Don't do what I did

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Forum topic by a1Jim posted 01-31-2016 06:48 PM 2681 views 1 time favorited 49 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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118153 posts in 4549 days

01-31-2016 06:48 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip

Hi Gang
I was watching some home fix it on TV and noticed a number of things that they homeowners were doing completely wrong on there home remodel. It’s funny how things go,years gone by I use to watch TV shows to learn home repair and woodworking techniques and now after close to 30 years of woodworking and as a contractor I tend to watch to see what they could improve on,so I thought it might be helpful for those folks that are starting off in the woodworking world if we would share some of the things we learned not to do or not to forget to do when woodworking.

One of the early mistakes I made when I started was… I was just gathering my woodworking tools and saved up just enough to buy a lunch box planner.Oh boy this was going to make everything great ,being able to to plane wood to size.
I bought this delta planner at a garage sale that included some brand new blades ,so iIgot it home cleaned it up and thought new blades will have to cut much better,so out came the used blades and in with the new. Mistake #1 planners cut much better with the blades facing the right direction :) #2 planer blades need to be installed so the blades cut an equal amount of cut on both sizes #3 when replacing planner blades make sure you’re putting in the new blades in after adjusting your blades you put in backwords #4 Unless you want to keep clearing out the chips out of your planner and don’t want a pile of chips the size of one of the Egyptian pyramids,you need a dust collector .#5 if you’re dyslectic take pictures of things as you take them apart. :))
What’s your “don’t do what I didi story” ?


49 replies so far

View b2rtch's profile


4921 posts in 4020 days

#1 posted 01-31-2016 06:53 PM

Do not plug in power tool before making sure that the switch is on the OFF position

-- Bert

View Jerry's profile


3488 posts in 2620 days

#2 posted 01-31-2016 06:53 PM

Don’t go to shop class when you’re 15, realize you love woodworking, and then forget to do it for 47 years.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View MrUnix's profile


8359 posts in 3171 days

#3 posted 01-31-2016 07:01 PM

Well, machine wise, I’ve taken machines completely apart for restoration, then get 95% done with the reassembly, only to discover that one particular stupid little part needed to be installed in the beginning, and impossible to do towards the end. <ouch>


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Milled's profile


43 posts in 2595 days

#4 posted 01-31-2016 07:10 PM

Never buy tools because you think you’ll need them. Only purchase when there is a need.

-- If it's doable, I'll do it...if it's been done, I've done it...if it's impossible, I'll try it.

View a1Jim's profile


118153 posts in 4549 days

#5 posted 01-31-2016 07:16 PM

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 3665 days

#6 posted 01-31-2016 07:30 PM

Don’t shovel live outlets off the wall. Saw Bob Villa do that one.

-- See pictures on Flickr -[email protected]/ And visit my Facebook page -

View DocSavage45's profile


9028 posts in 3814 days

#7 posted 01-31-2016 07:43 PM

Norm quotes and old saying , ‘Measure twice, cut once.” Charles Neil says “Measure three times and sneak up on it!”

Mine is “Measure 3 times then measure three times more! Then look at it and see what mistakes I made in measuring. Then hope I don’t cut it too short?” LOL! Really!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5329 posts in 4932 days

#8 posted 01-31-2016 08:01 PM

Always use the same tape measure while building a project. DUH!

-- [email protected]

View Dale J Struhar Sr's profile

Dale J Struhar Sr

511 posts in 4102 days

#9 posted 01-31-2016 08:24 PM

Take your time and evaluate each step that up make. Also its good to take pictures during your process on multiple pieces. It helps me to make improvements on the next one.

-- Dale, Ohio

View bondogaposis's profile


5932 posts in 3323 days

#10 posted 01-31-2016 08:28 PM

Don’t cut your pieces to length until absolutely necessary. Then cut them to fit, not to measurement.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2979 days

#11 posted 01-31-2016 08:30 PM

Dont get 5 projects going and lay them aside to start a new one. Otherwise you get one of these …

Oh yeah, here another one of how NOT to do things…

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

View ColonelTravis's profile


1976 posts in 2866 days

#12 posted 01-31-2016 08:31 PM

Norm quotes and old saying , Measure twice, cut once.” Charles Neil says “Measure three times and sneak up on it!”

Mine is “Measure 3 times then measure three times more! Then look at it and see what mistakes I made in measuring. Then hope I don t cut it too short?” LOL! Really!

- DocSavage45

No kidding. Sometimes I wonder how I got past 3rd grade.

View Bobsboxes's profile


1467 posts in 3636 days

#13 posted 01-31-2016 08:39 PM

Years ago, l was ruff cutting some pine logs with a chain saw. I quit for the day and decided to put on a sharpened chain. It was dark in my little shop, only one bulb, and me being a rookie, I was happy to be done for the day. It really cooled off that night, and the next morning being very cold, my chain saw would not start. The saw shop was just down the road, so off I went. I knew the old fellow who owned the shop, and as I was coming in the door, he was coming in back door with a load of wood for the stove, so I sat my saw down by the stove and helped him haul in a lot of wood. In the mean time several of the older retired loggers, who came for coffee, had arrived. Well the shop owner set my saw up on his bench, and first told me the saw runs on gas, of witch of course the saw was empty. To make matters more embarrassing, I had installed the chain inside out, so it was on backwards. Those old loggers never let me live that one down. But great lesson as I never made the same mistake again.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View Karson's profile


35269 posts in 5372 days

#14 posted 01-31-2016 09:05 PM

I was sanding some 1/8” wood on my thickness sander and I noticed after a while the wood starting to fly out the infeed end it was then that I noticed that the sanding feed belt was nice and smooth. The thickness sander had sanded off all of the feed belt abrasive.

Moral don’t sand thin pieces of wood.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Boxguy's profile


2889 posts in 3239 days

#15 posted 01-31-2016 09:36 PM

If you can, try to do one thing well. I have made hundreds of boxes, but I couldn’t stand to make the same box a hundred times. I started building all sorts of things like: houses, barns, furniture, clothing displays, welded farm implements, firewood carriers, musical instruments, and just anything that came along that someone wanted. It was fun, but I spent more time figuring stuff out than I did making stuff to sell. Now, I like figuring stuff out, but actually making stuff is more profitable.

When I started making boxes, my shop time had more focus and became more fun as well. For the first five years all my profits went into tools that helped me make boxes more efficiently, but I knew what tools I needed to buy too. A better planer, a dual drum sander, seven routers, six random orbital sanders, two more used table saws, a spindle sander, a band saw, a sliding miter saw, a cyclone dust collector were all on my list. I sold some boxes and bought a tool, sold some boxes and bought a tool. That was the whole pattern for the first five years.

Then I spent a year or two making boxes and organizing my shop in work stations. I built a bench, glue-up station, sanding station, hinge installing station, hinge cutting station, hinge mortise station, and an area to cut long materials easily.

Now I can go the the shop and make any kind of box I can dream up. And that is the fun of it. Just making whatever box comes to mind that day.

I wanted to make something that would have a lot of value added worth. I wanted something that was made of wood, but didn’t use a lot of wood. I wanted something that would let me put even small scraps to good use. For me, boxes fit that bill.

After you have tried to do a number of things, don’t be afraid to narrow it down to one thing you can do well. Then work at doing that thing as well as you can. There is a lot of satisfaction in doing something well.

-- Big Al in IN

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