Mistakes - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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  • 6 Post By Kerrys
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post #1 of 17 Old 06-13-2019, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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Mistakes

A post about a mistake kinda got me thinking about how we deal with them. Over the past couple of years I have made simple nightstand tables as gifts to family members. For most of these tables I do tapered legs. I taper the legs on two sides about 6” up from the bottom. Tapers face to the inside and the square corner out. Somehow on a table I was building for my wife I managed to taper a leg on three sides. My wife was in the shop when I made the mistake. I told her I would toss the mistake and make a new leg. Fairly easy and quick solution. She said no, she wanted the nightstand table with the mistake. She even had me sign it. The table has now been past on to our oldest son’s wife with, of course, the story about the leg (the entire family knows the story). The small, simple nightstand now has a story attached to it that almost guarantees it will continue to get passed along in the family. My daughter in law says it will go to her daughter with the story of how grandpa made the leg wrong. My granddaughter is only 5 months old so it will be awhile before she understands the story.

Mistakes, in some instances, can add to the value of a piece.
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post #2 of 17 Old 06-14-2019, 12:30 AM
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Good family member cherish the source of the gift more then the gift. I've been a serious woodworker since my retirement in 2009 (I was lucky to retire at age 58 with a good Teamster's Union pension). I hacked and built a few projects prior - example, in 1985, I banged together a toy box... To this day, my 4 sons are still wanting to claim ownership of my '85 hack job.Mistakes-toybx.jpg
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post #3 of 17 Old 06-14-2019, 02:57 AM
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Nice. I like it. Can't say that there are any projects I've made like that, but I am hopeful that my granddaughter (now 5) will appreciate some of what I've made for her when she is older and will want to keep some of them and pass them on.

I am especially hopeful she will do so with two furniture pieces I have that were made by my great-grandfather, who I never met. Both have "flaws" caused by my grandfather when he inadequately packaged them for shipment to me, but I love them. One is a walnut rolltop student's desk with a glass door-ed top shelf unit that my father used when he was in grade school. The other is a fairly large cedar hope chest. The back story on the rolltop is that the walnut boards were salvaged from an old barn.

My father (and I) were mortified when my grandfather disposed of my great-grandfather's woodworking tools, as he was divesting to move out of the house he had lived in for over 50 years. My father dearly wanted those tools and I would have loved to have them now.

Rick
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post #4 of 17 Old 06-26-2019, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BernieL View Post
Good family member cherish the source of the gift more then the gift. I've been a serious woodworker since my retirement in 2009 (I was lucky to retire at age 58 with a good Teamster's Union pension). I hacked and built a few projects prior - example, in 1985, I banged together a toy box... To this day, my 4 sons are still wanting to claim ownership of my '85 hack job.Attachment 376325
Ooh!


I recently found out my sister is pregnant, and I've been looking for an project idea as a gift. I was working toward a toy box idea, and with your post I think I see what I must do! Similar in concept to yours, a toy box with a high shelf and a bar for hanging clothes or blankets.
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post #5 of 17 Old 06-26-2019, 02:04 PM
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My mother instilled in me that mistakes are ok, and add to the personality of something.


Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. - Scott Adams
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post #6 of 17 Old 06-26-2019, 02:24 PM
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The mark of a true craftsman is to be able to hide their mistakes where nobody knows.
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post #7 of 17 Old 06-26-2019, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
The mark of a true craftsman is to be able to hide their mistakes where nobody knows.
Except I seem to always point them out to folks.
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post #8 of 17 Old 06-26-2019, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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When a work lifts your spirits and inspires bold and noble thoughts in you,
do not look for any other standard to judge by:
the work is good,
the product of a master craftsman.
- Jean de la Bruyere
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post #9 of 17 Old 06-27-2019, 07:39 AM
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It's never a mistake if you learn from it. It's just a lesson. If the evidence of the learning process remains evident then maybe someone else can learn from it too. The day I realize I have perfected woodworking I'll probably sell my tools and start screwing up/learning something else.



Several times I have looked back at a piece or project with someone else and they might comment on how nice it turned out. I'm usually thinking "I can show you every last mistake in that piece". I'm never ashamed of it anymore. It's just part of the learning process.



My Dad would tell me that when carving totem poles the Indians would purposely make a visible mistake believing that once you reached perfection it was time for you to pass on to the afterlife. He'd usually say that as soon as we got done working on something and proclaim we had no worries of being taken anytime soon...

A handful of patience is worth a bushel of brains...
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post #10 of 17 Old 06-27-2019, 09:00 AM
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Who makes misteaks?

A diamond is how coal reacts under pressure.
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post #11 of 17 Old 06-27-2019, 08:27 PM
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This is a great thread. A while back I built a banjo for the first time. It was challenging to say the least and many of the materials were exotic and expensive, so I couldn’t just toss a piece I made a mistake on and start over. So, I learned to repair mistakes. Learning to make invisible repairs was as satisfying as the building process itself.

And, knowing how to do a repair takes a lot of pressure off on all the work I do.
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post #12 of 17 Old 06-27-2019, 10:19 PM
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Except I seem to always point them out to folks.
For years, I did the same thing AND I had a tendency to let the "hidden" mistakes bug me. Thankfully, I finally mellowed out enough that I can look at a piece where I still know there is a flaw, no matter how hidden and minor, and just be satisfied that it is still looking good, many years after being placed into service. It really is true...nobody is perfect.
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post #13 of 17 Old 06-28-2019, 01:12 AM
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Most of my mistakes occur if I'm tired. I try not to work when I'm fatigued. But fixing a mistake so it's not noticeable is a really good learning situatin. Often it requires intense concentration and being very careful about the task. What was that old 60s saying? Fake it until you make it.
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post #14 of 17 Old 07-17-2019, 11:36 PM
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I appreciate this thread. Being in the final stages of a large dining room table, all the mistakes I made are still fresh on my mind. All of which I learned something from and am not ashamed of. As others have said, maybe one day a great grandchild will look at it, notice a mistake and be able to envision someone generations before working in a shop, making a mistake, then thinking through and making a repair. Pretty neat thought.

Notably on this table:
-router got away from me on a corner and gouged out a chunk of wood. Filled with epoxy. Fortunately itís under the tabletop.
-ran a some board through the planer the wrong direction, with less than sharp blades. Chipping...
-cut a stretcher too short with the last piece of 8/4 material I had. Had to scab it back together. I think there maybe a saying about this one...

Cheers to mistakes and learning from them!
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post #15 of 17 Old 07-18-2019, 05:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AwesomeOpossum74 View Post
....................................... I was working toward a toy box idea.......... a toy box with a high shelf and a bar for hanging clothes or blankets.
I think a high shelf, regardless what it is for, is a dangerous idea for a toy box. There will be a child opening, closing, pulling toys in and out. And all this - directly below a high shelf with stuff on it.
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Retired woodworker, amongst other things, Sold full time cruising boat and now full time cruising in RV. Currently in Denison, Tx
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post #16 of 17 Old 07-18-2019, 06:14 AM
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I think a high shelf, regardless what it is for, is a dangerous idea for a toy box. There will be a child opening, closing, pulling toys in and out. And all this - directly below a high shelf with stuff on it.

Most definitely agree. Something that big has gotten our of the realm of a "toy box."


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post #17 of 17 Old 07-18-2019, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Quickstep View Post
This is a great thread. A while back I built a banjo for the first time. It was challenging to say the least and many of the materials were exotic and expensive, so I couldnít just toss a piece I made a mistake on and start over. So, I learned to repair mistakes. Learning to make invisible repairs was as satisfying as the building process itself.

And, knowing how to do a repair takes a lot of pressure off on all the work I do.
i'd love to see pics of that (5 string?) banjo...
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