Will I ever stop making dumb mistakes?

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Forum topic by richgreer posted 08-26-2011 04:13 PM 4289 views 1 time favorited 116 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4541 posts in 3308 days

08-26-2011 04:13 PM

Here’s my latest dumb mistake – -

I had a 4’ board that I had to cut exactly in half. I had no wood to spare in this application. I measured to the halfway point and marked it with a marking knife. Then, I lined up the laser from my miter saw precisely with the mark. After the cut, one board was longer than the other by the width of the blade. Of course, the laser gives me the edge of the blade – not the center.

I felt so dumb after making such a stupid mistake.

I’ve been doing this kind of work for a long time and I still make dumb mistakes. Please tell me I am not the only one.

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

116 replies so far

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3100 days

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

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

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View ShaneA's profile


7063 posts in 2832 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


4032 posts in 3205 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.

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 3294 days

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

The person who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3542 days

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

I never make dumb mistakes…just smart mistakes.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4256 posts in 3398 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


2702 posts in 3117 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


760 posts in 3653 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


7836 posts in 3537 days

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

yea rich your the only one….lol… 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……...sorry you messed up…but each mistake hopefully helps us to not do the same one again…

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

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 3192 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


3261 posts in 2909 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


117416 posts in 3811 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.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View dbray45's profile


3320 posts in 3010 days

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

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


36 posts in 3008 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


3320 posts in 3010 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

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