Wood Working Mistakes you hope and dream never happen!

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Forum topic by CaptainKlutz posted 06-13-2019 06:26 PM 1690 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1507 posts in 1916 days

06-13-2019 06:26 PM

Topic tags/keywords: humor tip


We have all these wonderful threads on different topics where community shares information on tools we wished or dreamed we owned, such as:
Hand planes Of Your Dreams
Tape Measures Of Your Dreams
Mitre Box of your Dreams
Vintage drills of your Dreams
Workamates of our Dreams
Screw Driver of your Dreams
Froe of your Dreams
Vises of Your Dreams
etc, etc, etc…...

Thought it was time to have thread where you can share that silly, or embarrassing wood working MISTAKE with community that might prevent others doing same thing. It is also intended to share reasons for mistake, and how you fixed it (if you did).
This thread is more than being safe and avoiding saw blade injuries or posting bloody digit pictures after hitting your thumb with hammer; it is a place to share mistakes, learn from them, and have some fun while doing it.

I’ll start:
Long while back I decided to glue up a pile of 1/2” thick scraps into pizza peel blanks. Here is one:

For reasons I forget, they sat in corner after glue up till now.

Decided to work on pizza peel this morning. Tapered the sides and end with hand plane:

and was ready for final shaping and sanding.

While sanding the face tapers on stationary belt sander, I had an oops. I dropped peel on concrete floor, and broke it. Not only did it split wood, but several splinters of wood flew some magical place in shop and I can’t find them to glue it back together.

Used scrap maple that has been laying around for years. Not really sure of type. Now that it’s broken, center section appears to be medium hardness (red?) maple, and outside panels are softer (silver?) maple. The break is in the softer maple 1/2 inch from glue joint. Based on how soft the wood appears inside the boards, this project is done. Should have used harder grade of maple, and it all should have been from the same boards to provide a uniform density/hardness.
Yes, I am a KLUTZ and this mistake created one project I won’t be finishing. :(

Your turn:
What mistake did you make today that others might learn from and avoid making in future?

Thanks for reading. Have a great day!

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

30 replies so far

View Jerry's profile


3214 posts in 2070 days

#1 posted 06-13-2019 07:09 PM

Oh you don’t want to see my mistakes, trust me, they’re heartbreaking…

-- 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 Firewood's profile


849 posts in 2056 days

#2 posted 06-13-2019 07:36 PM

Jerry, I’d like to see them. :-)

In the mean time, I’ll see if I can recall any worthy of this thread. Though I won’t have digital evidence like Capt does.

-- Mike - Waukesha, WI

View Mike_in_STL's profile


863 posts in 955 days

#3 posted 06-13-2019 07:50 PM

Run it down the table saw on both sides to make equal wings and straight lines, and lay in another type of wood on both sides for a contrasting color. That’s not a problem, it’s an opportunity!

-- Sawdust makes me whole --Mike in STL

View SMP's profile


1198 posts in 327 days

#4 posted 06-13-2019 07:52 PM

How much time you got?...

View Dustin's profile


689 posts in 1162 days

#5 posted 06-13-2019 07:57 PM

This table I built actually had a big “oops” moment. After gluing up the base, I realized I mis-measured when centering the block of wood between the drawers, so one side was about 1” wider than the other. I didn’t even catch it until after I made the two drawers (luckily, I made them for the wider side). I ended up using a router, and edge-guide, and a modicum of profanity to trim the narrow side wider. No one would ever know, but I tell everyone anyways :p

-- "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 LeeRoyMan's profile


176 posts in 148 days

#6 posted 06-13-2019 09:49 PM

Just made a panel out of rift cut white oak 23 3/8×98 5/8 Edge banded all 4 sides with solid 2mm banding,
measured afterwards only to find out it was 96 5/8.
(If anybody has an extra 2” of white oak it would be appreciated)

View Eddycreek's profile


10 posts in 567 days

#7 posted 06-13-2019 10:30 PM

Timely topic, did this yesterday. Remodeled kitchen last year and wife ordered custom cabinets. One was supposed to be 24” wide with a drawer, but they sent one without the drawer. They sent a new one and just let us keep the odd one.

Now we are remodeling laundry/utility room, so thought I would put the extra to use. Also going to reuse the countertop from the kitchen remodel, and we had a piece that was on an island that was 36×48, so I ripped it in half for 2-24×36” pieces. So the cabinet needed an inch trimmed off the back to allow a 1” overhang. Took the back off and used a guide and circular saw to rip one side, then flipped it over (or so I thought) and started on the other side Got almost all the way across before I noticed something didnt look right. Instead of flipping it over I had just turned it around and cut another inch off the same side. Guess its going to have a 2” overhang now.

View WoodenDreams's profile


626 posts in 332 days

#8 posted 06-14-2019 01:54 AM

I have a separate room for assembling and glue-ups. My 8’ long glue-up table was full of assembly glue-ups waiting for the glue to cure in their clamps. So I used my work bench for the last two glue-ups. After gluing those up I wiped the excess glue off the glue scrapers with a brown paper towel. The next day when I went back to the shop, I realized I left the brown paper towel with glue on the table saw. Behold, some large rust areas on the table saw top. Cussed myself out and had to remove the rust from the tabletop. Just got done cleaning the table saw top three days prior, and had to restore the tabletop again. Lesson learned, why did I put the paper towel with glue on the saw, trash can was only 4’ away.

View Tony_S's profile


979 posts in 3504 days

#9 posted 06-14-2019 10:03 AM

So far, after nearly 30 yrs building custom staircases and railing…out of a thousand screw ups over the years, to this day, this is my crowning glory….

See these stainless steel post brackets?

They, for some still unknown reason were made with a 5”x7” steel mounting plate(unseen) with the exposed section offset by 4” vertically on the mounting plate.
For some reason, that to this day I cant explain why or how??? I mounted all the brackets UPSIDE DOWN!! Three floor levels 9 stairs total.
The glass guys went in to install all the stainless steel posts and template for the glass and thats when my mistake was realized. All the stainless posts were 4” too short now. At that stage, it was WAY too late to correct the brackets with out a phenomenal amount of work. They had also been stained and lacquered at that point, so we were right near the end of the project.
It ended up costing $14000.00 for brand new posts for all three floors.
A very simple, VERY STUPID mistake that ran away with itself….

That was probably close to 10 years ago…and I STILL punish myself for that one.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

View Knockonit's profile


587 posts in 624 days

#10 posted 06-14-2019 01:10 PM

worst has been a crew of mine tore off the wrong patio off a home, yep, got the address wrong, homeowner let them do it wiithout a comment, nothing like replacing a patio that didn’t need replacing
work order had street on it instead of Place, one of the office staff just fouled up, ugh.

as for my own wood making items mistake, pretty sure its why i have a whole lotta wood scraps, don’t make as many as i used to, but still on occassion the dummy in me shows itself, and on occassion i get a good giggle out of my lack of attention
Rj in az

View jdh122's profile


1078 posts in 3239 days

#11 posted 06-14-2019 03:11 PM

I built a kitchen for my uncle. Cut, assembled and installed the boxes and then took very accurate measurements for the drawers and doors (he lives 100 miles away from me). Went home and made the drawers with box joints. Brought them to his house and, aargh the drawers were all too wide for the openings – I had only accounted for one drawer slide rather than two, so they were all about 1/4 inch too wide. Initially I thought I would have to remake the drawers, but it actually wasn’t that big a deal set the slides in dados and get them to fit.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3469 posts in 3530 days

#12 posted 06-14-2019 03:48 PM

I made an end-grain cutting board. During the glue up the pieces squirmed and I didn’t notice in time. It is not quite rectangular. Since it is all end grain maple, it isn’t obvious by the grain. The wife loves it, so I’m not pointing out the lack of perfection.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View pottz's profile


5558 posts in 1406 days

#13 posted 06-14-2019 05:43 PM

oh god more than i can remember,most of mine are cutting errors,you know the ones that are too short! what’s that rule again,measure once cut 3 times-lol.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View HokieKen's profile


9962 posts in 1560 days

#14 posted 06-14-2019 05:50 PM

Late last year, I was doing “30 days of dovetails” to try to get more efficient at hand cutting them as well as getting better results. The first few days went smoothly. Then about the 4th or 5th day, I ended up with this:

It was dubbed the “sliding dumbass joint” and is still known as such in some circles… Thankfully it was just a practice session on some scrap Poplar so I was able to laugh. A lot ;-)

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Ripper70's profile


1292 posts in 1330 days

#15 posted 06-14-2019 06:20 PM

It ended up costing $14000.00 for brand new posts for all three floors.
A very simple, VERY STUPID mistake that ran away with itself….

That was probably close to 10 years ago…and I STILL punish myself for that one.

- Tony_S

Well, look at it this way. After 100 years it’ll only amount to about $140/year or roughly $0.38 cents per day. Pocket change.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

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