Have you ever wanted to say "Oh the hell with this" because everything you build is crap?

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Forum topic by Milo posted 08-10-2014 01:18 AM 1463 views 1 time favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Milo's profile


869 posts in 3342 days

08-10-2014 01:18 AM

I have, and I’m almost to that point.

I’ve never built anything that is square.

I’ve never built anything with clean lines.

I’ve never built anything that fit.

I can’t get my equipment aligned properly.

It’s just starting to get old and I’m really not sure I want to do this any more.


-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

15 replies so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3736 days

#1 posted 08-10-2014 02:06 AM

Once I decided that my work didn’t have to be perfect and I started building stuff to please me the hobby became fun again. My hobby is meant for my relaxation not to add to my stress level so I have a new policy about only doing projects that I want to do and on my timeline.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2713 days

#2 posted 08-10-2014 02:25 AM

Taking the time to set your tools up to where they cut properly will pay HUGE dividends when you build anything.

This is particularly true of projects that have mitered corners or box joints as small errors are multiplied many times during the build process resulting in much frustration and hair pulling.

Wood filler IS NOT a substitute for proper tool set up. Inexpensive tools can be tweaked to a VERY high degree of accuracy.

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

View patron's profile


13606 posts in 3364 days

#3 posted 08-10-2014 02:32 AM

been on that corner 3 time thru the years

learned to separate ‘work’ from a ‘job’

only do something when it feels right
and walk away when it doesn’t
(we all have bad days)

the alternative is not an option

watching jerry springer for instance

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View OldWrangler's profile


731 posts in 1618 days

#4 posted 08-10-2014 04:31 AM

After 50 years of the same problems I learned that something handmade, no matter the flaws, will become a valued heirloom. Mistakes show that the piece was hand made and not cookie cut in a sweat shop in China.

My family doesn’t want or expect me to create something perfect, they just want something I put some effort and love into. And I do that as best I can.

-- I am going to go stand outside so if anyone asks about me, tell them I'M OUTSTANDING!

View BJODay's profile


526 posts in 1966 days

#5 posted 08-10-2014 03:50 PM

I once was fretting about the finish on the sides of a cabinet. My brother Pat, God bless him, said, “It’s not a handrail for in the courthouse!” No one will notice small flaws. Nobody looks as closely at your work as you do. Cut yourself some slack.

If someone points out a mistake, ask to review their projects. That’ll shut them up.


View waho6o9's profile


8207 posts in 2600 days

#6 posted 08-10-2014 04:04 PM

Sounds like a return to basics is in order.

123 blocks and setting machines up square is a great start.

Don’t go to the next step if the first step isn’t up to your liking.

Great thread and responses.

I just recalibrated my table saw with a 123 block and purchased
an edge trim plane and the glue lines are difficult to see.

Your work is great Milo hang in there, take a break relax and
have fun….

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2470 days

#7 posted 08-10-2014 04:23 PM

If you can make that rolling cart or the safe fit so nicely ,then you are alright.,I think you are too hard on yourself,calibrate your machines as often as you need to ,and find away to make your mistakes to look like a deliberate design

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1317 posts in 1958 days

#8 posted 08-10-2014 04:30 PM

I think we all watch videos of Chris Schwarz and Rob Cosman and folks like that and compare our stuff to theirs. We shouldn’t. They are in the top 1% of woodworkers and have thousands upon thousands of hours of experience. Most of us do not.

I’ve been at this for about 3 years and just yesterday was so hacked off at myself for messing up a glue up. Was it a mistake Roy Underhill would have made? No. Ok, well I’m not Roy Underhill. Maybe someday, but not now. I am sure that Ole’ Roy would be glad and happy to tell you all the things he has screwed up and learned from. We have to forgive ourselves and move on and keep learning.

I also agree with the others that making stuff that YOU want to make is very important to staying sane in the shop. The last 2 or 3 projects I did were about 100 hour commissions that were relatively complex. This past week, I made something I wanted and it took about 30 hours. I loved it. It takes the edge off and brings you back to why you started in the first place.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View nailbanger2's profile


1041 posts in 3167 days

#9 posted 08-10-2014 04:40 PM

Milo, I think you are right, you should quit! And just to make it easier on you, you can send that rolling tool cart to me, I will not charge you for the storage. And about the barn boards…..

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

View hairy's profile


2718 posts in 3555 days

#10 posted 08-10-2014 04:41 PM

Welcome to my world ! For me the answer is I do it for me, if anyone else likes it, that’s cool, but not necessary.

-- My reality check bounced...

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2214 days

#11 posted 08-10-2014 05:37 PM

milo i feel the same way on every project and thought it was just me.i’ve gotten to where i get so frustrated cause somethings not right and i now quit for a few days and go back to it.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View kdc68's profile


2657 posts in 2300 days

#12 posted 08-10-2014 05:45 PM

A lot of good advice here. My $0.02 is
Our machines don’t stay in calibration. Make it a part of a routine maintenance to calibrate as well as cleaning, lubricating, or changing knives.
Stop at the first sign of an issue, investigate and correct. Continuing to cut, route, or shape only to say it will be fine usually isn’t. Slight mistakes/errors add up and compound into bigger ones once the project is ready for assembly.
We are really the only ones who know what isn’t quite right or perfect with what we build. We are intimate with every detail as we build our projects. Most people will view the finished project as a whole. Nobody is going to get calipers and tell us we are out .005. And if by chance they do, well they can kiss our a**. Wood like ourselves isn’t perfect and has flaws and defects.
You do great work ! Give yourself a break, relax, and realize that it doesn’t have to be picture perfect and then you can get back to enjoying what you do

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3608 days

#13 posted 08-10-2014 07:14 PM

Is there a local college or night school with a woodworking woodturning club you could join.I set up a machine shop but did not have a clue I joined a retired engineers club they made me welcome and they met every friday I went along almost every friday for five years albeit many years ago I learned everything I needed to know plus some.It sounds like you need a little assitance but we all have turned out bum jobs. In fact I strive to turn out a decent bum job.As the college professor said when I finished in my report ssssstarted off very badly however he was throught the last five years unable to maintain this very low standard. LOL Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View poopiekat's profile


4356 posts in 3758 days

#14 posted 08-10-2014 09:51 PM

I’ve found that collecting vintage tools is far more gratifying than making stuff. Though I still make a lot of things, I don’t even find it to be much fun posting newly finished projects anymore. More fun to present the trophies of a rust safari, than to show the projects that I’ve made from using them.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Milo's profile


869 posts in 3342 days

#15 posted 08-11-2014 05:20 PM

Never write when tired.

Never write when frustrated.

Never write when you may have had one too many…. ;)

Thanks for all the great replies everybody!

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

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