Mistake after mistake...

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Not looking for sympathy here, just relaying what will be amusing to many of you...I am so truly awful at this and I make so many sometimes I ask myself why do I even bother with woodworking.
I'm making an armoire and the sides of the carcase are plywood (yeah yeah). So I'm making a dado across the sides with a router to hold a shelf. 30" to the top of the dado from the bottom edge. I line both pieces next to each other so that I can cut the dado across both so they will line up exactly (clever I am!). I measure 30" up on one side (to the top of the dado), make my mark. 30" on the other side (make my mark). Get the straight edge & router and zip! Wait...something's wrong. Ack! I measured 30" correctly but I mark one side as the top of the dado, and the other side the bottom of the dado. I correct this by filling in the dado (which won't be seen), and cutting a new one at 31". Now I just have to remember to make the stiles and door panels for the lower section an inch longer (can you see what's coming?). "I should write this change in my plans, so I'll remember it"..."nah, I'll remember it."
Tonight, after a long day at work, and stupidly snapping at my wife about something unimportant, I tell her I'm kinda tired to work in the shop, and she says "you better not, you'll make a mistake and be upset." ...... Well, Norm works till the wee hours doesn't he?, so I decide, I won't do anything _major_, I'll just rough cut the pieces for the doors, rails, and stiles. The cuts were all perfect...they really were if I didn't have to add back that missing 1" for the lower stiles and door panels. Why why why do I this? Now I'll have to make a special trip and go back to the lumberyard and find matching pieces (if I can), and start that section over. More gas $$$ and more lumber $$$. Why don't I just start with 50% more and be done with it?
Another day on this same project I took 2 hours to lay out the measurements, and miter cuts for the cornice pieces. Checked, and double-checked...even tried the measurements and cuts on some old pine I had...perfect. Got out the "real" lumber and walked over to the miter saw and promptly made the angle cuts backwards....sigh.
I'll stick with my day job and take solace in knowing most people I work with can't traverse a directory tree or distinguish between click and double-click even after I've showed them a gazillion times. I'm good at something I guess.
Time for a cold one. Here's to those who do it right the first time! Duke
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Commiseration. BTDT, and I was talking about *exactly* the same thing with my neighbor just yesterday, after he told me about cutting a pieve of crown molding 3/16 too short because he was tired and not paying attention...
djb
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Dave Balderstone responds:

Probably all of us have done it, more than once, and that flies in the face of not working with machines or edged tools when you're tired. We're lucky when we only screw up the wood. Most of the scars I carry are the result of being tired or in a rush, as are most of the project screw-ups (most, not all: there are some where I outbuilt my knowledge and others where I just made a damned fool mistake for no good reason except that it was my time to make a damned fool mistake).
Charlie Self "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right." Thomas Paine
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"Dukester" wrote in message

The hell of it is, you aren't anywhere close to setting a record. DAMHIK
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...never admit such a thing...put the piece on the rack for the next project and tell the SWHMBO that you didn't like the grain on that piece and have to look for a better one because you are "fussy"...she won't understand but then again you don't understand how a few pieces of fabric a "shade" off will ruin her quilt either because she is "fussy"...(translation is they goof up from time to time also) LOL

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<snip>
One of the real arts of woodwork is learning how to recover from one's lapses:)
Bernard R
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No, learning how to turn it into an *opportunity*!
Lo these many years ago, when I was still with NCR Corp. in Indianapolis(large scale EDP sysrepair), the district specialist(Indiana, East/Central Illinois, Northern Kentucky) would occasionally have one brush fire too many and request my boss to send me out. This never seemed to happen unless we had plans or company or a holiday weekend or. . . well, you get the picture. My boss, with his fine Irish blarney, would always tell SWMBO when she answered the phone that he had an "opportunity" for me.
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Nahmie
The first myth of management is that management exists.
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I spent a lot of time last night thinking about how I could still use the pieces I cut too short. I *suppose* I could add an inch filler strip to the face frame on the bottom where the doors overlap but this presents a couple of other "hmmmm...i don't know"s:
One, the face frame will then be an inch higher and have sort of a raised lip over the shelf on the inside. I guess this would not *really* matter as the only time it would be seen is when the doors were open, but stilll.... Second is that there would then be a glue line just below where the doors end at the point where the 1" filler strip meets the real face frame... And now that the face frame is already installed, it seem like it would be tough to get that mating line as crisp as if I ran both pieces over the jointer prior to installation.....
Thoughts?
Thanks for the kind words anyhow. Things always look better on Fridays.
-- Cheers! Duke
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BTDT far too often.
How about leaving the FF as it (correctly?) is and going back and fixing the original dados? You could plough out a wide 2" to 3" dado in the ply panels and insert a filler strip of solid wood. Then cut the right dados into this strip. You could even make the insert strip of a contrasting wood and "feature" it. Just a thought.
Art (who has many "features" in his projects)
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Dukester wrote:

You're just not being creative enough. If the pieces are the wrong size, make something like this out of it:
http://www.straightlinedesigns.com/images/spencer.jpg
:)
Like Swingman said, you're not even setting a record. Measure twice, cut once; too long. Measure twice, cut once; too long. Measure twice, cut once; too short. Damn.
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Dukester wrote:

The question is "do you make lots of different mistakes or do you make the same one over and over?"
If you make lots of different mistakes then you're learning--that which doesn't kill us may not make us stronger but it often makes us more knowledgeable. If you're making the same one over and over you need to sit down and think about why it's happening and what to do about it.

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As long as you learn something each time you make a mistake, then you will be fine. Look at it this way, since the mistakes cause a fair amount of pain, you are unlikely to repeat them. My theory is that eventually I will make every mistake possible and if I can avoid them all in the future, I will be a perfect woodworker (like Norm :))
Frank
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"Dukester"

trial and error noun trying of different alternatives: a method of finding a satisfactory solution or means of doing something by experimenting with alternatives and eliminating failures
Duke,
If it wasn't for this method of "learning", I would be hard pressed to get anything done. Besides, look on the bright side, you're building a really nice lumber rack. When I'm working in my shop (garage), inevitablly one of my neighbors will come over to ask what I'm making. I always says it depends, either a (insert project) or firewood, I just have to see how it goes today.
Good luck,
Chuck
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(snip of very familiar stuff)
I'd be perfect if it weren't for my mistakes. Duke, I'm making a stereo cabinet and did exactly the me thing with a shelf dado. Twice.
Bob
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Bob, whose typing skills mirror his woodworking expertise.
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I don't make too many mistakes, but I sure do make a lot of "design changes" during a project. Yeah, I really meant it to be that way. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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If I was worried about mistakes, er, design changes, I'd never start a project.
djb
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Was that last sig line lame or what?

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Hey, listen: For every major project I take on (well, major for ME anyway), I now know that every single component will have to be made at least twice: once to screw it up and hopefully, a second time to get it right. I mean EVERY SINGLE part. I now buy 230% of the wood required for any project AUTOMATICALLY. The extra 30% for the usual safety margin, plus the extra 100% for the first piece that I know I'm gonna screw up. Occasionally, well, rarely, I may have a little wood left over. More often, I still need to go back for more wood, for the third or fourth try.
Yes, I'd love to do this for a living, except for the part where my family and I starve to death....
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On Thu, 22 Apr 2004 20:19:17 -0500, "Dukester"

Wherever they are. <G>
Barry
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Keep_it_in_the_newsgroup snipped-for-privacy@aol.com says...

Yup- that would be me. Never made a cutting error, every part fits right the first time, I buy only the exact amount of any wood I need as spec'd on the blueprint, and the final project comes out exactly as designed, no changes needed.
Vic Grand Prize Winner, 2004 Liar's Club Competition, Hobby Division.
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