Recovery from mistakes = change in plans

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Project by oldnovice posted 05-29-2013 06:36 AM 2387 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When my daughter and her husband moved into their house I noticed that the door bell cover had been painted so many times the name on the cover was totally illegible. Obviously I said, “I’ll just make you one out the some left over maple plywood”. Took some measurements and made a real nice door bell cover and off I went to install it. Unfortunately I didn’t measure the depth properly and it didn’t fit.

So this turned into one my many mistake recovery projects. I had the start of a nice box without a bottom and sound openings around the perimeter in the top. I just couldn’t through it away so I added a back, used walnut, birch, and mahogany strips to fill in the cutouts, sliced it (to separate to cover from the box), covered all of the raw plywood with birch veneer, and added two hinges. The mahogany filler was stepped to fit the cover and to serve as the lip between top and bottom. Finally applied lacquer to the new cover and the results are in the photos.

After seeing the results, my only regret is that I did not use some dye to make the figured grain on top pop. Live and learn!

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

13 comments so far

View Rob Drown's profile

Rob Drown

808 posts in 4256 days

#1 posted 05-29-2013 06:52 AM

Really nice save! The maple grain is amazing.

-- The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. Confucius, 经过艰苦的努力的梦想可以成真

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2430 days

#2 posted 05-29-2013 10:48 AM

Nice save. You can tell the kids that the box is a “House warming” gift :-)
”Yeah, yeah, I PLANNED it that way”

That’s the ticket! :-)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Don W's profile

Don W

19251 posts in 2990 days

#3 posted 05-29-2013 11:54 AM

everyone needs a box that matches their door bell cover! Nice save. My goal in life is to complete a project without some kind of “recovery cover up”.

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

View doubleDD's profile


8468 posts in 2466 days

#4 posted 05-29-2013 12:57 PM

Great recovery. It came out great. But where’s the doorbell cover?

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4267 posts in 3587 days

#5 posted 05-29-2013 02:53 PM

I too find some mistakes later showing up in later projects, usually via the cutoff cart. However, my recoveries aren’t as pretty as yours, as a rule…........(-:

This weekend was really slow moving for me. I just couldn’t get myself to be very creative. But in the process of making some cord control gizmos for my charging station, I revamped an overly complex design, reusing the already cut pieces in a different way, and saved the day. And I built a small sled for doing dadoes in the process. I will be making a project out of the charging station, and will do a blog on my recovery, and the small sled. My mistake was from linear thinking, instead of thinking out of the box…....but you seem to have recovered by thinking into the box…...whatever that means….....(-:.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View HorizontalMike's profile


7789 posts in 3337 days

#6 posted 05-29-2013 03:16 PM

That is still quite an attractive box Hans. Great “save” and a great job as always.

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

View Woodknack's profile


12845 posts in 2803 days

#7 posted 05-29-2013 05:24 PM

Looks great, nice save.

-- Rick M,

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 3037 days

#8 posted 05-29-2013 07:39 PM

great save , im still tring to save evey thing i build , :) just curious what kind of dye would you use on the top it look good ?

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View SuburbanDon's profile


487 posts in 3417 days

#9 posted 05-30-2013 01:24 AM

Looks good. Most of my projects are near-disasters.

-- --- Measure twice, mis-cut, start over, repeat ---

View oldnovice's profile


7488 posts in 3790 days

#10 posted 05-30-2013 04:47 AM

eddie, I was thinking of a red approaching orange but I would have tried it first on some scrap as I didn’t want to clash/overpower with the mahogany or walnut. My wife suggested green or teal but I wasn’t to keen on that idea.

It’s not often that you think you have a project completed only to find out it doesn’t fit but I just could not make myself toss this one. As soon as my daughter sends me a picture of the actual door bell box I will post it!

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

View Tooch's profile


2007 posts in 2299 days

#11 posted 05-30-2013 05:06 PM

nice save.. +1 to what Joe said, tell them you planned it that way!

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View Roger's profile


21006 posts in 3227 days

#12 posted 06-02-2013 12:39 PM

Lookin good. Nice save as well

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Chris Hamilton's profile

Chris Hamilton

22 posts in 1862 days

#13 posted 06-19-2014 04:57 PM

Great looking box! I truly think that most one-off builds are a series of “mistake recovery projects” and that’s what makes them so rewarding. It would be kind of boring to just have everything work out the first time. I’ts not giving up and enjoying the process that really matters. There are no wrong turns; only different paths to the finish line.

-- Chris

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