How others see our work...

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I am making (still...) a set of dining room chairs. I put a biscuit slot on the wrong face, right where it will be most visible. I had too much work into it to start over, so I found a piece of scrap with the same color and grain, and cut a plug. Fortunately the slot is parallel to the grain. It looked pretty good, but the work has prominent rays and the plug just doesn't match. I though the plug was too small to matter, but it did.
I showed it to my wife and asked her what she thought. About what? The repaired damage. Where? There. Oh, I never would have noticed that.
Well, I stared at it for a while and decided it was hideous. Ripped it out, found a piece of scrap with the same color, grain AND rays. Looks so much better. There is just a tiny black line at the top and bottom of the plug; otherwise invisible. I thought maybe I could get rid of them with some filler, or maybe I would make it worse?
So I go back to my wife. She tells me to leave it alone because she can't see what I am pointing at; but reminds me that she couldn't see the first one either.
Every now and then someone posts, asking if we view our own work too critically. Apparently.
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wrote:

Maybe your wife just has low standards.
(That was a joke...)
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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wrote:

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Toller wrote:

If your wife has the good sense to ignore flaws in your work, and presumably you, there is little benefit in pointing them out insisting she see them.
Other than that - if you're good, you're always your worst critic. That is as it should be.
R
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I made a dresser (first one), and wouldn't youknow, I drilled the two screw holes for the top center drawer pull with the drawer upside down. That meant that when properly located the pull, there were two visible holes right above it. I found a couple of interesting glass beads and mounted them in the holes, and my wife thinks they're a nice decorative addition.
Whew!
RicodJour wrote:

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Soon you will forget. I built my first kitchen 17 years ago and use 35mm Euro hinges on the doors. On the end cabinet next to the garage door near the floor I drilled the 35mm hole on the front of the cabinet door for the hinge before realizing that I was drilling on the wrong side. You can see the hinge if you look through the hole in the door. Yes the hole is still there and yes I had gotten about it, until now.
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Rockler used to sell these plug kits for folks who did the same things when mounting Euro hinges. Not cheap, when you consider the price for a couple of tapered rounds of hardwood, in various flavors. But cheaper than redoing a door.
Not that _I_ ever used these. Well, only one. In maple. Doesn't show too badly. Ought to redo that door.
Patriarch
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If I ever sell my house, I planned on doing that about 15 years ago, I'll just caulk the hole and paint over it. :~) Swingman are you reading this?
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"Leon" wrote in message

Hey, that's what the trim carpenters of today do ... let the painters take care of it.
--
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The painters around here have a hard time painting walls much less finishing wood. I wouldn't count on the painters to do their job correctly much less fix anything!
Mike O.
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"Mike O." wrote in message

The point is/was, that shoddy work is ubiquitous these days in the carpenter realm, mainly due to an unskilled and poorly supervised labor force. Depending upon locale, if the house you live in was built in the last 20 years, chances are the carpentry is "adequate" at best.
An example: A trim carpenter should be able to cope a joint ... I'll give you a dollar for every one you can find that can, or even knows what/why, if you'll give me a dime for those that can't/won't ... I'd get rich down here on the Third Coast.
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I won't take that bet. BTDT. I'm on jobsite, coping an inside corner. Crew boss comes by... "What are you doing?" I tell him. He says "just miter it - faster and it fits better". Wellllll... his miter saw probably *is* faster... but my corners fit together a lot better than his.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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I set up my miter saw station to trim out a Habitat house last year, got out my coping saw, and the HH lead carpenter said "we don't usually go to that kind of trouble", I replied, "you're in luck. Won't cost one dime more for me to do it right, but it will make me feel much better".
But I will say most of the finish carpenters working for the better homebuilders in this area do cope inside corners.
Frank
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I think I got your point Swingman, but having been a finish carpenter for well over 25 years (and still doing it daily) I may have taken it a little personally that I (as a trim carpenter) might count on a painter to "take care of it". Your generalities may be your experience but the exceptions do exist. BTW my home was built in the last 10 years and I'll put the quality of the trim work up against any anywhere.

Please send my dollar.....make that two because my partner knows how to cope too.:) He's been doing this longer than I have and we both were taught by his Dad and Uncle (both gone now) who had been doing it for 30 years before that. I think that qualifies us for the "old school" of finish carpentry.

I'd suggest that the quality of a trim job has more to do with the builder and what he's willing to pay for. A lot of builders don't know what a good trim job looks like until they actually get one. If a builder demands quality (and will pay for it) he can find it quite easily. I'll give you a dollar for every builder you find that wants to pay to have his base coped. It costs more to do it right and many builders just look at the price points. It might be cheaper and easier to find an "adequate" trim crew but if you demand better than that, we're out there. We have always been busy through the good times and the slow times. I believe that to be a testament to the quality of our product. We're not the cheapest in this area, but we don't try to be. I've seen the poor trim jobs (they are quite common) and those carpenters last about as long as the builders they work for. I've seen a lot of both come and go over the years and we're still here making sawdust.
Mike O.
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On Fri, 10 Nov 2006 17:09:57 GMT, "Leon"

Boy I wish. Seems like I remember every flaw in every piece I've ever done, and believe me there are plenty to remember. But when I show other folks, they never see them.
At least I've quit pointing them out and just take the compliments when they come. I think people who view your work just see the big picture and since they were not with you fretting over the mistakes and how to recover from them, they don't see them.
Frank
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On Fri, 10 Nov 2006 17:09:49 -0600, Frank Boettcher

Man, that is an excellent point!
In the music (and for that matter, stage acting) performance world, you can often tell a newbie from a pro by how they deal with a mistake. *MOST* musicians make an odd mistake on stage, newbies make sour faces or make gestures at the band mates and telegraph it to the audience, pros keep smiling and forget it ever happened. <G>
Why do so many woodworkers feel the need to point out the smallest flaws?
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wrote:

I did a big custom bookshelf for my wife for her birthday last year, everythin was perfect, but when I cut the rabbet for the back, I cut it a little larger than I should have and the back didn't fit like I wanted. I could have redone the back, but I was out of time, so I just tacked it into place and nobody would ever know since the piece is attached to the wall.
But every time I look at that bookshelf, I know the back isn't how it should be. It doesn't really bug me, but we do see our mistakes forever. Almost a year later, I still wish I could have done it better at the time.
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On Sat, 11 Nov 2006 06:55:21 GMT, Brian Henderson

Right.
We all have those. <G>
But why do so many feel the need to SHOW it to everyone?
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wrote:

No clue, I never pointed it out to my wife, she has no idea and wouldn't care anyhow. I know, but I'm not going to be showing it to anyone else, especially since it's completely invisible without ripping it off the wall.
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I did a beautiful cabinet, but when I oiled it the cherry plywood panel in the door it showed a weird pattern. I lived with it for a year and then routed the back out and replaced the plywood. Now it is gorgeous. Okay, the fact that the inside of the door is imperfect bugs me, but I did a good job and anyone (but me of course) would think that it was just how I built it.
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