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35,383 Posts
Murphy's Law in the Workshop

Some of these were picked up from a Florida Woodworkers Association Handbook that I ran across (no date but it has the Officers Photos for 1987.) Others were found on George Walker Designs web page.

1. The first place to look for a lost tool is the last place you would expect to find it.
2. There is no woodworking task so simple that it cannot be done wrong.
3. It is a simple task to make a project complicated, but a complicated task to make a project simple.
4. Once a project is fouled up, anything done to improve it only makes it worse.
5. The person with the least experience has the most opinions.
6. Assumption is the mother of all screw-ups!
7. When looking for a reason as to why things go wrong, never rule out sheer STUPIDITY!
8. The location of all tools cannot be known simultaneously. COROLLARY: If a lost tool is found something else will disappear.
9. It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.
10. If you take something apart and put it back together enough times, eventually you will have two of them.
11. Cleanliness in the workshop in next to impossible.
12. Only someone who understands something absolutely can explain it so no one else can understand it.
13. Off square parts will assemble for maximum ill effect.
14. Your workshop is never big enough.
15. The workshop of your dreams won't be big enough.
16. Mobile bases aren't mobile in seven inches of sawdust.
17. Plastic wood isn't.
18. A Safety guard hasn't been invented that can prevent stupid.
19. Sawdust coating the laundry basket usually precedes a storm.
20. Finding one of your good chisels in the kitchen junk drawer is another sign of an impending storm.
21. The ideal number of clamps is two more than you will ever own.
22. The ideal sized clamp is two inches longer than the one you are making do with.
23. It's time to sweep the shop floor when:
a. You start losing tools bigger than a router.
b. The kids start digging tunnels and building forts.
c. You start bumping your head on the ceiling.
24. Amateur woodworkers don't have clocks in their workshops; professionals don't have enough time in theirs.
25. Hammering a bent nail into a board will not make it go away.
26. A tool tray at the back of your workbench was the original inspiration for the discovery of "Black holes" in the universe.
27. The original cost of a router is insignificant compared to what you will spend on router bits.
28. The amount of years spent woodworking is directly proportional to the amount of extra lights and outlets installed in the workshop.
29. Flying objects are never a good sign in the workshop.
30. Smoke is never a good sign in the workshop.
31. A popping sound when removing clamps is never a good sign in the workshop.
32. Re-attached fingers never work as well as original equipment.
33. Lumber always costs more than you planned.
34. You never have enough tools until you have at least three of everything.
35. "Natural material - no two are alike" means this wood is full of knots.
36. Your biggest goof will take place nearest the end of a project.
37. Experienced woodworkers still make mistakes; they are also more adept at hiding them.
38. All blueprints contain errors; it's your job to find them the hard way.
39. There are six different ways to solve any woodworking problem, and at least thirty six ways to flub it up.
40. Calling it a day after really screwing something up will not make it better in the morning.
41. A dull drill bit will not magically become sharp by throwing it back in a cigar box.
42. If you never scrap anything, you probably don't make anything either.
43. No one appreciates a door that closes smoothly, but even a moron will crab about one that sticks.

1,784 Posts
These are great Karson! Why is it I seem to relate most to number 40? And, does it make me an optimist or a dummy to think that just maybe it WILL get better in the morning? Thanks for posting.

1,122 Posts
Karson, this is a very good collection of laws. I would add three more similar ones.

1. When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will !

2. Any tool, when dropped will roll to the least accessible corner.

3. After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch.

These are quotes from "some Laws Newton forgot". The above three apply to the workshop.


12,820 Posts
Those are great. It's amazing how we all can relate to every one of them.
The "Brotherhood of the Grain", maybe?
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