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Forum topic by bondogaposis posted 12-05-2017 06:32 PM 1059 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5791 posts in 3129 days

12-05-2017 06:32 PM

Topic tags/keywords: humor

Not even the title of this thread. We all have less than perfect sessions in the shop. In my shop screw ups are an abundant resource. Have you ever cut dovetails on opposite sides of the same board as if you were trying to make a Mobius box. I’ve done that. Now we don’t generally celebrate our screw ups, but after a while we can look back and see the humor in our fallibility. This thread is to celebrate our humanity and show off what not to do and also to show off what the fix was. Naturally some mistakes just have to be tossed, but many will have a work around. I can’t be the only one. I’ll start it off by showcasing a classic. Here I was making bread board ends for my Dutch tool chest when I drilled the holes on the wrong side of the joint! What was I thinking! Obviously I wasn’t thinking at all. So now I have some “decorative elements” on the lid of my tool chest a double row of dowel filled holes that should have been only one row. I see it every time I open the chest and get a chuckle at my inattentiveness, I was very vexed by this mistake for a long time, but now after a few years It doesn’t bother me and I see the humor in it.

-- Bondo Gaposis

15 replies so far

View Mike54Ohio's profile


181 posts in 1257 days

#1 posted 12-05-2017 06:46 PM

Nice thread idea Bondo
-the fixes for the mistakes we make are sometimes amazing – and frustrating at the time of the error.

Be interesting to follow the thread as it grows

-- It's only a dumb question if you ignore the correct answer

View LittleShaver's profile


677 posts in 1398 days

#2 posted 12-05-2017 06:50 PM

I recently built a box to hold my set of chisels. Turned out great and works like a champ. This past weekend I discovered a chisel from the set that I didn’t make a space for. I found the 7/8 chisel for my set of 1/4 – 2” Narex chisels.
Stuff happens.

-- Sawdust Maker

View ralbuck's profile


6547 posts in 3045 days

#3 posted 12-05-2017 07:25 PM

And then—sometimes the projects turn out better because the screw-up made us re-think the design!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View shipwright's profile


8562 posts in 3576 days

#4 posted 12-05-2017 08:17 PM

Great thread! I see a lot of entries here before long.
Here’s my best (of very very many):

Years ago I found plans, in the form of a table of offsets, to make a wind driven propeller. Turns out they are completely different than wind driving (airplane) propellers. Since working shapes from tables of offsets is what boat builders do and as I wanted to make a wind generator anyway, I decided one Sunday morning to give it a go.

After selecting a perfect 10’ piece of Yellow Cedar 2X6 ( full dimension) from my planking stock I carefully laid out all the points and by noon had one end completed ….. and damn nearly perfect … sanded and everything. You can guess the rest I’m sure. I went back after lunch and a couple of hours in, with the second half roughed out and the fine work started, I realized that I had both leading edges on the same side of the board!

This beautiful piece of YC sat on my burn pile for a long time to remind me to think first a little more often. I actually removed it, had a burn, and replaced it a few times just to keep the memory fresh.

...... but that was years ago. I never make mistakes now ….. :-)

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Dustin's profile


707 posts in 1519 days

#5 posted 12-05-2017 08:31 PM

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been cutting a miter on two sides of a board, and didn’t realize I flipped the board the wrong way.

I’ve realized if I’m in a bad mood or anxious, DO NOT go out in the shop. That’s when I start rushing, and rushing causes mistakes, or worse, accidents.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View corelz125's profile


1345 posts in 1754 days

#6 posted 12-06-2017 12:21 AM

Making mistakes makes you better because now you have to figure out how you’re going to fix the mistake. Like Dustin said most of my mistakes happen when I’m in a rush .Some days it feels like the wood gods are smiling with you some days it feels like they’re pointing and laughing at you.

View Knockonit's profile


675 posts in 980 days

#7 posted 12-06-2017 12:25 AM

LOL, oh how true this is, I make up plans, put together cuts lists, and somewhere along the way, i go off the path, some hair brained idea, that i didn’t think of when i made the plans and then after making the change on the fly, discover, well yes i did consider this and opted to use the list of original intent, and as noted, it sometimes makes you make changes, that could impact original intent, and noted that is sometimes turns out much better.

I’m in the const. biz, i have to figure out how to fix everyone’s mistake, including my own.


-- Living the dream

View Sark's profile


281 posts in 1139 days

#8 posted 12-06-2017 01:22 AM

My latest flub was cutting and assembling a set of 4 drawers that were exactly an inch too narrow. Now if they had only been off by a 1/4” or maybe 1/2” I would have firred out the glides and accepted a smaller drawer. But a whole inch was just too much waste so I rebuilt them. Proving that the old saying holds true “If you’re off by an inch you’re off by a mile.”

I don’t like feeling like an idiot, but sometimes there’s so much evidence pointing in that direction.

View Firewood's profile


1224 posts in 2412 days

#9 posted 12-06-2017 03:58 AM

Fortunately, I am usually my only witness when working in the shop. Unfortunately, it’s a basement shop where the LOML can hear me express the greatness of my errors. More than once she has come down hoping not to find a piece of me laying on a slab of cast iron. So I’m learning to admire my mistakes with a little less enthusiasm.

My last set of mistakes (yes, there were more than one; no, they were not the same) was while building the ladder for the recently completed bunk beds. One piece, I forgot to reset the miter guage while cutting the dado for the steps. And then one of the slipped while routing the inside hand hold and tore it up too badly to fix. Good lessons learned in both cases. I essentially used enough walnut to make two complete ladders.

If it wasn’t for mistakes, I’d have to go out and buy firewood.

-- Mike - Waukesha, WI

View cowboyup3371's profile


170 posts in 976 days

#10 posted 12-06-2017 04:19 AM

I don’t know how well it fits in with this but I will admit to cutting out one of the two mortises with a hand chisel yesterday to fit a box hinge that is just a smidgen too deep. A nice looking box of birdseye maple will now sit on the shelf until I can figure out what to do with it while I make up another box.

-- Cowboy Up or Quit - If you are going to quit than get out of my way

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


6069 posts in 3187 days

#11 posted 12-06-2017 04:29 AM

Measured 6 feet for a board, cut 60 inches instead. Twice. To remind me to slow down I used that board to make a Silver Dumbass Award. Had it two weeks before my Dad saw it and took it to his shop. He told me I do not rate such prestigious awards.

Here is the Golden one I made years later for a friend at work.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View unclearthur's profile


356 posts in 2566 days

#12 posted 12-06-2017 05:24 AM

Early project. Found out that 1×4’s aren’t 4” wide.

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 1426 days

#13 posted 12-06-2017 12:33 PM

And then—sometimes the projects turn out better because the screw-up made us re-think the design!

- ralbuck

I have been re-thinking  the design of my current Prie Dieu build from the very beginning. Whether it be a mistake  on my part, or the wood had a mind of its own and didn’t want to look the way I had planned. Luckily, I started off with just a concept, and not a concrete set of plans. Perhaps when the project is complete, I won’t even know mistakes  had been made!

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12186 posts in 4207 days

#14 posted 12-06-2017 12:48 PM

There’s no such thing as a mistake in woodworking. Just design opportunities or, as in Paul’s example, fire wood.
Hey, there’s always a weenie that needs roasting.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View SuperCubber's profile


1113 posts in 3063 days

#15 posted 12-06-2017 02:05 PM

This thread is hilarious, humbling and educational, all-in-one.

Sark reminded me of a recent mistake I made. A friend/neighbor had a cheap, particle board kitchen drawer that fell apart. He asked if I could make him a new one. I had the perfect scrap pieces on hand and told him I could bang it out in a couple hours.

About a half hour after he picked it up, he called me to tell me the drawer was an inch too big. I accidentally built the inside of the drawer to the outside dimensions. Oops! He brought it back, I cut an inch out of the middle, reglued the front and back with splines and glued in a new bottom.

Better to be too big than too small, I suppose.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

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