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
Every now and then someone posts, asking if we view our own work too
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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