A lot of frustration that I get from woodworking is due to small mistakes that I could have avoided. When looking back to such experiences, I often feel silly, because the reason for my failure was so simple. But not all mistakes are obvious right away, and I want to start an introduction to “silly mistakes” that we newcomers haven’t met yet (except for the one, who tells us about it). So, this topic is supposed to be written by many people, in order to grow fast. I will keep adding, but it might be slow. Well, let’s get started. Oh, I think, no mistake is too silly to make it here. Suggesting, that none of us is a complete idiot, making any mistake is reason enough to warn others 😉 .
My very first mistake was to rely on a combination square, that was out of square. Obviously, it is a good idea to check a square for squareness as soon as you get it (and probably again every now and then). So my first small projects were quite crooked.
In the meantime, I got a square square, but my first dovetail project was again quite out of square (1 mm variance over a width of 30 cm), and the reason again simple: I had marked the depth lines with a pencil prior to cutting a knife line. When I checked later, the knife line was actually square, but I could not see it well because of the pencil mark, which was much wider of course. While chiseling “into the line”, I sometimes noticed, that it looked off by a bit and tried to correct that. Of course, none of these corrections were precise, and the result very disappointing. I found the old knife line, when I was cutting a new one to cut off the dovetails.
The third example is cutting a tenon into a leg. I was making four legs for my workbench and wanted to cut them to length on one side and cut a tenon at the other side. On the very first leg, I started by ripcutting the tenon width, then I sawed it off right away – oops! I was lucky, that I had started with the tenon, because the leg was long enough to get the full length. In this case, I am not sure, but in many other cases, marks on the waste wood are certainly helpful. I noticed that later, when cutting my first dovetails: I always knew exactly, on which side of the line I had to saw, because the waste wood was marked on all three sides.
Looking forward to your mistakes and comments!
- This topic was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by Hugo Notti.
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