Easy projects that look hard

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Forum topic by ChuckC posted 11-04-2011 06:33 PM 1424 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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821 posts in 2356 days

11-04-2011 06:33 PM

We’ve probably all been there. We bang something out in a couple of hours and everyone thinks we are woodworking geniuses. For one reason or another I got on a band saw box kick a while back. It seemed that every chuck of scrap I had turned into another box or a test box. When I showed them to people they always seemed amazed. I think a lot of it has to do with the perception that woodworking projects usually have square sides and very little contour, which is why anything turned on a lathe seems hard too.

There’s a store in NYC near Times Square that sells a lot of BS boxes of various shapes. I overheard a few people comment on how hard they must be to make.

So, what have you made that got similar, unexpected, responses?

6 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16229 posts in 3639 days

#1 posted 11-04-2011 06:40 PM

Now you’re going to make me go looking for that store in NYC. We go there a lot because our daughter lives in Manhattan, but I don’t recall running across the place.

I have found that if I glue 2 or 3 different wood species together and turn something from the resulting block, folks are just amazed by that. In fact, I’m pretty sure that if I put one of those (which take less than an hour not counting glue-drying time) next to a box that I might have 20 hours invested in, most people would choose the turning as the more impressive project.

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

View CharlesNeil's profile


1602 posts in 3291 days

#2 posted 11-04-2011 07:39 PM

good thread, and the flip side, is the real pain, what looks to be a simple quick project, beats you up one side and down the other, ..

View SnowyRiver's profile


51452 posts in 2901 days

#3 posted 11-04-2011 07:47 PM

I hear you. Although I think sometimes woodworkers under estimate the skill it takes to do a job right that seems like a simple project. I know many people that couldnt build a square box to save their life. And like Charles said, it works the other way too….I have been there…thinking I can do a piece in a few days, and weeks later I am still fighting it.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2495 days

#4 posted 11-04-2011 08:00 PM

I think that, in general, inlays provide a high “impress the public to amount of effort” ratio. Basic inlays are pretty easy to do and people always seem to be quite impressed by them.

As an example, I reference you to a project I just completed a couple of months ago.

Once you have your jig made (which is not hard) doing these cross inlays is pretty easy, but people are quite impressed by them.

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

View ChuckC's profile


821 posts in 2356 days

#5 posted 11-04-2011 08:11 PM

The store I mentioned in the city:

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8098 posts in 2849 days

#6 posted 11-05-2011 04:37 PM

You just captured life in my shop!

-- 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

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