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For me, probably starting this project I'm on right now. :thumbdown:

But other than that, my biggest mistake was not starting WW sooner!:laughing:
 

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Not getting started at a younger age.

In all seriousness, the biggest mistakes I couldn't hide/re-purpose were cutting parts for the wrong side. IE two left parts instead of a left and a right or cutting a part that showed the "back" side rather than the "face" side. Everything else has been fixable.
 

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My first cabinet did not account for wood movement - it taught me well... :eek:
 

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Cant remember.....they all get thrown in the wood boiler....LOL. Just this week I made drawer boxes, went to put them in and they were a half inch too wide. I forgot to take off 1/2 inch for the box joint.......They were fixable though.
 

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I don't think I ever made a mistake until I started reading all the things I've done wrong on the internet!:laughing::laughing::laughing:

Seriously, I have no imagination...I cannot look at a set of dimensions and visualize the size of something. So I started building a TV cabinet from some Woodsmith plans. A lot of money (it was walnut) and time later I had a cabinet (4 actually) that when put together was 8' wide, 7' tall and 3' deep at it's deepest point; way too big for our family room! Ever try to repurpose something that size? It ain't easy:furious:.

The lesson? Now if I start on something big, I mock it up with cardboard boxes to visualize it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The lesson? Now if I start on something big, I mock it up with cardboard boxes to visualize it.
Haha that story made me crack up! I mean, I'm not laughing at your misfortune, just that I could easily see myself doing that too.

I like the cardboard box idea - I use sketchup and then plop a scaled human model next to it. :laughing:
 

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Scotty D
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12' of breakfront built-in book cases that would not fit through the door of the intended room. The door was wide enough, but because of the angle to the hall, they would not go through. I always check with a cardboard template now. That one hurt... :yes:
 

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Normally my most recent mistake feels the worst.

So many to choose from. I do not always recall them as soon as I should. :huh:

Like cutting a mitre. Dead on 45 deg. However the wood had a routed edge and it was upside down so I cut in the wrong direction - and I did not have enough of the stock to make a new piece. :furious:

Cutting on the wrong edge of a sheet of plywood so that the remnant is now too small for the next piece is always good for a few expletives. ;)

Tweaking a piece so it just fits, and then having a friend pick it up turn it around and put it down so that you then cut on the wrong side is another good way to generate a few expletives. ;)

In wood turning having a glue block to mount a piece in the chuck come apart when turning can be a great brown-trouser incident. :thumbdown:

The list can go on.......
 

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Left a just completed Morris chair on the finishing table on a drop cloth, allowing my excitable yellow lab to pull it down breaking apart 2 mortise and tenon joint on the front legs.
 

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If you could squeeze down along side the bath room vanity I built you'll notice a crack on each side that go with the grain all the up to where I glue a piece of plywood for the bottom in place. Of course this was cross grain and didn't allow for wood movement. The only good thing is the bathroom is so small no one but me even knows it happen till now:smile:.
 

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I decided to build a small boat called a Dyno Mite. I bought "marine grade" doug fir plywood. I got all the pieces cut out and coated with epoxy like the instructions say. While coating the plywood I noticed multiple voids in the core layers of the plywood. Kinda took the wind outta my sails (pun intended). The supplier started carrying the good Hydrotek BS1088 grade ply about two weeks after I bought my doug fir ply. Wish I would have waited.
 

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12' of breakfront built-in book cases that would not fit through the door of the intended room. The door was wide enough, but because of the angle to the hall, they would not go through. I always check with a cardboard template now. That one hurt... :yes:
Whew, at least I am not the only one.LOL The good news is I built the house and took the window out and got it in that way.:blink:
 

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Scotty D
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Whew, at least I am not the only one.LOL The good news is I built the house and took the window out and got it in that way.:blink:
I looked at that, it wouldn't fit through the rough opening either... :sad:
 

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where's my table saw?
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what about the time...

12' of breakfront built-in book cases that would not fit through the door of the intended room. The door was wide enough, but because of the angle to the hall, they would not go through. I always check with a cardboard template now. That one hurt... :yes:
What about when you covered the newly finished table top with a cloth cover and it left the imprint in the finish? You had more coats of finish on that table top than the table was worth, shop time included.

What about when the cut piece got trapped between the blade and fence and shot out across the yard into the next area code, narrowly missing the neighbor's cow?


I had one where I had a load of 1/2" Melamine in the back of the truck, not strapped down, and the gate was down for 8 ft's and I took off from the stop light with my usual "enthusiasm" and was told by a trucker in the oncoming lane to go back and pick up my load in the intersection. By the time I turned around and got back it was GONE. The "opportunists" from the city of Detroit had cleaned it up, leaving no trace. :yes:

Measure twice cut once. If it's still too short, you probably need a cold one. :drink:
 
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Two come to mind.


Built an entire kitchen worth of drawers....took them out to the truck to haul them over but realized that I needed to go pick up some stuff at the store so I nicely stacked them all in the garage in my usual parking spot. Got home from the store late at night...backing into the garage using my mirrors.....and backed into the stack sending them flying all over the garage. Most needed repairs...a few needed replacement. The kicker is that my reverse sensors went off....at the same time they usually do while backing into the garage....they sensed the garage door frame and the drawers at the same time.


The other one is when I finished the coffee table in my living room...I let it dry for two days and hauled it home in my truck....2 moving blankets are not enough to protect against strap wear in the finish.
 

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When they happen, they are the worst. When you do this for a living, screw ups are pretty common. I've had my share. Fortunately, they only cost time or money. If an appendage removal was the penalty, I would be home plate.

I had a large wall system it was over 10ft long and floor to ceiling in a stained Red Oak. I gave the client finish samples, for him to sign and approve. He left for an out of town trip, and he dropped the samples off, and signed one. He wanted it all installed by the time he returned in a few weeks. He said he had some bedroom cabinets, and the kitchen to remodel.

Well, the cabinets came out great, and they were all installed. He called me up and said they were the wrong color. I took his sample over there and the color was the same as the signed sample. At that time, there could have been a bit of a ruckus. He said he signed the wrong sample.

To make a long story shorter, I agreed to remove them (without an argument), strip them down, refinish them and re-install them. He was so impressed, he paid the balance on the spot. When I finally got that part done, he gave me the bedroom and kitchen to do. He also became a great referral. I got work from several of his friends.

OK, here's one for an afternoon laugh. I made a 6' wide entertainment cabinet for a couple in a condominium. I measured the elevator, and all seemed to be fine. Checked the hallways, and all the doors for where it was going. All seemed to be fine. The day of delivery, it wouldn't go in the elevator. No way would it make it up the stairs.

So, I had a brainstorm. This apartment was on the 4th floor. Each balcony had a patio, and fairly heavy wood railing and balusters. All the balconies lined up vertically. So, I went to the apartment above, and asked them if I could borrow their balcony. There is a God, because they said OK. I had no block and tackle, so, I dropped some ropes down, and we lifted that sucka up. We had to get it higher than the railing, and then had to swing it in to get in inside the railing.

By the time we got started with this feat of "will it fall?", we had quite a crowd outside watching. The fogies had nothing else to do. When we finally got it inside they clapped.:laughing:






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For over a year I ignored my doctor's request to make him an Asian themed chandelier. I didn't want to do it because I didn't think I had the skills. He finally broke me.

Having no idea how I was going to make in wood what I drew up in CAD, I forged ahead. All was going fairly well until I got lazy. I needed to cut four sets of slots in four pieces of padauk, like this:


Rather than make up a template for all four sets, I made a template for one set of three (two on an angle and the one above), figuring I could cut one set then move it over to cut the next. This is what it was to look like when done:


After all the slots were cut, I began to slide the strips through. I was really close to finishing this and very happy it would soon be done. Then I found one of the sets of slots in the center pieces was in the wrong place and it was VERY noticeable. I almost quit.

I read a post here about screwing up and getting back on the horse and immediately went back to the shop and made up a template for ALL the slot sets. And this time I would cut them in the padauk BEFORE resawing them into 1/2" thickness.

This was the finished product after I installed in my doc's home:


Lots of lessons learned on this project!
 

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Years ago I used to build garages on the weekends while going to college. Once I hired a fellow student to help and while I was explaining what we were doing as I was measuring, I really screwed up on a door header.

I wanted the header height to be 6’ 8 ¾” but measured 68 ¾” without even noticing it. Then as we were lifting up the wall, I just happened to be on the end with the door opening. I didn’t get it up very far when I realized that it was a little low, so I started yelling to drop it back down. :eek:

I ripped that header out and replaced it so fast that my helper didn’t even know what was going on. I told my helper later on what had happened and that i was scared that the customer would come out and see it so I went into lighting speed. He said he had no idea what I was doing because he was still holding the wall on the other side.
 
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