Flaws - Failures or signs of character? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

 8Likes
  • 2 Post By mikechell
  • 1 Post By BigJim
  • 1 Post By Toolman50
  • 1 Post By Keptheart
  • 1 Post By mmwood_1
  • 1 Post By GeorgeC
  • 1 Post By mmwood_1
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 13 Old 03-03-2017, 02:41 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Leeds, AL
Posts: 199
View Jesse Blair's Photo Album My Photos
Question Flaws - Failures or signs of character?

I know it's typically the goal of all woodworkers to make a piece without any mistakes, or flaws in the final product. But as they do happen from time to time, even with the best woodworkers (I would imagine), do you tend to feel irritation and disappointment in these mistakes and flaws, or do you appreciate them for what they are? Sometimes to me, a flawless execution of a piece somehow feels sterile and devoid of character. Having those small imperfections seem to give a piece life, and really show that they were made by hand, by a living, breathing human, and not by a robot in a factory somewhere. I have this feeling that if the day ever came where I somehow pulled off a flawlessly built piece, perfect in every way, a part of me would want to create a flaw in it somewhere.

I'm just curious as to how all of you feel about it. I know you have all made some mistakes from time to time, at some point.

Last edited by Jesse Blair; 03-03-2017 at 02:44 AM.
Jesse Blair is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 13 Old 03-03-2017, 08:12 AM
Senior Member
 
mikechell's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Deltona, Florida
Posts: 1,098
View mikechell's Photo Album My Photos
Being one of the most laid back people you'll ever meet, I don't even try for perfection. If everything works, then the final product is good to go.

Flaws are part of the final product.

Some of the furniture posted by members of this site are flawless. When I look at them, I can admire the precision that went into the piece ... but in the back of my mind is the constant thought, "It looks like an Ikea kit."
BigJim and Jesse Blair like this.
mikechell is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to mikechell For This Useful Post:
BigJim (03-03-2017)
post #3 of 13 Old 03-03-2017, 10:27 AM
Ole Woodworker
 
BigJim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Posts: 3,172
View BigJim's Photo Album My Photos
Mistakes, I have made more than my share, what I tried to do when I made a goof up is not to try to hide it, but exaggerate it to look intentional, seemed to work most of the time for me.
Jesse Blair likes this.

http://www.diychatroom.com/
The Other
BigJim

If you do what you've always done, you will get what you've always got.
BigJim is online now  
 
post #4 of 13 Old 03-03-2017, 10:37 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Garland, TX
Posts: 2,060
View Toolman50's Photo Album My Photos
You must have some Navaho Indian ancestry. That is the way they lived as well.
Jesse Blair likes this.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
Toolman50 is offline  
post #5 of 13 Old 03-03-2017, 10:50 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Vernon, BC
Posts: 54
View bargoon's Photo Album My Photos
By making mistakes is how we all learn. Years ago my first full size projects was a 5-shelf pine bookshelf. I was quite proud of the crown moulding I coved on my tablesaw. When I glued the 5 shelves in - soon found out what glue "open time" is. Had to rush but even so the bookcase has a slight lean to it. Now I look for appropriate open times depending on the project on hand or I glue things together with 90 degree support blocks.
bargoon is online now  
post #6 of 13 Old 03-12-2017, 10:15 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 14
View Keptheart's Photo Album My Photos
I'm more of a perfectionist that can over complicate and over analyze myself into a corner. Many times, I loose my place trying to fix sump'm or keep from sump'm undesirable from happening. I'm working on the final process of a cherry archway that I swear has taught me for hard lessons than any other project I've built. So, all I can say, is if I'm building something, I'm building character!

Just some of the Character I built into it.... and some rebuilt character as well!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_6394.jpg
Views:	29
Size:	58.1 KB
ID:	283953  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_6372.jpg
Views:	26
Size:	85.7 KB
ID:	283961  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_6384.jpg
Views:	24
Size:	80.4 KB
ID:	283969  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_6772.jpg
Views:	27
Size:	67.7 KB
ID:	283977  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_6823.jpg
Views:	26
Size:	74.2 KB
ID:	283985  

Keptheart is offline  
post #7 of 13 Old 03-12-2017, 10:19 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 14
View Keptheart's Photo Album My Photos
Now...
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_6831.jpg
Views:	27
Size:	56.4 KB
ID:	283993  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_6815.jpg
Views:	25
Size:	66.0 KB
ID:	284001  

Toolman50 likes this.

Last edited by Keptheart; 03-12-2017 at 10:21 PM.
Keptheart is offline  
post #8 of 13 Old 03-12-2017, 10:31 PM
Senior Member
 
mmwood_1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: corvallis, Oregon
Posts: 924
View mmwood_1's Photo Album My Photos
In my work, I have always strived for perfection, expecting that I will likely fall short, but falling short of perfection can still leave you with excellence. I have also often stated that one of the primary differences between an amateur and a professional does not lay in the lack of mistakes, but in the ability to correct, compensate for, or render them unnoticable. Because as a professional, we get a lot more practise fixing our mistakes.

As regards deliberately introducing flaws, well, if that's what suits you, that's your option. If I turn out a flawless piece (it sometimes does happen) I accept it and am grateful for it. And as for lack of character if a piece is flawless, I think the responsibility for character lies more with either the design of the piece, or the pieces of wood used for it. If you design your own pieces and you put your heart into them, they will have character. People will see it, even if you do not. I learned this from my customers many years ago.
Keptheart likes this.
mmwood_1 is offline  
post #9 of 13 Old 03-18-2017, 02:31 PM
Timber Wright-Guide
 
Jay C. White Cloud's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Thetford, Vermont, United States
Posts: 58
View Jay C. White Cloud's Photo Album My Photos
Hello Jesse,

Sorry...I'm late to the conversation...

Quote:
...do you tend to feel irritation and disappointment in these mistakes and flaws, or do you appreciate them for what they are? Sometimes to me, a flawless execution of a piece somehow feels sterile and devoid of character. Having those small imperfections seem to give a piece life, and really show that they were made by hand...I'm just curious as to how all of you feel about it...
As I am almost exclusively a Folk Style woodworker and one that tends to follow Asian, and Middle Eastern systems...I would suggest your gut is telling you the truth in what you feel about flaws in your work. The Japanese have a word for this...侘寂 (Wabi Sabi)...and within this is of what you speak...that thing that is beautifully broken or flawed...called: 金継ぎ Kintsugi
Jay C. White Cloud is online now  
post #10 of 13 Old 03-18-2017, 03:09 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Florida Panhandle
Posts: 9,432
View GeorgeC's Photo Album My Photos
Flaws, are flaws are flaws. Some projects have them, some do not.

Some have to be repaired, some do not.

Some can be noticed, some cannot.

Who makes a big deal by thinking about it either way?

George
Jim Frye likes this.
GeorgeC is online now  
post #11 of 13 Old 03-18-2017, 07:34 PM
Senior Member
 
Jim Frye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Northwest Ohio
Posts: 222
View Jim Frye's Photo Album My Photos
The first large case piece I made had a lulu of a mistake. I cut the face frame rails to length on the wrong side of the blade. Thus they were too short to join up to the stiles without redoing the back. I spanned the gap with thin pieces of wood that matched the grain of the stiles. To this day, no one notices the "shims".

Jim Frye
The Nut in the Cellar
I've gone out to find myself. If I return before I get back, have me wait for me.
Jim Frye is online now  
post #12 of 13 Old 03-18-2017, 08:33 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Garland, TX
Posts: 2,060
View Toolman50's Photo Album My Photos
The average person visiting your home doesn't scrutinize your project unless you first point out that this is a piece you made. Even then, a friend will usually be complimentary rather than critical. Once a woodworker reaches a level of where the projects no longer looks "homemade", you reach a level of personal satisfaction. If someone can easily identify the pieces you've done, chances are you still have more to learn.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
Toolman50 is offline  
post #13 of 13 Old 03-20-2017, 01:11 AM
Senior Member
 
mmwood_1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: corvallis, Oregon
Posts: 924
View mmwood_1's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
If someone can easily identify the pieces you've done, chances are you still have more to learn.
I heartily disagree with you. Being identifiable is NOT synonymous with being amateurish. In fact, if my work was not readily distinguishable from furniture store pieces, I would not be justified in what I charge for it. I would also be embarrassed by it.
Jesse Blair likes this.
mmwood_1 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Best type of wood for hand painted wood signs? Ketnar General Woodworking Discussion 7 10-12-2016 06:20 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome