|Forum topic by richgreer||posted 818 days ago||1316 views||1 time favorited||20 replies|
818 days ago
One of the many Vince Lombardi quotes is, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”
I’ve been thinking about this in the context of woodworking. Do I strive for perfection? On some projects, the answer is definitely “yes”. At the same time, I know I will never achieve perfection. In woodworking, we always have the start over option (if we have the material). Thinking about this quote sort of transitions into questions about what degree of imperfection we tolerate.
Some practical applications of this thought process – -
In my opinion, a perfect piece would never require wood filler. Yet, I will use some wood filler to hide a less-then-perfect fit. For me, I can accept using wood filler if it is inconspicuous and I will start over if the wood filler will be noticeable. Of course, my standard here varies with the importance of the piece.
In my opinion, a perfect piece would have very little glue squeeze out that was allowed to set on dry, unfinished wood. We can wipe away most (but not all) of the glue when it is still wet and we can (sometimes) sand away most, but not all, of the remaining glue after the glue has dried. Still, a residual of glue will remain that may (or may not) affect the stain or finish.
In my opinion, you should be able to glide your fingers over a joint and not feel where the joint line is, except in some situations you may be able to feel a change in grain direction.
In my opinion, in a perfect piece, the backside and underside will be finished as nicely as the more visible portions of the work. I almost always come up short on this. Where the top and front may get 5 coats of finish, the less noticeable portions may only get 3.
I think this one is more of my personal preference but, in my opinion, a perfect piece will contain no (or very little) hardware.
Do you find yourself striving for perfection and, to what degree, do you accept compromise?
-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.