The official DOH!!!!!!! I screwed up thread

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Forum topic by natenaaron posted 315 days ago 1619 views 0 times favorited 51 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View natenaaron's profile


369 posts in 430 days

315 days ago

In another thread I jokingly said I could participate in a thread about screwing things up. I got to thinking about it while surfing the projects section. I can’t be the only one that messes up.

There are lots and lots of threads about successful builds and restorations. Seems wrong to not have an area where we air out the dirty little secrets and prove we are all human. We make mistakes, and can poke fun at our selves. I will go first. I have had many screw ups over the past 6 months as I got back into things. I did not take any pictures so there is no proof. This is my most recent screw up.

I have been slowly working on a table. I have a fine set of book matched walnut slabs with beautiful crotches. (get your mind out of the gutter.) I watched some Youtube videos about how to flatten slabs, saw a couple explanations here, and watched a Fine Woodworking video. Plus a I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. I truely considered myself an expert. I made the sled, I jointed and planned the rails. I bought the right router bit. I dusted off the router and went to work. As you can see I was doing alright.

Little bites, worked my way down the slab and WHAM!!!! the bit dug in, then caught the wood and flipped the router out of my hand and the sled. I was letting the weight of the router to the work so had a light hand on it. Scared the hell out of me but no injuries were involved. In this picture you can see the first dig in half the way up the slab. The curvy routed area was me seeing how much deeper the dig in was compared to my final height. Thank goodness it was not too bad. Stupid here did not think to figure out why, or how it dug in though.

When the adrenalin wore off I went back to work. It happened again right in the crotch. Of the slab. Jeeze people. Dug in a little over 1/2 inch as you can see. I cleaned it up before I thought to post a picture.

It is not a total loss, and there was no blood, but my pride took a major hit. I blame yooutube and the false sense of expertise it instilled in me

As for what was happening, Apparently the height adjustment clamp on my black and decker model POS router does not work as well as I expected it to. As the router was being used the vibration must have been allowing the bit to lower a tiny bit until it just grabbed and dug in. That is all I can figure is happening. I won’t be using it any more on this project. I just hope I did not lose all of the killer crotch grain.

So how about it, any other humans here besides me? Lets see your screw ups.

51 replies so far

View gfadvm's profile


10737 posts in 1323 days

#1 posted 315 days ago

Nope, you are the only LJ who makes mistakes! The rest of us are perfect.

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

14886 posts in 1201 days

#2 posted 315 days ago

I’m with gfadvm

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View theoldfart's profile


4049 posts in 1084 days

#3 posted 315 days ago

Uh HUH, can’t happen here. (sure!) Lyin’ to myself, glad you weren’t hurt but more importantly the woods OK.

-- "Aged flatus, I heard that some one has already blown out your mortise." THE Surgeon ……………………………………. Kevin

View Bogeyguy's profile


465 posts in 701 days

#4 posted 315 days ago

I think you meant to say “The Official DUH? LOL!

-- Art, Pittsburgh.

View Steve Peterson's profile

Steve Peterson

244 posts in 1716 days

#5 posted 315 days ago

Ouch that hurts. Luckily you are OK, although I feel sorry for the wood. :)

I don’t know how gfadvm and Don W do it. I am in your camp natenaaron.

I had good luck the one time I used a router sled. I was taking about 1/8” off a 24” by 72” alder slab. It looks like you are taking some really big bites out of the walnut. Can you finish by taking multiple passes?

-- Steve

View natenaaron's profile


369 posts in 430 days

#6 posted 315 days ago

I was taking small bites and working my way down a section at a time. Those deep sections were where the router dug in and went deep. I was taking maybe a 1/8 inch swipe. All things good then boom it goes deep. I knew I should have stuck with the hand plane.

View MrRon's profile


2797 posts in 1877 days

#7 posted 315 days ago

That router may be a POS. I have a B&D router that is over 35 years old. It’s all metal and works just as well as when it was new.

Screw-ups are an integral part of woodworking. When you are working with materials that have variables, not every rule will guarantee success.

View HorizontalMike's profile


6926 posts in 1547 days

#8 posted 315 days ago

Geez Nate!

Do YOU realize that if I point out MY ”Truckin’ on Down The Road” UPs, then all of MY ”Frenemies” won’t have anything left to jack me around with! What you fail to realize is just HOW DEVASTATED all those LJs would be?! This would shake up the World Order, and…, and,..., and…


-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View rjpat's profile


25 posts in 611 days

#9 posted 315 days ago

But….. as I recently read, it’s not a mistake if you can fix it.

View bondogaposis's profile


2491 posts in 984 days

#10 posted 315 days ago

I thought I made a mistake once, but I was mistaken.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View PaulDoug's profile


536 posts in 337 days

#11 posted 314 days ago

Well, I can’t list all my screw-ups, the internet isn’t big enough to handle it! But my most recent: I spent a week carving and sanding a little cover to put into the sound hole of a CB Ukulele I’m making. Got it all carved and sanded and them went over to the router to put a rabbet around the edge so it would fit down into the hole. Well guess what…..

I did it on the wrong side! The second one turned out better anyway

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View BJODay's profile


362 posts in 576 days

#12 posted 314 days ago

Like these nice mortises? They are not needed. The front of these two tables has no cross-rail, therefore no mortises. But now it does have mortises.


View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13825 posts in 971 days

#13 posted 314 days ago

I plead the 5th. Not that I have anything to hide. far as you know

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View Picken5's profile


119 posts in 1325 days

#14 posted 314 days ago

Huh? All this time I thought that mistakes were actually design opportunities.

-- Howard - "Time spent making sawdust is not deducted from one's lifetime." - old Scottish proverb

View realcowtown_eric's profile


296 posts in 570 days

#15 posted 314 days ago

I like to turn my mistakes into design freatures. unfortunately it is hard to do that with finishes!

My uncle used to say that if you never make mistakes, you aint doing enuf.

There’s gotta be some other positive rationalizations out there. Lets hear them….

One of my favourite rationalizations for slow progress on work is that “God invented time to make sure that everything didn’t happen at once”

Eric in Cowtown

-- Real_cowtown_eric

showing 1 through 15 of 51 replies

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