If you love to read about people screwing up, this post is for you.
This week I’m shooting a DVD in the Popular Woodworking studio on building a traditional 18th-century tool chest (it should be out by mid-March). Building one of these chests alone in my shop is a 40-hour sprint-a-thon. Building it along with a class is an exercise in concentrating through interruptions.
Building it in front of a camera crew in less than a week is enough to make me wear adult diapers (seriously, today I couldn’t find time to go to the bathroom until 5:30 p.m.).
Today I cut all the joints for the chest’s lid and tried to assemble it. After a dry fit, I put the glue on the joints and can’t close the joints with clamp pressure. I remove the offending stile and try to figure out the problem (cameras are rolling). I adjust the panel and try again. No dice (cameras rolling).
I grab the crew members to pull apart the lid again (cameras stopped). I adjust the panel with a quick and dirty cut on the table saw. We try again. The joints won’t close. My brain throbs like I just tried to eat a gallon of ice cream in two bites.
Somehow we pull the lid apart again (thank you, hide glue). And then I realize the problem.
I’d built the lid’s central panel last night to get ready for the shoot. At 5 a.m. I woke up and decided I didn’t like the grain. So I went to the shop in my pajamas and remade the panel and re-cut the groove in the edges of the panel. In my pre-coffee state I didn’t make the groove deep enough.
Ten seconds with my plow plane fixed the problem. The panel went together (cameras rolling) and every sphincter in my body began to relax (thank you, adult diapers).
The lesson? Somehow when I did my dry fit I skipped a step. Solution: Never film another DVD.
— Christopher Schwarz
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