Woodworking mistakes are an inevitable part of our craft — so much so that, dare I say, all of us are all guilty of pointing them out to our fellow woodworkers moments after they see the piece (come on, you know that you do this)! Sometimes these mistakes are so significant that a new piece of wood is needed or the entire project would need to be scrapped. But, it is still a learning opportunity. Often, though, we persevered and rectified our misstep. In fact, it might have even become a design opportunity. That piece will be an heirloom and nobody except its creator knows or cares about the mistake.
Given that all of us are qualified to talk about mistakes, and what we did about them (or should have), we’re looking for as much club participation as possible in helping to present this subject. A completely virtual meeting is a great opportunity for this multi-speaker sort of meeting. We would like each participating member to spend a few minutes discussing their mistake, what we can all learn from it, and what measures, if any, were made to rectify the problem, and how we might avoid the mistake in the first place. In addition, you might even have a current project in which you made an error and haven’t yet figured out a solution and would like the club’s advice. There’s a list below to remind you of the mistakes that you’ve made.
Please contact Elmer Nahum via email or Bill James via phone or email ( if you can help our club through these unusual times by contributing a few minutes to help make a more interesting presentation. We simply ask that you let us know by next Tuesday, January 11, what you’d like to talk about and about how long it will take. We’ll keep a list, coordinate any duplicates (although there are often as many solutions to a problem as there are problems!), and put together a batting order for the meeting. It would be great to have as much participation as our annual Show & Tell meeting — perhaps you can think of it as Hide & Tell.
Below is a partial list of areas for potential pitfalls to jog our memories for ideas:
- Marking and measuring
- Poor-fitting joinery
- Glue ups
- Cutting a piece too short
- Cutting on the wrong side of the line
- Unknowingly working with warped wood
- Dents, gouges, and crashes
- Wood movement issues
- Finishing Design