make. I can see all the mistakes, but if nobody else can, I’m not going to tell them where they are :)

-- You can get more with a kind word and a 2 by 4, than you can with just a kind word.

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