What's really easy to most people but you struggle with?

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Forum topic by lumberjoe posted 10-25-2012 07:57 PM 2072 views 1 time favorited 100 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2899 posts in 2275 days

10-25-2012 07:57 PM

I struggle with a few things that most people find really easy. I’ve also heard people tell me they struggle with things that I find really easy. What are those few things that are obvious to most, but you just can’t master?

For me it is DOWELS. No matter what kind of jig I use, alignment pins, etc, I will screw up a dowel 95% of the time. I can use plugs, just don’t ask me to attach two pieces together with one


100 replies so far

View Sodabowski's profile


2374 posts in 2859 days

#1 posted 10-25-2012 08:41 PM

Do you draw the locations of the dowels and double check before drilling?

(I have a hard time finding out what I have a hard time with, which is quite freaky if you think about it ;)

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2313 days

#2 posted 10-25-2012 08:45 PM

I don’t know whether it’s because I never do it or that I can’t do it, but fancy joinery like dovetails and even dado’s to a point. I guess if I was able to sit down and do the tedious work I’d do okay, but it really bores me. I really don’t make anything that needs those joints but I would like to one day have enough time and inclination to try it.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View DS's profile


2926 posts in 2447 days

#3 posted 10-25-2012 09:01 PM

I can’t say I’ve ever messed up a dowel joint. I find it’s easy with a self-centering jig and a sharp pencil—or sometimes a good set of dowel points. Sorry Joe.

Purfiling messes me up every time. I don’t know why I hate it so much. My freakin’ dog-leg chisel just won’t go there nicely. My double-bladed knife jig for scoring the sides doesn’t seem to want to do what it is supposed to. The purfiling strips seem to break at the worst possible moment and I have to start over. When it’s done, I am rarely, if ever, happy with the results. WTH???

Of course, I haven’t heard from anyone else who thinks purfiling the edges of a stringed musical instrument is easy, so maybe I’m a bit off topic.

Just sayin’

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 2200 days

#4 posted 10-25-2012 09:04 PM

It may seems cliche to say this but for me ,the thing that I’m struggling with but most people find it really easy is making band saw boxes. Perhaps, my hands just wanna keep busy doing other easy wood crafts. ( Just so hard to admit that I’m not good with bandsaw box stuff ). I’d love to make one someday. Every time I see posts here in LJ of band saw boxes, whether it is simple or not, I do appreciate all of it.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Sodabowski's profile


2374 posts in 2859 days

#5 posted 10-25-2012 09:07 PM

@ DS251 (wow what a neat name, are you a robot from Star Wars or something?)
Did you come across Isaac Willis’ videos on Youtube? he goes by the nickname “wcswood”, you can check out “binding the body”. Also, professional Southern Africa luthier Brian Lisus has several videos on the tube (nickname “blviolin”) describing how he does it. Mighty impressive, he’s a true traditional master.

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2275 days

#6 posted 10-25-2012 09:28 PM

I have good luck with mortise and tenon and sliding dovetail jonery. I wouldn’t say it’s easy, but I rarely mess those up. I haven’t found much I actually need dowels for, so I avoid them like the plague. I have a really nice doweling jig as well, it still doesn’t matter


View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3185 days

#7 posted 10-25-2012 09:31 PM

Don’t know if I’m necessarily bad at it, but i struggle with glue ups. This is partly the hot Texas weather and partly because I have to do them on my table saw right now, but I always feel partly panicked and partly worried. Trying to get things on square without makin a mess within the alloted time…it’s just something I don’t look forward to in most projects. Nothing has fallen apart on me yet, but every now and then I’ve left some uneven boards because I’ve rushed it.

As far as what I do good, probably being able to build things without a plan.

-- jay,

View DS's profile


2926 posts in 2447 days

#8 posted 10-25-2012 09:33 PM

Yeh, that Brian Lisus does it really nice. He almost makes it look easy.
His dogleg chisel is a lot sturdier than mine. Maybe that might make a difference. Mine is a petite lil’ thing.
Oh yeh, then there’s the whole super-patience thing. It takes a long time.

I still hate doing it… <sigh>

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2217 days

#9 posted 10-25-2012 10:06 PM

EVERYTHING when it comes to wood working.but my most trouble i have is straight cuts and miters.for some reason it don’t seem like i can make a good loml says it’s just me,but i dunno…..

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2658 posts in 2948 days

#10 posted 10-25-2012 11:24 PM

the part that puzzles me is finishing.

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

View Gary's profile


9333 posts in 3459 days

#11 posted 10-25-2012 11:39 PM

Butt hinges….arrrrrrgggh

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View oldnovice's profile


6900 posts in 3394 days

#12 posted 10-25-2012 11:48 PM

A number of years ago I was asked to make some puzzles for the HR department of the company I where I was employed. The puzzles were going to be used by HR to get insight into new employees problem solving skills. Not all of these puzzles were made of wood and most of them were not originals as they were be my version of existing designs.

People could be grouped by which puzzles they solved.
Everyone could solve at least one and some could solve all.

People are all different and I am willing to there are things you can do easily that others struglle with!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Don W's profile

Don W

18754 posts in 2594 days

#13 posted 10-25-2012 11:52 PM

Keeping my shop clean

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3128 days

#14 posted 10-26-2012 12:05 AM

Following someone else’s plans.

I can wing-it and the results usually satisfy me.
I can follow someone’s plans and screw up the whole thing.

Both outcomes can leave me scratching my head….......................

-- mike...............

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2716 days

#15 posted 10-26-2012 01:56 AM

Visualizing compound angle cuts. I will cut them wrong every time! I have to cut a piece of scrap and then use it as a guide. Drawing is my other short suit (but I’m getting better).

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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