Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, or falling at the last hurdle.

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by 404 - Not Found posted 10-04-2012 02:40 PM 1867 views 0 times favorited 47 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 3447 days

10-04-2012 02:40 PM

You know how it is, you’ve just patiently sanded down the front of that door you made, flipped it over to do the back, then flipped it again to inspect and admire your handywork, only to find that the front now has an indentation from that glob of glue/nail/screw you didn’t see when you put it down to work on it.

I’ve had my fair share of last minute mishaps, including dropping a router smack bang in the middle of a desk about two minutes before it was about to be loaded into the van, putting things down on top of screws which I swear were never there, and absent mindedly drilling holes for handles in the wrong location (though I only did that once).

What have you done that you’re kicking yourself over? I’m hoping we could learn something from other people’s mistakes.

47 replies so far

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3580 days

#1 posted 10-04-2012 02:47 PM

There isn’t room here for my list. I get where your coming from…...................

-- mike...............

View sras's profile


5155 posts in 3607 days

#2 posted 10-04-2012 03:10 PM

Cutting boards too short when you don’t have any extra stock


Catting a miter on the wrong side – and again, you don’t have any extra stock

Projects end up smaller that way ;)

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View knotheadswoodshed's profile


225 posts in 2650 days

#3 posted 10-04-2012 03:30 PM

I think my signature quote pretty much sums it up for me :)

-- Randy - "I dont make mistakes, I make design change opportunities"

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2726 days

#4 posted 10-04-2012 05:23 PM

I put pieces in a vice to sand edges. I like to sand down end grain to 600 grit before applying finish. There have been many occasions where I have applied too much pressure and left small indentations. Those come out with some water and some heat. The worst is not applying enough pressure and having the piece move around in the vice and getting all scratched up. I have to break out the 80 grit and start all over.


View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 3162 days

#5 posted 10-04-2012 05:42 PM

work on the backside first! keep a clean assembly table. leave enough room to place the tools away from the workpiece. let the machines (sanders/more so routers) stop before removing them.

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2726 days

#6 posted 10-04-2012 05:46 PM

keep a clean assembly table

This gets me every time. No matter how hard I try I end up finishing, sanding, or gluing on my assembly table. One day I will learn my lesson


View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5224 posts in 4438 days

#7 posted 10-04-2012 05:47 PM

There must be something wrong with your work process. I’ve NEVER screwed up a project.
(Whisper in my ear: Yeah! Right!)
Now I have to figger out why my BLO coat (on a bench. Not my outerwear) won’t cure.

-- [email protected]

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 3162 days

#8 posted 10-04-2012 06:37 PM

Bill…I have a sign in the shop that reads “measure twice, cut it onc”

and somebody here has a signature that says “I didn’t cut it short, it was meant for a smaller project”.

my biggest mistakes come with the router…I only do overhands but I get in a hurry and lift before it has shut down (I know…it takes all of about 30 seconds).

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 2679 days

#9 posted 10-05-2012 05:10 AM

When I finally get close to the final stages, I will clean up the work area, I have several large towels I will use to put doors on and finish the face side last. Vacuum, having a couple of clamps with leather on the face is nice to keep wood from getting marred.

Router issues, like setting it down before it has stopped all the way, build yourself a stand with a big hole in the middle so you can sit it inside and it stands right side up. What I call a router cradle….

Been there myself and nothing is so fustrating and time consuming than fixing mistakes that should have never happened but hey it happens…..

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View bladedust's profile


215 posts in 2744 days

#10 posted 10-05-2012 05:20 AM

I’ve made mistakes on my mistakes only to have me drop something on it after I’ve fixed a mistake that created another mistake and then realize the original mistake was actually not a mistake…..and I am out of stock to redo the project to make more mistakes.

Confused?...yeah, me too.

-- ok, is it cut once measure twice, cut twice measure once???? I know....I'll just keep cutting until it's long enough.

View bluekingfisher's profile


1333 posts in 3457 days

#11 posted 10-05-2012 08:13 AM

Phew! I’m glad I’m not the only one to have such mishaps and that someone else has had the bottle to own up to woodworking mayhem. I think I have had a mishap on virtually every project I have built but as a friend of mine told me, a good craftsman can always make good.

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 2975 days

#12 posted 10-06-2012 12:46 AM

20 years ago I’m lying on my back under a sweet boardroom table that I built, fancy inlays, cross banding, the works – screwing the base extensions to the top. I call out to my boss for more screws and he hands me a bunch, I take them without looking and finish the last ones. He yells ”Stop, stop!!” just as the last two poke their heads above the surface. Since that day I consciously look at every important screw that I drive.

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 3447 days

#13 posted 10-06-2012 10:04 AM

Thank you Gene, this is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. A friend of mine did exactly the same thing attaching an oak top to the base cabinets of a breakfront dresser when he was installing it.
What happened to the table top? Was it a big job to repair it?

View OnlyJustME's profile


1562 posts in 2855 days

#14 posted 10-06-2012 10:53 AM

Just finished installing prefinished hardwood flooring and as i’m walking across the floor to put up the floor nailer stumble and drop the nailer smack dab in the middle of the floor. Needless to say heavy hard metal corners on the nailer leave some pretty nice dents.

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 2975 days

#15 posted 10-06-2012 03:20 PM

Back to the shop, dig out exploded pc with dental tools, gap filling glue, hard press, light filler, paint on grain lines, re-finish. Never happened.

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

showing 1 through 15 of 47 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics